I love new restaurants - everything from diners to 4 stars - and traveling the world to try new things.
My favorite things to cook
I'm still a sucker for a good roast chicken or beef, a warm loaf of bread, interesting side dish and an impressive dessert.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I came from a font especially great cooks but everyone wanted to get better. My parents' early days were Early American Poverty style and the foods we had were filling, if not gourmet or even terribly healthy. I'm hoping my own kids (who are the LEAST picky eaters ever) will learn how to combine taste, nutrition and interesting recipes to feed their own families one day.
My cooking triumphs
A really great 4-course, sit down dinner for a 125, finally mastering the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie! I've also written 2 cookbooks given out just to family and friends that featured the specialties of our family throughout the world along with anecdotes about each of us. I dedicated it to each of my boys as they were born. I'm still very proud of those and use mine all the time (even if one mean aunt gave hers away saying she didn't need to cook any of that fancy ! What's fancy about a kickass pot roast?).
My cooking tragedies
The Thanksgiving crown jewel of the dessert table one year - a glorious-looking salted caramel cheesecake - mysteriously tasted terrible and I've never figured out why! It's worse when you can't point to a simple error like adding salt instead of sugar. Also, I was cooking at a church for their summer festival, making chicken skewers marinated in yogurt and lemon. Then, the power went out and I scrambled to find coolers to fill with ice while I put 200 sticks of marinated chicken in zippered baggies. It worked, though!