I grew up in West Virginia. I was fortunate to have a very large family to grow up with. My parents taught me some wonderful core values and they're both still very important pieces of me. I have three beautiful nephews. They're growing so fast, and they never cease to amaze me. I have a little brother (who's 24!) that I constantly look out for, and an older sister. I love to cook, and I love food!! I can spend hours in the kitchen lost in a recipe. I enjoy eating at new and my favorite restaurants. I also enjoy reading a good book. I like to watch television and movies. I'm a shopper and love a great pair of shoes!
My favorite things to cook
I was vegetarian for six and a half years. Becoming veg is how I started cooking from scratch. I eventually had to start eating protein after being sick for more than a year. Now I eat (and cook) only poultry. My favorite thing to do is try new recipes. I love Indian and Mexican food. Greek & Italian. I do not preferred fried foods and I never cook with onions (blech!).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My very large family always has a traditional Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner. We each make a few dishes and come together over food. Sometimes when we end up making the same dishes, we'll playfully compete to see who did best! Since meeting my husband, I've been trying to master Carrot Cake for his family's Easter dinner...so far I've have two fails (in my opinion)!
My cooking triumphs
A recent triumph would be making Stuffed Bell Peppers for my husband. He's not very adventurous most days with food. So, when I take on a new recipe he's always trying to figure out what I'm making before things get underway. He was resistant at first about the stuffed peppers but let me have my way with it (after some pouting). I remember pulling them out of the oven and hearing him say, "Huh"...I could tell he was impressed at how pretty they were. After his first bite, he smiled and said they were really good.
My other triumph was making a kick a** key lime pie! My husband challenged me with this one, told me that no one he knows has made a decent key lime pie. Of course, I gladly accepted the challenge. I ordered key limes from amazon.com and used a recipe from marthastewart.com. When he smiled after taking the first bite, I knew I had won the challenge. My key lime pie even stood up to those we've eating in Key West!
My cooking tragedies
Carrot cake has been my recent tragedy. My first carrot cake tasted great but was the ugliest thing I've ever made! The middle layer spilt which made the whole cake lopsided. I tried a different recipe the following year but it tasted was way too oily. This year, I'm going back to the first recipe and will cut the layers a little thinner and make the icing a little thicker. Sooner or later I'm gonna have the best tasting and prettiest carrot cake around!!