When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
My mom and I always cooked and baked together when I was growing up. Our go to was just the classic chocolate chip cookie. But I got really interested in it right out of high school when the prospect of really having to cook for myself became a reality. The first recipe I tried on my own was a Chicken and Smashed Potatoes that I made for my then-boyfriend. He ate it without complaint, but not entirely sure of the end quality on that one!
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
We've just moved and my favorite part of my new house is there is space for a baker's rack. I've got some of my go to cookbooks there plus some kitchen gadget faves. It's just easier to use a gadget when it's easy to access it. We're still in organizing mode, so it's more about utility at this point, but I love it. My least favorite thing about our new kitchen is that it came carpeted. Nothing adds to the pressure of cooking quite like the prospect of spilling something all over the carpet!
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Don't be afraid to try and don't be afraid to fail! It's easy to think that you should always nail a recipe right out of the gate, but that just isn't the case. I've had batches of fudge that we've had to eat with a spoon. Honestly I should have just frosted something with it, that's the consistency it turned out. I've had brownies that just never cooked in the middle, but it's all part of the journey! Sometimes your fails spark a new twist or different recipe idea that turns out to be a real winner.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
I'd invite Ellen DeGeneres, Kristen Bell and my mom and sister. Make it a girls party! I'd cook my signature Shepherd's Pie. It's a recipe that I've worked hard to perfect over the years and it's a family favorite. Ellen and Kristen seem like they like to keep it real, so I think they'd appreciate some homestyle fare :)
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I don't do a ton of crafting right now. Since we've moved, home improvement projects have taken up a large part of my focus, but I'd like to get back to it. My other hobbies are reading and spending time outside. All about that sunshine!
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
I love Plain Chicken, Let's Dish Recipes, Buns in My Oven and Picky Palate.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you so much for this chance at a feature!