I was born in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and raised in a Mexican neighborhood in Southern California. I always joke that my grandmother began teaching me recipes in utero since all of my first memories with her involve cooking. I've since lived in several places (e.g., Washington, D.C., Japan) and have learned that there are few better ways to communicate culture and emotion than with food.
My favorite things to cook
I really love baking. There is something about combining art and science that really appeals to me. I also find something incredible relaxing about cutting vegetables. I really enjoy eating Mexican food, but that doesn't really qualify under this category. Perhaps I could find someone that is really good at cooking Mexican food but likes to eat baked goods. We could trade.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Besides being a holiday, my boyfriend and I started our relationship on Thanksgiving Day several years ago. He hates poultry. So, every Thanksgiving I am faced with the challenge of creating a meal that satisfies his finicky palette and maintains the celebration of both a national holiday and our anniversary. I look forward to this challenge, and I begin planning months in advance for our anniversary meal.
My cooking triumphs
When my grandmother was sick she become overly obsessed with food. My aunt and I would cook for her, but it became increasingly difficult to find food that she could chew without difficulty. My greatest cooking triumph was learning to add pudding mix to cookie recipes to make them chewy so that she could still enjoy them.
My cooking tragedies
When I was in junior high school my friend Shannon came home with a "Thunder Cake" recipe. The recipe called for a teaspoon and a half of baking powder. I added a cup and a half. Needless to say, that certainly was a Thunder Cake in my mom's oven!