I love being a wife, mother and homemaker.... had the career but LOVE the home! Cooking has been in my veins since elementary school when I would go into the school kitchen and write down the recipes from the fabulous gals who'd been there forever. I've collected cookbooks and about 15 years of back issues of both Bon Appetit and Gourmet, but with the invention of the internet.... I rarely have to crack a book open when the world wide web is at my fingertips! I've found some long lost family favorites on this website as well as some fabulous new ones! I can honestly lose many hours just surfing the all recipes website.... it's great fun and always inspires me!
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake, but the calories add up much too quickly and my sweet-tooth doesn't give me the willpower I need! I also like cooking authentic Mexican dishes and Italian dishes. I have three daughters so we're all trying to watch our calories so I cook an awful lot of chicken.... it's sooo easy to just cook something fabulous out of a cookbook, but it's really a challenge cooking healthy food that really pleases your family! I always want them to have memories of my great cooking.... but lately I find I just have to keep it to chicken and salad just to keep everyone healthy! I love cooking for people I care about.... I consider it the highest compliment that someone took the time and trouble to stand in a kitchen and labor over a stove or bowl for me, so when I give a gift from the kitchen I find it to be more thoughtful than just buying something from a store...... and way more tasty!!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I grew up in a family that hosted all the major holidays, so I'm very comfortable in the kitchen.... my mother was a great cook and I really just did my best to help and watch and take a few notes along the way. Now as an adult I love hosting Thanksgiving and Easter as well as Christmas morning, Superbowl and New Years Day football-watching parties.
We entertain a lot.... I enjoy hosting small dinner parties and picking a theme for the food and wine... the research is half the fun! Tablescapes and floral arranging are also a fun way of continuing the "theme".... what can I say?.... Martha is my mentor (and yeah, I don't care how politically incorrect or corny that sounds... she's a genius).
My cooking triumphs
I've baked a lot of cheesecakes and pies for charity events ($500 was my highest sale!) but I've enjoyed catering bridal and baby showers as well. I am especially proud of my work catering a backyard fundraiser for our Congressman. I'm a "type A" planner, organization is key! I choose recipes that allow me to do as much before a party as possible so that my kitchen is spotless and I'm not sweating over the stove when my guests arrive! I figure I've spent days cleaning, shopping, cooking and worrying.... by party time I have a much-deserved glass of champagne in my hand (thanks to my loving and appreciative hubby) and I'm ready to enjoy my company! You can serve a fabulous and impressive meal with menu items that don't require your undivided attention when you should be visiting..... choose the risotto for another night!!
My cooking tragedies
Geez.... if you've cooked as much as I have there truly are too many mistakes to mention... my mistakes happen when I'm cooking too many items at the same time and I'm following a recipe I'm not familiar with... I'll skip ingredients or get the quantity wrong because my focus is off. Happens a lot... but never during anything "important" where I would remember the "tragedy".