When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
I have always loved to play around in the kitchen, even as a child. My first cooking memory is from when I was about five years old; I was sitting on the counter “helping” my mom make chocolate chip cookies (basically, I was just munching chocolate chips until my mom gave me the job of packing the brown sugar). It’s probably no coincidence that to this day, chocolate chippers are my favorite kind of cookie.
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
In a word, my kitchen is home. It’s full of familiar smells like Turkish coffee, fresh fruit, and spice mixes. It’s the place I can go to de-compress and unwind. It’s where my family and I meet to talk about our day while enjoying a meal together. My kitchen is nourishment for the soul as much as it is for the body.
I try to keep my kitchen well-stocked with freezer and pantry essentials so I can whip up a meal on a whim. I also try to keep it tidy and arranged, but I think my spice collection is taking over, lol. When cooking, I like to stay organized by reading through the full recipe before I start cooking (especially if it’s a long recipe). Then I like to get the chopping, measuring, etc. out of the way before I begin. Also, as I cook I like to try to clean up as much as possible as I go, so my kitchen doesn’t look like a tornado passed through by the time I’m done.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. It’s like driving around a new neighborhood when you first move somewhere unfamiliar; you’ll probably get lost a few times at first, but after a while you’ll know your way around the area like the back of your hand.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
I’d invite the Obamas and make a big family meal! I think I’d go with one of my own family’s favorite dinners: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, and roasted carrot-onion medley. Served up family-style, of course, and then maybe apple pie for dessert.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I adore crocheting (it has become my favorite way to relax before bed), and I’m learning how to knit. Reading is my passion. I love cycling and spinning. If vintage shopping were an Olympic sport I think I’d place in the top three, lol. Also, anything and everything related to food photography.
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to new cuisines! It’s a great way to not only expand your palate, but also immerse yourself in culture. Happy Cooking!