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1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My earliest food memories are of my great-grandmother. She was Italian -- first generation born in the U.S. -- and she spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing meals and sweets. When I would come to visit, she would always have a freshly made bowl of Jell-o waiting for me. On special occasions she would make a Jell-o crown jewel cake. To this day, I cannot look at one of those cakes or the similar broken glass desserts without thinking of her.
2. What's your least favorite food?
When it comes to food, I am probably not as adventurous as one might expect. There are some things I just cannot eat. Raw fish or seafood, no. Organs, whether beef or poultry, no. However, I am just as likely to pass up a dish if it is loaded with cilantro, too!
3. What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
The year is young and I haven't had a chance to make much, but yesterday at work I mixed up a batch of white chocolate chunk cookies with pecans and coconut in them that were pretty incredible -- I ate them warm from the oven.
4. What is your idea of comfort food?
For me, comfort food is anything that makes me feel good. On a cold day or if I am not feeling well, soup will almost always do it. My favorites are generally those that are clear and have lots of veggies in them, but a bowl of white bean and ham soup can do the trick on a cold day. On a hot day, or a particularly stressful day, bring on the ice cream -- chocolate-y and full of chunks and gooey ribbons of caramel and peanut butter.
5. If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
That show stopping meal would be for one person: my great-grandmother. It would be wonderful to spend a day in the kitchen with her and then have dinner together.
The Key to Okonomiyaki
Meet your new favorite Japanese dish
Your new favorite Japanese dish.
Bring some flare to your cookout.
Life's better with snacks.
You haven't thai'd this before.
A better basket.