I've been married for 28 years and cooking even longer. I am the mother of 4 boys ages 25, 23, 19, and 17. I am always looking for inspiration and have been VERY inspired by this site. I have found so many great recipes here and the reviews are so helpful. I try to review every recipe I make so I've compiled a pretty good list of reviews to date. From day to day I'm not sure whether I'll be serving 4 or 12 so I always try to be prepared for anything!
I had the pleasure of working with the crew from Allrecipes.tv when they came to San Jose to film a webisode of "What's Cooking" from my kitchen in November 2010. You can see my webisode here http://allrecipes.tv/whatscooking/sanjose_ca.aspx
Currently I'm enjoying my time as an Allrecipes Allstar and Brand Ambassador. I look forward to seeing what is yet to come from this great site! Please stop by my blog www.fromvalerieskitchen.com for more.
My favorite things to cook
I'm a very seasonal cook and love to cook and bake things that suit the time of year so we do a lot of grilling in the summer and there are lots of good, hearty dishes in the fall and winter. I enjoy making use of my garden tomatoes at the end of summer and into the fall. I love to bake and have been making pies and cakes for many years.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I know everyone thinks that their Mom was the absolute best cook in the world but actually it was mine! I am sixth out of a family of 5 girls and 1 boy and the action was always in the kitchen. I watched and learned how to be a good cook from her. My best memories are of our large family gathering spontaneously on Sundays for a pizza party where my Mom would throw together delicious home made pizzas. Her Thanksgiving dinners were to die for with every dish made from scratch. She could throw a pie together so effortlessly without ever touching a measuring cup! She was at her best when we had crowds of people in our house waiting for anything from a pancake breakfast to a wonderfully prepared sit down dinner. She will always be my biggest inspiration.
My cooking triumphs
I think the most memorable things I make are my baked goods. I've got a husband and 2 boys who ask for a home baked pie on their birthdays instead of cake.
My cooking tragedies
We used to host a family party each Christmas season at our house. I have a very large family and had 30+ people in my house. I had spent the day preparing all the dishes that I would serve and had several things in my double oven when all of the sudden the power went off! I heard my sister shout "somebody call Dominos" and my heart sunk. Luckily, within just a couple of minutes (very long minutes) the power came back and I was able to finish cooking everything. I guess this counts as a near tragedy but it was memorable.