I am an avid baker who used to own her own espresso bar and did some of the scratch baking there. I am a self confessed foodie, as are my siblings and parents. I love trying new recipes, tweaking old ones, dining out, and reading about food. I love this website and have found many great recipes here. I love all things coffee and chocolate: the stronger the flavor, the better. Discovered I love broccoli as a teenager when I first tried it in Chinese food and it was crisp tender instead of mushy. I love cheese, wine, and pastry, not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
Eggplant Minestrone, Vegetarian chili, Italian pasta dishes, enchiladas, Soups and stews, lasagna, vegetable stir fries, risottos, polenta, egg dishes including quiches, stratas, frittatas, crepes, waffles.
Baking specialties: cookies of all kinds, coffee cakes, lemon bars, muffins, scones, tiramisu, pate choux, brownies, custards, fruit pies and cobblers, cinnamon rolls
My favorite family cooking traditions
Kiffles and pecan snowball cookies at Christmastime, apple crisp, macaroni and cheese, egg salad, deviled eggs, pumpkin cheesecake pie, lentil soup, making new things every Thanksgiving to expand our appreciation for living in the land of plenty, inviting people to taste vegetarian foods and seeing them pleasantly surprised at the tastes
My cooking triumphs
Lentil stuffed sugar pumpkins for Thanksgiving; Vegetarian paella; goat cheese, garlic, and basil pizza; homemade calzones; wheatberry stew; cheddar souffle; being able to cook Italian and Mexican style without recipes; figuring out which fresh herbs complement which cheeses and sauces in my dishes
My cooking tragedies
Broccoli soup that scorched on the bottom, baked potato wedges "fries" that would not get crisp no matter how long they were baked, (still working on this), trying to substitute "lighter" ingredients in recipes where texture is critical to success, and the fat is actually necessary
Burned rice pudding, baking a huge batch of cookies with nuts for an event and discovering that the nuts had been stale and ruined the whole batch.