I am a music teacher for a private Christian school in Hood River, Oregon. I grew up in a small town on a farm cooking in the kitchen with my mom and dad. I love to experiment and try new recipes as well as settle down with my family's favorites. I love to sing and play piano and, of course, cook. I give away more food than I eat and therefore have many friends! :-)
My favorite things to cook
If I had to pick a favorite style, it would be baking. However, I love to cook anything. My favorite is trying new recipes. With the exception of my family's favorites, I rarely make the same thing twice. My cookbook collection takes up an entire cupboard and I am always searching for new, creative ways to cook. I love embellishing my cooking with garnishes. I also enjoy decorating cakes and have been working on doing wedding cakes for friends.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I loved making Christmas cookies with my grandma when I was little. I would go over and spend the night and she would show me all of her little secrets. I also learned much from helping my mother with making meals. Whether it was an everyday dinner, or a big family gathering, I was always in the kitchen trying to do what I could. I still call my mom and dad every once in a while to get new ideas for recipes or to pick their brain for some new ideas to try.
My cooking triumphs
I entered an apple pie contest in October of 2005 and, by the grace of God, WON! I made a 9-inch apple pie that was adapted from a recipe that came from AllRecipes.com and won $1,000 in the process. I have since been making holiday pies and selling them for Thanksgiving and Christmas to make a few extra dollars through the holidays. I have also won many trophies and blue ribbons at the local county fair for my breads, jams, pies, cookies and other baked goods.
My cooking tragedies
When I was in 5th grade, I was making a frozen waffle in the toaster and the whole thing caught on fire. I burnt half of the kitchen up and have not bought frozen waffle since! Lately, I had a pie that was stuffed too full with filling run overboard in my oven. Before I realized it, I opened the oven door only to have smoke from the burning sugar in the bottom of the oven completely pour out into my house. The house stunk like smoke for a week!