As an amateur in the kitchen, I use recipes and techniques that I have learned from several people and cookbooks. I have listed these favorites below.
- My Mom: My incredible mother has never faced a challenge she hasn’t accepted. She is a superstar gardener, canning connoisseur, and creator of delicious salads. I am currently under her tutelage as she is helping me transform my very brown thumb to to a prettier shade of green. It’s been an arduous task for her, but it seems to be slowly working because our vegetable garden appears to be a success this summer! She packed my lunches throughout elementary, junior high, and high school years and I have to say, no one will ever be able to make me a sandwich as well as she does. She has the magic touch. Love you, Mom!
- My Aunt Khaki: My Aunt Khaki has taught me to never be afraid to stray from a recipe. Just because it calls for 3 tablespoons of onion doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a whole onion, a bell pepper, minced garlic, and chorizo sausage while you’re at it. She has been hosting dinner parties for years and she is great at it. I have taken several of her ideas over the past couple years when I’ve thrown my sister and close friends a baby or bridal shower.
- My Mother-in-law: My husband comes from an Amish background, which means he grew up with lots of rich and delicious meals and desserts. Connie, my mother-in-law, has taught me a lot about how to make this type of food. She is famous for a chicken dish we have aptly named “Connie Chicken” and I have never tasted even the tiniest lump in her mashed potatoes. No one ever turns down a meal made by Connie.
My Other Favorites include:
- Alton Brown: Host of Good Eats- when you use one of Alton’s recipes, you know it’s going to be excellent.
- Baking Illustrated: From the creators of Cooks Illustrated, this cookbook is great for learning all about baking.
- Ellie Krieger: A registered dietitian and celebrity chef, I love Ellie’s philosophy on food.
- Ina Garten: Also know as the Barefoot Contessa, Ina holds a very special place in my heart. I own several of her cookbooks and I make her recipes on special occasions.
- Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois: The authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This book has changed my life! I never knew how easy it is to make homemade bread. I highly recommend their cookbook to everyone.
- Martha Stewart: The queen of entertaining, Martha Stewart can do it all and I frequently use recipes from her magazines and website.