My love for cooking started pretty young. It wasn't so much that I liked the compliments, but I loved to eat! Through my high school years one if my favorite things to make was Ramen noodles. But I jazzed them up and they needed to be cooked precisely. Nothing worse than mushy ramen.
When my parents got married, my mother had no idea how to cook. Anything! Nothing! She tried making hot dogs for their first meal together. I know- classy right? She boiled them, to death. She burnt boiled hot dogs. This gives you an idea how clueless she was.
Over the years my mother became a fine cook. My father used to tell me, get in that kitchen and learn from your mom. So I did, and I loved it. When my mom started working a lot of nights I had to make dinner. It was usually hamburger helper or something easy like that but it taught me HOW to cook.
When I got together with my husband I loved to cook for him. I bought many cookbooks and tried making all sorts of different things. His friends used to call me "Puddin" because they were so jealous he always had a good meal to come home to. He would frequently show off and bring plates of food to his loser friends. Oops, did I just say that out loud?
When we were first married my mother in law Sally came to live with us. Again I absorbed her knowledge. Sally was good at good ol' fashioned home style cooking. She made many things from scratch. Not from a box! Wow!
I don't think I became a good cook however until my thirties. One day, we were eating out and I was trying to figure out what was in a sauce. I was realizing my pallet recognized the spice, be it ever so subtle as it was. This was the moment I realized the power of spices. I started to familiarize myself by smelling them to see what they could bring to a dish.
While traveling I had a great friend, and since our RVs were parked next to each other we would have dinner together all the time. We experimented with many new recipes, and this is when the Internet started to have recipes on it too. We would search for copycat recipes from our favorite restaurants, and visit the local butcher and farmers market. This is when I realized that where you get your ingredients is the most important part of your dinner!
Then my neighbor shared a lot of really good recipes with me. She's certainly more organic than any one I had met to date. She opened my mind to try new and exciting things, and to use healthier choices in many of my dishes.
I do go through lazy weeks where I don't feel like cooking. Especially in the summer when Chip does a lot of the grilling. Then I'll get on a huge kick and try a bunch of new recipes.
My favorite dinners are grilled! I love grilled steak, burgers, and chicken. I also love fish, but Chip doesn't like it as much as I do so we don't have it as often as I'd like. I love stuff smothered in gravy! My favorite side dish is beans or potatoes, and my favorite vegetable is a fresh salad.
My favorite place to go out to eat is the Melting Pot. It's expensive so we rarely go, but I never leave disappointed either. I think half of what makes it so great is the experience.
Besides being a foodie, I'm obsessed with nurturing things. I love my bulldogs and my children so much! I love to help animals in need and even more I love to help animal owners by educating them about health and food choices.