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Congratulations to My Pantry Shelf, whose Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart won this week's contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner, earning her a handsome Staub Oval Gratin Baking Dish from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from Viking, OXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!
Q&A with My Pantry Shelf
- Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
- In high school, I worked at Earthbeam, a natural foods store in Burlingame, California. I learned so much about fresh foods and whole grains. It definitely influenced my habits in the kitchen.
- What's your least favorite food?
- Bland, processed food.
- What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
- Oh, I have been having a real good time in the kitchen this year, so it is hard to choose. Of late, my favorite is probably focaccia bread I have been making using the recipe from Baking with Julia.
- Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
- I recently left my recipe notebook on the stove, not realizing that the gas burner was on. You can guess how that turned out.
- What is your idea of comfort food?
- I love to make pasta with a chunky tomato and sausage sauce.
- Apron or no apron?
- No apron. I'm not afraid to get messy when I cook.
- If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
- I wish I had the opportunity to make a fabulous meal for my grandma Betty. She was a tremendous cook -- mostly traditional Danish dishes. She passed away before I became serious about cooking.
- You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
- I do love to cook alone and have been known "encourage" my kids to leave the kitchen so I can cook in "peace," but I do love cooking with them as well. They are already pretty capable for little people.
- 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.
- Here is my chance to publicly thank my husband for the hours upon hours he has spent cleaning up after my adventures in the kitchen. I usually clean up as I cook, but there is still a pile for him at the end of the day. Thanks Scott!