I've always enjoyed cooking/baking. I, like most young girls, had an Easy Bake Oven - mine was the Holly Hobby version (A child of the 80's). I loved to make little cakes for my brother and sisters! I can remember being a little girl and asking my mom to help in the kitchen. Since I don't have anyone at home to cook for, I'm always brining things into work for co-workers, or taking dishes to friends/family and to church events for others to sample and enjoy!! Everyone gets excited when they see me carrying in a dish or container fulled with something yummy!! It has become a must for me to bring my Mac-n-Cheese to every family dinner, if I don't take it I might as well not even show up! I love cooking for large groups of people, the more to feed the better. I enjoy collecting cookbooks, watching Food Network, reading/subscribing to all types of food related magazines and getting new ideas.
My favorite things to cook
I enjoy cooking/baking a variety of food. However, I love to cook comfort food and traditional American food - but I usually then put my own spin on them. Very few recipes I enjoy are low in calories; although, most of what I make is made from scratch and with fresh ingredients...which helps with keeping down the preservates, artificial flavorings, etc. I enjoy both cooking and baking - and love to create themed meal plans and menus.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love the first weekend in December when my Mom, younger sisters, Sister-In-Law, nieces and I get together to bake cookies and other yummy treats for the holidays. Last year we baked approx. 900 cookies and holiday treats to give away to neighbors, family and friends. I get to combine my two favorite things cooking/baking and my family. I look forward to it every year!
My cooking triumphs
I have two triumphs - that were equally challenging. In 2005, the church I was attending was hosting it's biennial Christms Dinner Theatre and I was asked to make my Roast Beef for 350 people (approx. 150 pounds of beef). I was a little worried at first because I'd never done anything like that, but it went off without a hitch and EVERYONE loved the roast beef. I received many compliments!
Earlier this year (2011), I was asked to prepare an appreciation breakfast for 40-50 people. I would be responsible for creating the menu, purchasing the food and executing the meal. After some thought I agreed. I worked on a menu for several weeks, and got it approved. I was very much looking forward to this challenge. With the help of my Mom and one of my sisters the breakfast was a success!! Lots of "mmms" and "oh this is delicious"...I was even asked if I would cater an event! I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge!!
My cooking tragedies
For my sisters birthday, she wanted a yellow cake with chocolate icing. I searched for the best recipe and made plans to make both - from scratch. The icing was a success. The cake not so much. I followed the recipe step by step...the batter looked (and tasted) as it should. The cakes baked perfectly - they even pulled from the sides of the pan...not one crumb was stuck. I iced the cakes (8-inch double layer) and was anxiously awaiting it's debut. As I was putting candles in the cake I realized something was VERY wrong. I had to force the candles into the cake. After, I finally inserted the candles in and carried the cake to the table. After the traditional rendition of "Happy Birthday", I went to cut the cake. It was hard, the cake was firm, I was able to put it on to the plate and it sat straight up stiff as a board. My sister and friends graciously took a few bites of the cake - but removed the frosting and left the cake. Outside I was laughing, but inside I was dying.