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We were literally gleeful to discover that hardlikearmour had yet to be featured in Cook Spotlight. Cue the trumpets: with a contest winner, two runners-up, and 16, that's right, 16 Editors' Picks in her recipe box, hardlikearmour is a home cook of the cleverest sort, whose kitchen instincts seem innate -- after all, she grew up at the stove and at the family supper table. As she writes in her Winners' Q&A, "[Cooking] just seemed like a normal skill to have." Are you surprised? We're not.

Hardlikearmour is a veritable melting pot of crafty and delicious ideas. From her tasty small bites of Pickled Prunes and Marinated Mushrooms to her award-winning Chocolate Cajeta Fondue and EP-tested and adored Pan-fried Dandelion Flowers, she has a knack for tricky ingredients (let's face it, it ain't that easy to make these simple suckers sing.) And, while her recipe repertoire is, dare we say, stacked, she is also an eager community tester and compositeur of truly beautiful headnotes (ah, the beauty of reading all EPs for a living). Deft simplicity coupled with culinary curiosity are hallmarks of her style -- and her native Portland's food scene, too. Creamy Raw Asparagus Pesto and Smoked Tea Caramels, blowing east as if brought to us by a breath of Pacific Northwestern air. And we're thrilled to have a taste.

p.s. What's in a name? We've been dying to ask ...

See more of of hardlikearmour's recipes and fan her here and read her profile Q&A below:

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Witches butter (aka Tremella mesenterica) - I ate a big glob of it in an attempt to disgust my brother. 

  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Soft scrambled eggs and toast. Salerno-style spaghetti with eggs.

  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    My Kitchen Aid mixer.

  • Your ideal meal:
    Wood oven or grilled pizza with a bottle of wine or beer.

  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    I'd love to eat at Alinea in Chicago.

  • The number of bottles of wine you own:

  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
    4 to 8 depending on the party

  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    There is never enough counter or cupboard space.

  • Your favorite cookbook:
    I love the Cooks Illustrated series and the Cake Bible.