After having lived in a shoebox apartment in NYC with a square foot of kitchen counter space and no way to cook anything, I moved to a large condo in a small New England town and had a huge kitchen all to myself. I decided to learn how to cook after becoming engrossed in Food Network and watching all the amazing things the chefs did that looked so easy. I'm still trying to get really good at this and gain confidence, but I'm much better than five years ago, when I literally didn't know how to make rice!
My favorite way to cook is to find a delicious recipe, gather all the ingredients, put on some great music, pour myself a vodka on the
rocks, take my time and see what happens!
My favorite things to cook
I'm still happy to stick with the classics for now. Italian sauces, soups, basic roasting, meats, etc.
I also seem to gravitate towards some international dishes - Puerto Rican, Spanish, Greek and am trying new ones all the time.
I also have to admit that I find something wildly sexy about cooking with shallots! ;)
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom & Grandma were amazing cooks and made a lot of German dishes and desserts. I also have a fairly bland, inexperienced palate due to growing up in the Midwest, where all pasta is called "spaghetti" and all salads come with ranch dressing.
But I'm definitely trying to expand my taste buds' horizons.
My cooking triumphs
I made two Puerto Rican dishes within the last six months that I'm exeptionally proud of - a mouthwatering pernil at Christmas and a fantastic arroz con pollo.
Both came out beautifully and I'm not even Puerto Rican.
My cooking tragedies
Ugh. My first attempt at baking.
It was a homemade chocolate-banana cake. What a disaster. The recipe said "add semi-sweet chocolate" - so that's what I did...whole pieces of it right into the mixer. Ca-thunk, ca-thunk! When I realized it wasn't going to mix itself into the batter and that I was supposed to MELT it first, I simply scooped out the batter, chocolate and all, into another bowl and microwaved it. Worst. Idea. Ever. The poor cake came out chewy and hard. And it was supposed to be a birthday surprise for someone! I still have nightmares about it.