I love food! I was raised in a family that loved food. About a year ago, I realized that my love of food was going to harm me significantly if I didn't get it in check. I was well on my way to being extremely overweight, developing health problems and just didn't feel good about myself. (That's an old picture you see.) I have lost weight, changed my eating habits and have control over food - it doesn't control me anymore. I still enjoy my sweets, but in moderation. One "cheat" day a week keeps me from feeling like I've given everything up. Now, I'm healthy and so is my husband. This is the kind of example I want to set for my future children.
My favorite things to cook
Anything I can cook in my wok is my favorite. I make a lot of chicken, so creativity is important. I think I have managed to find one new recipe for chicken every week for the last 4 months. I still love to bake cookies and cakes - I just don't eat it all anymore.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We started a Christmas Eve morning tradition a few years ago of making my great-grandmother's apple strudel to have for dessert on Christmas day. Her recipe is different than most strudels because it's from the old country - Czechoslovakia. The dough cannot be mixed with any tools - it's all hand-kneaded. The only tool we really use during the process is a rolling pin, but very little because the dough becomes rubbery if worked too much. It's hand stretched to be a 6 foot diameter on the kitchen table. We fill it with cinnamon, butter, apples, golden raisins, and walnuts. Rolling it up is a 4 person job, keeping all of the filling inside and not tearing the dough. We laugh because my great-grandmother made these every week BY HERSELF! What a strong Czech lady she was!
My cooking triumphs
Vegetables! Growing up, we always had vegetables, but they never tasted good to me. Most of the time, I think they were just overcooked or smothered in some kind of sauce. As an adult, I have found that when prepared just right (steamed with a little seasoning), I eat many vegetables and actually enjoy them. I hated asparagus and squash as a kid, but they are some of my favorites now.
My cooking tragedies
I'm not allowed to cook with bourbon anymore! When my husband and I first got married, I was trying a lot of new recipes. I tried to make a bourbon-marinated steak. We both ate a few bites and decided it was time to go out for dinner because it was so awful! We could taste the alcohol. I guess it didn't cook off and left us both with a bit of a headache. My husband cannot drink wine, so he always knows when I have added it to something I have cooked. He gets an instant headache. I keep trying, but I can't sneak it past him. So I finally started just drinking it while I cook and leaving it out of the food.