Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
When I was a kid, my mother loved to try new recipes and techniques. We made crepes, fondue, etc. She also made wine out of grapefruit (we lived in the Rio Grande Valley). I just wish she would have written down her recipes!
What's your least favorite food?
Tarragon, and I'm not very fond of berries of any kind.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
One weekend I made lobster cannolis with lemon gastrique (Emeril's recipe) and lobster bisque. Both were very decadent.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
I don't have any disasters that were "spectacular", but I've had many little mishaps. When I first started cooking I made my parents some black bean enchiladas. I didn't know that you had to not only wash the beans, but pick through them for rocks. Yuck. And then there was last Thanksgiving when I forgot to serve the tangerine cranberry sauce that I had made and was very excited about. I could go on and embarrass myself further, but I won't.
What is your idea of comfort food?
Bean and cheese nachos with homemade salsa and guacamole and cold beer. This is our Friday night ritual.
Apron or no apron?
Though I have many food splattered shirts, I love aprons. I just forget when I'm just quickly whipping something up.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when they first enter the large room where everything is edible and there's a chocolate river. When I saw the movie as a kid I was mezmerized. Plus, I had a crush on Gene Wilder.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
I think Anthony Bourdain. How could you possibly offend him? He drinks, smokes, cusses and talks lots of trash, but seems totally appreciative of what he's served.
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
Usually, a. alone
When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.
a. clean as much as I can as I cook.
Nannydeb with her Shrimp and Scallops in Pesto Pasta