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Apr. 29, 2012 5:56 pm 
Updated: Aug. 4, 2013 4:02 pm
So, for the past year and a half, butter has taken a huge step down on the list of 'frequently purchased items' at our house. However, it still has it's place in my heart - I can't stand toast with anything but real butter, and hot-buttered air popped popcorn is a favorite! And of course,… MORE
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Home Town
Elkhart, Indiana, USA
Living In
Waterloo, Iowa, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2002

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, Healthy, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting, Charity Work

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About Me
I'm married with two four legged kids (our black lab mixes). I love gardening reading, volunteering and of course, cooking. I am working on a master's degree in public relations, which cuts down on my cooking time, but I make up for it by preparing freezer meals on the weekend for my hubby to bake. I work at a hospital in the fundraising and marketing department and I love my job. I am very inspired by music, any kind of music. I play piano and a little bit of mountain dulcimer (an old time stringed instrument that my dad made for me). My husband and I are fish enthusiasts and have 2 fish tanks, a 35 gallon and 75 gallon.
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking everything, but I really enjoy stir frying and creating new casseroles that are freezer friendly. My other favorite is baking bread. I have a bread machine, which I use a lot, but I also like baking bread the traditional way. My husband and I can together, making homemade salsa, spaghetti sauce, applesauce, and grape jelly from veggies and fruits grown in our own garden or in our friend's vineyard.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas cookies! I grew up decorating and baking cookies with my mom and siblings so now I have a cookie day with my friend each holiday season. It's just not Christmas without butter press cookies and cutouts.
My cooking triumphs
I was so proud of myself when I successfully cooked and canned grape jelly all by myself without any advice or instruction. I was 24 when I did it. I'd never helped anyone do jelly or jam before so I had no idea where to start. I got some Concord grapes and thought to myself - ok, here goes nothing. I had two stock pots of juice going, and I had to stir both continuously. My hubby wasn't home, so I did it all by myself. It tasted great, and canned beautifully.
My cooking tragedies
I love baking focaccia bread. I start the dough in my bread machine, and then form it and put on toppings and bake in the oven. I baked my favorite kind - with Italian seasonings, black olives, onions and feta cheese on top, and was removing it from the oven, when my hot pad slipped and the whole thing flipped over onto the floor. Before it hit the floor, it hit the oven, chipping some of the enamel. It was a huge mess, and the worst part was that it was for a party I was going to and I didn't have enough time to bake another loaf.
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