When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
My mom was raised in the south although when I was born we lived in Michigan. I think being a good cook was kind of a status thing for southerners. She made sure to carry on the tradition - everything she made was delicious - especially her pies! We had a huge garden which we all worked to maintain, & we canned everything…tomatoes, corn, pickles, green beans, lima beans etc. I think the art of cooking and the appreciation for food was in my blood. Although I had a great appreciation for food, I don't think my love for cooking took off until after I was married. My mom had given me a Better Crocker Cookbook and one of my first meals to cook from it was Chicken Paprikash - it had lots of sour cream and it was so good!
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
We remodeled our house several years ago. The kitchen is my favorite room. We have an island "the size of Australia" according to my architect - I have tons of room to spread out. To stay organized I like to pull out all my ingredients before I start a recipe, prep whatever needs chopped, minced or measured, and if possible clean as I go.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
I would say to use quality fresh ingredients and to season the food properly. Good ingredients don't require much - just enough salt and pepper.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
Some of the people I admire most: Oral Roberts (founder & former president of my alma mater), Kathryn Kuhlman (christian evangelist), Jennifer Rothschild (author and speaker), my mom and dad, and my in-laws (they're like parents to me). I probably would serve one of my favorite meals…Osso Buco with Cheesy Parmesan Polenta and for dessert White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel's Sauce.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I love to garden. We have a community garden plot in the town we live in. We grow a variety of vegetables and herbs - it's a lot of work but so rewarding. I also enjoy reading, especially when I'm on a warm sandy beach staring at the ocean.
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
My name is yeh, Foodie Crush, Pinch of Yum
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Yes - I want some chickens! Wouldn't it be amazing to just walk out and grab fresh eggs for breakfast every morning? My husband needs more convincing - maybe I could get some support from Cut Out + Keep readers on this topic!?? :) And thanks so much for including me in the Cooking Superstar lineup!