Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My mom was an amazing cook and organizer. She would plan for Thanksgiving and Christmas months ahead of time; she served 10 to 12 guests for sit-down Christmas dinner at 1 o'clock, and a few hours later she would open the house to 30 to 40 more people for a huge buffet. I watched and learned (and obviously helped), and now I try to be as organized as possible for whenever company comes.
More: Let's talk holiday centerpieces.
What's your least favorite kitchen task?
Any and all things involved with cleaning, especially after a large family dinner. I am so lucky to have three amazing kids who all chip in with cleanup.
Your favorite kitchen tool?
My four or five pairs of kitchen shears. I have them stashed all over the kitchen and use them for so many kitchen tasks. And I love my mini food processor! It comes in so handy!
What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
It will always be those brick-like hand pies that even the dog wouldn't eat!
Cocktail photo by Mark Weinberg; photo of inpatskitchen provided by herself; all others by James Ransom
This contest is sponsored by thebar.com. You must be at least 21 years of age or older to enter. No alcohol purchase is required.