Hi! I am a displaced meeting planner living in a Western suburb of Chicago. I spent most of my childhood years living in a small town about 50 miles south of St. Louis, MO (hence my southern roots). So, why am I on here???? I'm passionate about food - I love to search for new recipes (I rarely EVER make the same thing twice!), collect cookbooks, watch cooking shows on the Food Network and cooking channels, cook and EAT my creations haha! When I'm not in the kitchen, I enjoy traveling, working on house projects and spending time with family, friends, my husband and our Westie, Finn! :-) I take great pleasure in making memorable meals for the people I care about and
hope to someday create a cookbook for them. There are so many wonderful recipes I've stumbled upon that I'd like to share. Thanks Allrecipes!!!
My favorite things to cook
I have a lot of "favs," but what I love to cook most are Mexican, HEARTY Italian dishes and good 'ol comfort food (or what I like to call, home cooking at its finest!). I'm not a gourmet cook. I rather prefer simple, filling dishes and desserts - the "family comfort food" that I grew up on. I also tend to enjoy specific cooking styles (i.e. healthy, quick & easy, slow cooking, etc.). Dishes that simplify preparation after a long day's work are my top pics. Now that I am working outside the home again, I don't have much time to cook elaborate meals so I save those for the weekend! :)
My favorite family cooking traditions
Hmmm.... Other than holiday get-togethers, I really don't have any family traditions per se. I do have a couple of my own traditions though. Every Christmas Eve, my hubs and I invite my parents over for dinner (we spend Christmas day with his family if not traveling to Missouri to celebrate with my extended family). Our Italian feast includes a pasta dish, salad, garlic bread and dessert. I make something different each year (from Allrecipes, of course!). Part of the fun is watching everyone anticipate what new dishes I'll serve lol. :) Holiday cookie baking is another tradition that comes to mind.
My cooking triumphs
One of my most memorable experiences was hosting Thanksgiving dinner in my new house. It was the FIRST time I ever prepared a turkey (or a holiday meal for a crowd). I was a bit intimidated at first, but the sense of accomplishment I felt after the dinner table was finally set AND knowing that everyone was satisfied and helping themselves to seconds was a REAL confidence booster for me. My dad commented that he should have brought his camera to take pictures of the dishes I prepared! UPDATE: Thanksgiving 2012, I had the pleasure of hosting once again (boy, it's been a while!). My parents and bro-in-laws joined my husband and I for the festivities while my lucky in-laws celebrated Vegas-style! I was SUPER nervous, but everything turned out better than expected! Now that my MIL has passed, it looks like the Thanksgiving torch is being handed off to me. Sooooo, I guess you could say turkey dinner is (by default) what I do best! :-)
My cooking tragedies
I seem to have them all the time haha! Even the best cooks aren't perfect. :) I still have not successfully mastered the art of baking (or is it a science???), but I try. Sometimes my baked goods turn out perfectly, but often times they just don't!