I grew up in the South with 3 amazing women as my teachers. Both my Grandmothers and my Mom taught me to cook mostly Southern cuisine. My Grandparents had a huge garden and I grew up eating fresh fruits & vegetables. I don't think I had a canned vegetable or a store bought cookie until I was 10 years old! This appreciation for fresh food has followed me through out my life. Since moving to California, I've really enjoyed the abundance of fresh food and love going to the local farmers market every Sunday.
I love cooking for my husband but since I work full time, I'm always looking for recipes that are quick and easy or that I can make ahead of time.
I absolutely love food and enjoy trying new things. I typically make a recipe as stated first then play with it if I think it has potential. One of my pet peeves is when people post reviews on a recipe that instead of giving one or two adjustments, basically create a totally different recipe. So annoying!
My favorite things to cook
Mexican food, pork tenderloin, steak, hamburgers, ribs, collard greens, chili, cookies, salads, pasta sauces.
Above cooking certain foods, I love cooking for other people. I just love to prepare a nice meal and have people enjoy it over a glass of wine and good conversation. I think Americans have lost a passion for the meal. It's coming back a little, but I still think sit down meals are so important and so many families are too busy to do it anymore.
My favorite family cooking traditions
For holiday meals, may family goes nuts with casseroles: Sweet potato casserole, asparagus casserole, corn casserole, green bean casserole, potato casserole - We never eat these casseroles any other time and it makes them so special and delicious. Plus, it's a definite splurge because of all the calories.
My cooking triumphs
When my husband and I got engaged, we invited both our families to our house for Thanksgiving dinner. I did a traditional Southern Thanksgiving: collard greens, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, asparagus casserole and even fried a turkey. Well, my husband fried the turkey, but everything else I cooked myself and all 18 people LOVED it. Even my husband's family from Minnesota who had never eaten collard greens were going back for seconds. Now, every time they come to visit they ask for my collard greens.
My cooking tragedies
The first time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my Dad and his girlfriend, I caught the gravy on fire and a fire broke out in my oven from a cake running over. Luckily they were minor and I still pulled off a decent meal. But, it sure was a stressful prepeartion.