I've always considered cooking to be my creative outlet. Often, when I'm bored, I find myself leafing through cookbooks or browsing this website to discover something new to create. My hubby is my inspiration to keep rediscovering myself in the kitchen -- he is always eager to test my new dishes and is excellent at quality control. ;-) When I'm not creating in the kitchen, I'm experimenting with new crochet techniques, learning ballet, and earning a master's degree in sociology.
My favorite things to cook
I love to make appetizers -- fancy little canapés -- and baked goods.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I'm not sure if it's actually a tradition, but I love to outdo myself everytime I cook for an event. Each event's food (and presentation of the food) has to be better than the last. I figure if I constantly challenge myself, I'll improve each time.
Baking is also in my genes. My great grandmother was a fabulous baker, and being of Dutch descent, always make rich, decadent desserts. From her, I learned never to sacrifice flavor for the sake of saving a few calories. Dessert is meant to be enjoyed thoroughly, in all its caloric glory.
My cooking triumphs
I hosted a bridal shower, and handled all the food -- appetizers, beverages, dessert, etc. Not only did I receive compliment after compliement for the beautiful spread and tasty provisions, but I was also asked to cater one of the attendee's next party. I have never catered before, so this opportunity could either be my next cooking triumph...or tragedy! ;-)
My cooking tragedies
Ugh...I had some baaaaaad luck with flan. I attempted to make it for a Mexican themed party, and figured it was easy enough. But when I went to serve it, I couldn't remove it from the pan. I tried to soften the caramel layer on the bottom by holding the pan over the stove burner, but that only scorched my pan. When I finally got the flan unmolded, it spread out in a half lumpy, half liquid pile of goo, and the caramel layer was burnt. I'm still not sure what I did wrong. I just trashed the whole thing -- pan and all -- and told the hostess that if she wanted dessert, I'd be right back -- there was a donut shop next to her apartment.