I'm a newly-realized West Coast City Girl who's been uncovering a true passion for food and cooking over the past few years. It began with watching public television food programs every now and then and has evolved into near-daily research into the science behind turning out something show-stopping! My current living situation doesn't allow for much cooking or baking for now, but that hasn't at all impeded my interest in researching recipes and honing my passion through discovery of excellent local bakeries and restaurants.
My favorite things to cook
For myself, I especially like to experiment with foods that form a simple, healthy base: chicken, eggs, oatmeal, pasta, and mild-flavored veggies like cauliflower and jazz them up with herbs and spices. When it comes to cooking for others, though, I like to pull out all the stops and make something fantastic. For my sister's 21st birthday, I turned her favorite cookie--seven-layer rainbow cookies--into a cake!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My dad's homemade pizza. Ever since I was little, I can remember him spending lazy days making dough and fixing up big NY pizzeria-style pies at home. After I bought him a pizza/baking stone for Christmas, I was included in the process more, so now if the mood strikes me, I can cook up an authentic NY pizza here in my new home in Cali.
My cooking triumphs
A few Thanksgivings ago (2005), I did the entire family dinner for the first time, and my dad declared it the best turkey he'd had in his whole life!
My cooking tragedies
Unfortunately, that same meal featured my first cooking tragedy as well: the gravy--never again will I follow a recipe when making gravy! I've made it off the top of my head with amazing results before, but I wound up with what became dubbed "gravy pudding" following a recipe.