When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
I've been interested in cooking for most of my life, my first memory being of me standing on a chair and sifting flour for Christmas cookies with my mom. I don't remember the first recipe I made, but I made plenty as I was growing up, most of them involving chocolate! One in particular that always stands out is when I made chocolate pudding. I was very proud of it, and happily served it to my dad for dessert. We both dug in, but the taste was awful. Thinking back, I must not have put enough sugar in it! I told my dad it tasted terrible, and he said, "Thank goodness you think so too, because I don't know what I would have done if you had liked it!"! Hahaha!
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
My kitchen doesn't really stand out as anything special, but it's my most favorite place to be in the house. I'm not the queen of organization, and my pantry is anything but! While cooking, I do try to focus on keeping tidy, however. Before I begin cooking or baking, I like to set everything out neatly, then as I finish measuring out ingredients, I put everything back and try to clean up spills along the way. I don't always adhere to this practice, however!
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Practice! Do not ever be afraid to get your hands dirty! And taste as you go to make sure it's good to serve! Also, when following recipes, always read through the entire ingredients list *and* instructions before beginning. Make sure you have all the proper ingredients and utensils (or suitable substitutes), otherwise you may not get the result the recipe intended.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
I would invite my mom and dad. It was only years after I moved out (to the other side of the world, no less!) that I really developed a full-on love of food. My cooking skills have greatly improved since I last was able to cook for them and I'd love for them to be able to taste some of my food. Cooking for them would be tricky, though, as my mom can't eat just anything (she suffers frequent migraines and cuts out a lot of food that is said to trigger migraines).
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
My hobbies mainly revolve around food and food photography. I read foodie magazines, cookbooks, food blogs for fun. I photograph a lot of food and am always on the lookout for new props to use in my photos (I have a thing for vintage kitchenware!). I'm definitely not one of the best food stylists or photographers, but I'm working on improving.
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Do not ever be afraid to try new food!