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Chocolate...of course!! Edit
Tell us a little about yourself.
This one totally stumped me. Here it goes. I grew up in New Orleans, so instead of eating to live, I live to eat. I am a wife and mother of three wonderful daughters(on most days). I have moved around a lot with my husband's job and we(our family) travel a lot. We love experiencing different cultures. I love that in Europe dinner lasts at least three hours. When we throw dinner parties, that's my goal: to make the evening last with good food and conversation and to make my guests feel like they are out somewhere else where there are no clocks.
What experiences growing up led to your interest in cooking?
Out of necessity really. My mother felt that baked "Spam" with peach halves in the oven was gourmet. Did I mention that she basted it all with peach juice out of the can? Anyhoo, I believe that cooking well was my first form of rebellion along with talking in Math class. No surprise I didn't go the math career route. I did also have two male figures in my life that loved to cook: my dad and my granddaddy. I was so grateful when my dad would come home from the oil rigs and would have seven days off and I would help him cook. My granddaddy would always know when I was dieting in high school and would have the perfect bowl of soup waiting for me when I walked in. He always knew when I skipped lunch.
What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with and why?
Chocolate of course. Chocolate seems so decadant and sensual. I believe that chocolate speaks to almost everyone. I have a hard time picking one thing because I get bored with the same recipes and love to try new things. I love the internet for that purpose. I go on cooking sites and try new things. I even get my girls to do it if they are craving something, I say "go find us a recipe".
What cooking tradition or recipe do you plan to pass down to future generations in your family?
Hopfully, the tradition I will pass on will be the love of cooking for themselves and for others. Food brings people together. It warms everyones hearts and souls to be fed.
What is your favorite recipe and why?
This is such a tough question for someone who cooks different things all the time. I would have to say my favorite thing to cook to date is my "Sweet Heat" dark chocolate truffle. I believe the reason it is my favorite is because I tasted something like it in San Francisco and had to come home and figure it out. Experimenting in the kitchen got me the "Sweet Heat" truffle which combines two of my favorite things, chocolate and spice.
What is one type of food or cuisine that you hope to experiment with in the kitchen?
I am experimenting with chocolate in my kitchen now. I am trying infusing herbs and spices into my ganache to see what will work. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. My family is very verbal. They will be the first to tell me if it doesn't work. I respect there opinions. I don't think I will ever live down that root vegetable dish I made one Thanksgiving. Needless to say it is no longer on the menu.