When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
I have always loved food. I love how it can nourish not only your body, but your soul as well. I remember the first recipe I tried was for blueberry muffins. I was in 4th grade and we lived in a house that had a huge, wooded backyard. The muffins were so bad (definitely an imbalance of baking soda) that my parents had me throw them "out back in the woods." I have since revised my blueberry muffin recipe!
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
We don't have a huge kitchen, and because of that, I have found it helpful to have all of my main utensils and ingredients within reach. I usually take the ingredients out that I want to use, and then toss them in as I go, either to taste or texture.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
I would really focus on foods you love and the tastes and textures that make you love them. Do you love a certain spice? Do you like crunchy or soft vegetables? When you are able to make a dish you truly love, it sounds cheesy, but that passion often shines through in your cooking. Something I love to do is go out to restaurants and try new dishes. I get inspired by what I taste and get to know what flavors go well together.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
Geez, good question. I've thought about this many times. The food is always the same - comfort food. I'd probably make a turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, green beans and an apple pie. Sounds like Thanksgiving, I know. I just love the simplicity of the food, especially when it's made with quality ingredients. Then, we can focus on the people. As for who I would invite - it would be the past 5 generations of women in my family. I am realizing how crucial storytelling is and how we need to know our past. Our world is speeding ahead, and it seems as if we have lost our roots. Social media and futuristic innovations have their benefits, yet there is so much we can learn from those who came before us, especially from an old-fashioned face to face conversation. Wisdom comes from experience. And those who have lived before us have plenty of it.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I really have gotten into gardening over the past few years. I have no idea what took me so long, but it is really amazing to connect with nature in a way that you need it and it needs you - a synergistic relationship with the same goal! While I haven't gotten into too many DIY crafting, I am so inspired every time I go to the craft and fabric store. My daughter has become very interested in sewing and she inspires me to learn right with her!
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
I enjoy Tessa from Salted Plains as well as Taylor from Faith, Food and Fitness. Both women seem very ingenuous in their recipe development and gracious, too! Additionally, since I was pregnant with my first child (years ago), I have always enjoyed Two Peas and Their Pod.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I'm honored to be featured as a Cooking Superstar am grateful to be a part of Cut Out and Keep!