When did you start cooking?
I started cooking when I was around 13 and there were often weeknights I had to babysit my brothers because my parents had part time jobs in the evenings. At that point, it was mostly very simple things, often from my mom's "Campbell's Classics" cookbook (believe it or not, it was not filled with cream soup-based casseroles - our favorite dishes were the tamale pie, chicken tetrazini and Cincinnati chili!) I always helped my mom with whatever cooking needed to be done for the holidays, but I really started to develop my skills and style when I moved in with my husband (then fiance) after graduating college.
Who inspires you?
Many of the bloggers out there who create such delicious-sounding dishes that are also beautiful to look at, because I really believe that food is an art, both gastronomically and visually. And I'll have to say Rachel Ray - she really does seem like an everyday girl who has made her dream of sharing food with others come true.
If you could have lessons from one chef, who would it be?
I think I'd with Bobby Flay - he really seems to know all the proper techniques very well, and I admire his use of creative flavor and texture combinations.
Favorite thing to cook/bake? Etc.
Lately I am into anything "little" - like bite size appetizers and desserts, with care taken to make sure they look special. It's a labor of love making all those little pieces, but it's something I fnd people really enjoy seeing and tasting.
What's one fear you have in the kitchen?
I'm usually very confident that my food tastes good, so I get very hung up on presentation and appearance! Especially when serving guests or preparing for company, I want everything to look as good as it tastes, and I've been known to remake things that don't look just right.