I am a busy stay-at-home of three boys - soon to be 5 children, 4 boys and a girl. Our twins are due February 16, 2009. We are all excited. My oldest will soon be a teenager. I love to bake and cook. I love to make up my own recipes. I do a lot of baking for friends and neighbors. We recently moved to our small town and all of us love it. With all the local farms around, there is and abundance of freshly grown food, which is the BEST for any kind of cooking. Plus, we have a Whole Foods Market fairly close and I LOVE to shop there. I buy and use organic whenever possible. All of my boys have a very strong interest in baking and cooking. My oldest loves to come up with recipes and my two younger ones love to help bake. With the encouragement of family and friends I have started an at home bakery that will hopefully one day evolve into my own bake shop. I LOVE to experiment with recipes and have done a lot of studying on my own about baking and baking science. I love collecting cookbook
My favorite things to cook
Most kinds of down-home desserts, yeast breads (which to me are the most rewarding - with cakes as a close second) and quick breads and most Italian foods and slow cooker foods. I love to try new recipes and make up my own. I do not like to cook gourmet, not to mention most of the ingredients for gourmet foods are difficult to obtain and generally VERY expensive. I have tried a couple of borderline gourmet things and it is just not my (or my family's) taste. I have decided "country " cooking suits us best.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandma taught me to cook when I was around 11. She and my grandfather had a quarter acre garden that I would get to help with. During the summers, we would cook all kinds of things. One fall recipe I love that she always made after we picked apples was fresh apple butter!
Another is Thanksgiving. We always have large family gatherings and I usually take two or three things. I love it. It is great to have everyone together!
My cooking triumphs
My most recent is a perfected chocolate chip cookie recipe!!! Yeah - Finally a cookie that is chewy and thick and not extremely fatty tasting!! I would share it here but it is very difficult to get a recipe published. You can always email me at email@example.com. Please put "allrecipes member" in the subject line. Another is a recipe I created years ago called "Tiny Taters". And one that I can not go to family functions without is Pumpkin Sheet Cake from Taste of Home magazines (now on this site http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Sheet-Cake-2/Detail.aspx). On Aug. 5, 2006 I won 2nd place for a pie I submitted & my son won 1st for Peanut Blossoms at our local fair!
My cooking tragedies
I always make deserts to take to my in-laws at Thanksgiving. One year, along with deserts, I decided I would bake fresh dinner rolls from scratch using a new and untried (by me) recipe. Everything went well until they were supposed to rise. When my husband saw them before they were to go into the oven he said they looked like little pancakes (and this was being nice - all 96 rolls were simply globby piles of flat dough!) I was so upset. However, my husband was there to rescue me. He was so sweet! He went down to Kroger's and bought all the Bob Evans rolls they had left. When he got home we set them all out to rise, he sent me to bed and he baked rolls for me until 4 am until they were all done. He did kindly say I was not allowed to bring rolls to dinner anymore. Even with this said I may volunteer this year because of the allrecipes submission by Donna West for Sweet Dinner Rolls. I have made them six times and all, but two times (because of inferior ingredients), came out great!!