Congratulations to the winner of a Napa Getaway for Two, Kendra! We're sitting down to chat with her about gardening, kitchen disasters, and her love affair with pasta.
It's 2 a.m. and you're hungry -- what do you reach for? I love cheese and nuts; so a handful of toasted almonds, aged parmesan cheese drizzled with balsamic glaze, and a side of pita chips.
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Describe an early food experience that shaped the way you cook and eat. I grew up in a rural town and my parents did not have a lot of money, so many of our food choices were more wholesome, from the garden, and not processed. We had a huge garden that I helped take care of over the summer when I was a child. We consumed a lot of fruit and vegetables and froze many items to use over the winter. The closest fast food restaurant was more than an hour away. I have 2 children of my own now, and we continue to eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. My in-laws live just down the street, have a garden, and my children love every item they grow -- even things kids wouldn't normally eat (brussels sprouts, eggplant, peppers, etc).
What's your go-to winter comfort food? In the winter, pasta it is my favorite dish. I like to make my own pasta sauce with fresh mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, and more.
What cookbook can you not live without? It really depends on the season. During the winter months, I often turn to a cookbook by Mario Batali -- his pasta recipes are amazing!
What has been your greatest kitchen disaster? The first time I hosted Thanksgiving dinner has to be my greatest disaster. I somehow missed removing the giblet bag from deep inside the turkey, and only pulled it out after it was cooked. Luckily only my immediate family was there, and the turkey was fine, but I was so embarrassed. My family thought it was hilarious and still joke about it.