Since Chelley was the first FBOTW, I thought it was fair she answer the questions for the FBOTW too! Thank you Chelley!
When did you start cooking?
I started cooking about 3 years ago, when Nick and I got engaged. I had done a lot of baking before that, starting when I was a teenager, but I had never been very interested in cooking. Once we got engaged I figured I needed to learn how to cook like a good wife so I started with some basics and have been building from there. I have always loved to bake but have made myself love cooking as well ;-)
Who inspires you?
Although I cook somewhat differently than them, my mom and grandma are my kitchen inspirations. My mom always made sure we ate dinner together as a family each night of the week. She loves trying different things and is a great cook! My grandma is famous for her Sunday\ndinners and homestyle Italian cooking. Every Sunday she cooks enough for an(Italian) army, feeding whoever stops by to eat (usually our family and my aunt and uncle, and cousins). Her food just tastes like home and our family has been able to create many cherished memories surround it
If you could have lessons from one chef, who would it be?
I would have to choose Giada De Laurentiis. Being Italian and growing up eating traditional Italian foods, I love watching Giada create classic Italian dishes that are sometimes healthy alternatives, and “dressed up”.
Favorite thing to cook/bake? Etc
My favorite dish to cook is Dirty Risotto from Giada de Laurentiis – it consists of risotto with Italian sausage, mushrooms, red pepper, and onions. It is such a hearty and warm dish; I have made it for company a number of times and it consistently gets rave reviews.
My favorite things to bake are Christmas cookies! I absolutely love the Christmas holiday and baking traditional Christmas cookies puts me in a great mood – I love to dedicate an entire day to baking Christmas cookies and do it while either listening to Christmas carols or watching a marathon of Christmas movies, such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, A Christmas Story, Rudolph, Charlie Brown Christmas, etc.
Whats one fear you have in the kitchen?
That I will one day slice a chunk of finger off! Okay, food related fears, right? I am afraid of any type of dessert that involves custard consisting of raw eggs – I am always petrified that I won’t heat them well enough and will poison the people that eat it. Therefore, I don’t really tackle desserts of this kind.
Whats one fear you had in the kitchen but have overcame?
I never thought I would be able to make bread from scratch. Well, GOOD bread, that is. However, I have made a number of different yeast breads this year and my fear is officially gone! I have been increasingly successful with each attempt and will whip together a loaf of bread or batch of rolls without thinking twice. Now I just need to find a good whole wheat soft sandwich bread recipe to make for Nick and our days of store bought bread are over!