I'm a single (widowed) woman living in So. California. I volunteer for a local animal rescue group and foster cats and kittens that are available for adoption and have my own pets - 6 cats and 1 big dog. I love traveling, love Hawaii and the north east (Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, etc.), wine tasting, crocheting, hanging out around the house and, cooking, of course!
My favorite things to cook
Canning, mainly jelly and jam; baked goods; anything grilled from beef to seafood to salsa ingredients. From this website, my very favorite thing is the recipe for Grilled Jalapeño Cheddar Stuffed Shrimp - all of my friends and family actually ask for it when I'm doing a casual dinner. They're a little time consuming, but the end result makes it well worth the time and effort. They're delicious!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My sisters and I learned to cook from the best - my mom, my grandma and my great-grandma...even my dad, a (now retired) firefighter, is a wonderful cook. I love to have people over for casual entertaining. My biggest and best is my annual Holiday Brunch for all of my girl friends. It's really one of the highlights of my year - I sometimes even get 'special requests' from my friends for which I'm more than happy to accommodate. I'm starting to grow more produce now, too, which has been a lot of fun. Cooking from scratch has always been very important for my entire family, especially for holidays. My sisters and I carry on those traditions. I make lots of cookies, pies, cakes and other baked goods and homemade candies. My favorite cookie is Golden Thumbprints filled with my homemade pomegranate jelly. Sundays past were almost always spent with my grandparents, either at their house or ours. Those Sunday dinners were always the best of the week - my favorites were my grandma's Swiss Steak
My cooking triumphs
Prime rib roasted in a rock salt crust for Christmas that turns out perfect; making a recipe that I made in a hands-on cooking class of fresh, homemade pasta and bolognase sauce which inspired me to get the pasta attachments for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I made it at home and, though it took a very long time to complete the components for the entire dish, the end result of lasagna bolognase was SO worth it (I also made a homemade tarimisu for dessert that day, too). It was even better than what we made in the class under the guidence of the teacher! Last, but not least, my annual holiday brunch - it just seems to get better every year.
My cooking tragedies
When my pomegranate jelly doesn't set. It's such a lot of work and what a disappointment. On the other hand, it makes a fine substitute for grenadine or to use as a glaze for duck or pork...so, it's never wasted. I guess it's not such a tragedy after all!