I was early to good eating--I grew up in New Orleans, and when my grandfather came to visit, he would take us to Arnaud's Restaurant where I fell in love with trout meuniere and souffles pommes de terres. But I was late to cooking--my mom didn't like having help in her kitchen. My early influences were a college professor who gave me a recipe for a giant empanada that takes all day to make, and cousins who loved to cook and entertain--where I learned to make fresh pasta (so much fun), and to bake, primarily using Maida Heatter's cookbooks. (Now they have chocolate stains inside of them.) I read cookbooks for fun. As much as I enjoy cooking (and baking), I'm limited by time (who isn't?), watching my weight (ditto), occasionally thinking that I should REALLY be a vegetarian, and a husband who doesn't like a lot of the things I like to cook with (and eat): strong cheeses (think goat, feta, parmesan), mustard, capers, artichokes, yogurt, olives, any pork products (except, as he puts it, his annual bacon), and who thinks that a protein shake made with chocolate soy milk or a Zone Bar is an adequate meal. Since I've joined Food52, I've learned so much about techniques, flavors, different spices, and how to make life more delicious. I started coming to this website to find some new recipes, and I feel as if I've made a bunch of new friends.