When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
My mom made nearly every meal I ate growing up and my Grandpop who lived in a separate apartment in our house, cooked every day so it seemed totally normal to make meals and bake for holidays.
I don’t remember the absolute first recipe I tried but I remember making a roll-up sandwich from the Strawberry Shortcake's Cooking Fun Cook Book by Michael Smollin I ordered from the Scholastic book club when I was in kindergarten.
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
My kitchen is pretty small and oddly laid out, unfortunately! Our house is from the early ‘30s and storage did not seem to be a concern for the builders. We have to store a lot of dry goods in the basement. I do have an area devoted to baking good supplies and another devoted to spices. I have a huge cabinet in our dining room that is full of storage containers and props and a second narrow vintage cabinet that houses all of my homemade jam, jelly, pickles, fruit ketchups, fruit butters and sauces. Both rooms are very bright and cheery; my kitchen is vibrant aqua and the dining room is lime green! The walls in both are lined with tons of art.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Just start cooking! Start off with simple recipes and work your way up. It really is persistence more than anything else.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
John Waters, Patty Hearst, Edie Sedgewick, Andy Warhol and Leslie Van Houten. I think I’d have a clam bake. Everyone likes a clam bake.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I learned to sew when I was 8 and have made quilts and dabbled in embroidery, decoupage and knitting but I’m not working on anything crafty currently. The downside of being a recipe developer is I am too worn out from creating new recipes to create anything else right now. I do read a lot and go to shows frequently.
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I also have a blog, Pie Fair Lady, where I share sweet and savory pie recipes from food bloggers around the world.