I want to be a professional pastry chef in my next life. In this life, between kids and a full time job, I'm just practicing. I also read cookbooks like novels. Too many books about baking is not enough!
My favorite things to cook
Multi-layered desserts with different textures and taste profiles. Basic decorated and glazed cakes. I love hosting dessert parties.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I have a few recipes from my mom that I love to cook but don't do as well as she did -- she didn't go by a recipe.
My cooking triumphs
Desserts, desserts, desserts. It says a lot when friends would rather have something that you made at home rather than dessert at a restaurant.
My cooking tragedies
A pumpkin cheesecake with great flavor but that didn't set properly; a pumpkin bread the boiled over in the oven due to too much leavening from baking soda and baking powder (but great flavor); a dense lemon cake that I learned in a cooking class but couldn't re-create because I can't get my eggs to absorb the amount of sugar needed in the recipe; making caramel in a french copper pot.