I grew up in Chappaqua, NY. I started cooking in high school because I was always late for dinner because of after school activities. In college, I started trying new recipes, but only things I could make in my toaster oven! Currently, I am a graduate student in biomedical science at Washington University in St. Louis. I live in an apartment and FINALLY have a real kitchen. In fact, they redid my kitchen right before I moved in so everything is brand new! I have been taking cooking classes at Viking here in St. Louis and exploring different cuisines and recipes on my own.
My favorite things to cook
Any chocolate dessert, especially Viennese Chocolate Mousse Cake,
Sun-dried tomato balsamic chicken and a variation on Chicken Cacciatore that I invented in college using whatever vegetables were fresh at the fruit and veggie stand by my apartment. I have gotten very into making Thai cuisine, which is suprisingly simple provided you can find the ingredients.
My cooking triumphs
I took a demonstration class at Viking called "Chocolate Lover's Lair." The instructor made the Viennese Chocolate Mousse cake and I was determined to make it. Needless to say, she took a lot less time and made much less of a mess than I did. But, I eventually got it right (with chocolate in my hair, on my clothes and all over the kitchen). It came out great! All my friends and family were so impressed. Now I make it all the time for parties.
My cooking tragedies
I bought a slow cooker last fall and decided to try a chicken recipe in it . . . on a night when friends were coming over for dinner. Big mistake. I had never used a slow cooker before. The chicken was so dry and had no flavor and I had to serve it! It was very embarrassing. They haven't been back for dinner . . .