I started cooking working alongside three generations of my Greek family on the Gulf Coast of Texas. My cooking experiences include creating seasonal menus for preschools, owning a catering company, and developing recipes for children with phenylketoneuria.
We get a farm share in the summer, and I love cooking spontaneously based on what I find in the box each week. In general these turn out to be Mediterranean-style dishes, like my chard recipes.
I also have an edible garden with herbs, berries and figs. And a small sunny spot for zucchini and tomatoes. That usually means we have times when we are eating one thing every day for weeks during the harvest. I am always looking for new ways to use figs and zucchini.
I have worked for Allrecipes since the days of Cookierecipe.com. I love my job.
My favorite things to cook
We get a farm share in the summer, and I love cooking spontaneously based on what I find in the box each week. In general these turn out to be Mediterranean-style dishes, like my chard recipe.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cooking with my family is my favorite tradition. I involve my family in the process including planning, shopping, and cooking. My eldest child, Eamon has many ideas for meals and snacks. These are usually dishes that that he loves, and I have made only once or twice because of the time involved. However, he really loves Olive Puffs. He made several batches, froze them, and then I helped him bake them for parties throughout December. He was happy with the results, and even took them to a school party. I think the teachers ate them.
This weekend, my 3 year old and I made pizza dough. He loves the mixer. His contribution consisted of adding scoops of unmeasured water and flour to the bowl. He loved this. Luckily he only partially filled the 1/8 cup measure each time, allowing him to add many scoops while not changing the proportions much. Later he mixed shredded cheese, flour, and salt (he loves the salt shaker) in a cast iron pan while I prepped the pizzas. The kitchen was a mess.
My cooking triumphs
Learning that the simplest recipes are usually the best. OK - really - I think I make a terrific fig jam. My hummus is also pretty tasty. Both of these recipes use fewer than 5 ingredients. See, simplest is best.
My cooking tragedies
Too many to count - bread not rising, bread rising too much; jam never setting up, jam burning - you get the picture.