I'm an avid pursuer of all-things-knowledge, a dedicated student, and a passionate but clumsy cook. I'm looking to learn as much as I can about food and love to use various recipes as starting points for my own creations. I'm a kid at heart, and I think it's my youthful enthusiasm and my natural curiousity that makes working in the kitchen so endearing to me. I love to cook, to eat, and to feed others, so cooking and I will probably enjoy a long future together.
My favorite things to cook
I'll cook anything. The precision of baking comes naturally to me - I'm good at following directions and completely enthralled with the alchemy of a perfected recipe. However, since humans just can't live on pastries and sweets, I've been trying to broaden my cooking horizons. I like pasta, grilled/barbequed meat, pilafs and interesting grains (barley, quinoa, exotic rices), vegetarian/vegan recipes (I'm a retired veggie and my older brother is a practicing vegan), and anything new and interesting! Quite often I find myself cooking things that I've never even had before - it makes rating difficult, sometimes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas baking with my mom and Grandma. We're not as ambitious as we used to be, but Christmas isn't christmas without at least a little plate of spritz, shortbread and sugar cookies. We also do the traditional turkey dinner on Christmas eve and I love the crazy, hectic buzz of the kitchen when we're trying to get fifteen dishes ready all at once.
My cooking triumphs
Properly cooked roasts! I have the hardest time cooking meat properly (it's either under or over) but when you manage to love a $50 prime rib into sweet juicy submission (especially with six people waiting at the table), it's a beautiful thing. Pretty much everything that I don't burn, overcook, overseason or otherwise ruin is a triumph, for me. I'm getting better.
My cooking tragedies
A year or two ago, I was working in the front of house at a restaurant and the pastry chef quit. I immediately tried to convince my boss to let me take over the baking. Finally he gave me a chance and I pulled the recipes up off the computer. I got to work making something simple, banana bread, and ended up with the most terrible batter I've ever seen. It was like a football. I found out later that the disgrunted pastry cook had altered all of her recipes. Luckily I was able to salvage my reputation and kept on doing the baking (with new recipes, of course) until I had to leave the job!