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Dessert and Creativity! Edit
Tell us a little about yourself.
Born in Iowa, but raised in Arkansas. I love road cycling and running. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer and Baker. I became licensed in Massage Therapy in Dec. 1999, certified in Personal Training in Sept. 2006 and I've enjoyed baking all my life. Baking for me is a creative outlet and I'm very proud of what is born of that creativity.
What experiences growing up led to your interest in cooking?
My great grandmother and grandmother (both from dad's side) loved cooking. Both of my parents enjoy it as well. I grew up helping my mom in the kitchen. My mom cooked out of necessity (a family of five to feed) and I learned many creative ways to combine flavors that you wouldn't think would work together. In other words, she had to make use of what we usually had on hand and I often refer to her as the McGuyver (sp?) of the Kitchen.
What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with, and why?
Definitely chocolate because I have such a passion for it myself!
What cooking tradition or recipe do you plan to pass down to future generations in your family? Both my great grandmother and grandmother were German and would make these tiny German cookies called Pfeffernuesse at Christmas time. My grandmother would actually start the whole process in Oct. in order for the flavors of the spices to infuse the cookies dough. Then she would store them in the freezer in Folgers coffee cans until Christmas.
What is your favorite recipe, and why? I really love Chicken Italiano because it reminds me of my childhood when dinner magically appeared on the table.
What is one type of food or cuisine that you hope to experiment with in the kitchen? It's really hard to pinpoint one thing, but I think it would have to be homemade pasta and sauces.