Cooking Superstar

Simple Seasonal

Cook along with Rachel from Simple Seasonal

Food Blogger/Visiting Nurse

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

I've always been interested in cooking. When I was young I would beg my mom to let me help out in the kitchen (dishes excluded). The first thing I made by myself was a panini when I was 7. I remember it involved brie and no once believed that I made it! Over the years I learned a lot from my grandmother who is an incredible cook. In college I worked in a group home where one of my coworkers would make amazing meals for the residents on a tight budget, and without recipes. She was very inspiring!

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

Well, I always keep it clean, but I wouldn't call it particularly organized. There never seems to be enough space... I incorporate some of my prettiest and favorite items into the decor. Things like my dutch oven, cast iron skillet and a bottle of wine.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

Be open to trying new things and having occasional flops. Sometimes you have to fail to succeed in the kitchen. That's what the emergency can of soup tucked in the the back of your cupboard is for! Also take time to really taste good food. If you go out to eat and you're served something amazing, try to guess what the chef put in the dish. This will help you to gain a better palate and a better sense of what would be good in your own cooking.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

Growing-up I moved around a fair amount, including spending some time overseas. I would invite over all of my favorite people from the past. It would be so wonderful to see all of them and have them meet each other! I would cook lots of appetizers, serve good cheeses and wines, as well as finger desserts. Something really laid back, and that would encourage everyone to mingle.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I work part time as a visiting nurse, which takes up a considerable amount of my time! It's great being welcomed into so many homes in my community, with the opportunity of helping them to be healthier and happier. I guess that's my hobby...

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

Healthy Seasonal Recipes, Two Red Bowls, Reclaiming Provincial, Dolly and Oatmeal, and Fairing Well.

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Cooking, whole foods, local foods, mostly healthy

What's your favorite...

TV Show
Anything PBS Masterpiece Theater
I'm a radio person, who frequently and annoyingly switches between my local classic rock and alternative station.
Philadelphia, PA
It's a Wonderful Life
Cook Book
My trusty Betty Crocker Cookbook
Mostly a little French, a little American, and a little Italian.
Local and seasonal fruits and vegetables, pastured meats, and PA maple syrup, as well as local, raw honey to sweeten things up!
Kitchen Gadget
Hand blender