Between work and family life, cooking is my main creative outlet. I like to experiment and try new cuisines. Here's how I determine my recipe ratings....5 STARS: Love it! Wouldn't change a thing (well, maybe one little teeny tweak or two, because, you know, that's what I do, but nothing that changes the nature of the recipe. 4 STARS: Really good! Maybe needs one or two adjustments to ingredients, seasoning or process, but a really good recipe. 3 STARS: A good recipe, but it either needs something extra or the result is just "good" - not bad, but no "wow" factor either. 2 STARS: As stated, I would not try again, but I usually find inspiration in these recipes - revamped, they could be really good, but it would take a lot of changes. 1 STAR: Would not try again as stated, and I cannot think of a way to transform into something we would like.
My favorite things to cook
Thanksgiving dinner has got to top the list - I love incorporating my family's traditions with my husband's family traditions, then adding our own new ones. As far as day to day cooking, I'm happiest when I'm baking! I like trying new things and although I like meat, I have a tendency to go through vegetarian phases every now and then.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holiday baking, Thanksgiving Dinner are my all-time favorite traditions. I love putting together buffets - it gives me an opportunity to try a variety of recipes.
My cooking triumphs
I had always wanted to do an elaborate wedding cake, so when a good friend's daughter got engaged I offered to do her wedding cake. I was not intimidated at first, BUT they were engaged for 3 years... It went from a 50 person do-it-yourself semi-potluck reception to a 140 person elegant, catered event. I worked on it for 3 days, baking, making the two fillings and batch after batch of Italian Meringue Buttercream. My mixer even burnt out and I had to run out and get a new one at 10:30 P.M. The results? Although I saw some flaws, it really looked lovely and tasted great! It was definitely my most challenging feat in the kitchen, and so far my greatest success!
My cooking tragedies
No major tragedies, but I make the ugliest pie crust in the world, but it tastes good, so I guess that's not a total failure... Oh, I do tend to burn things...I'm usually multi-tasking, so I always forget about something until the smoke detectors start blaring. That's why I married a firefighter, I guess! ;)