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I am a lampwork glass bead artist, jewelry designer and web developer in training who loves to cook, dine out and read cookbooks in bed. I love to come up with new recipes, try new things and feed people. I enjoy foraging for morel mushrooms and wild ramps in the spring, canning in the late spring and fall, baking for holidays or special occasions and trying new kitchen gadgets. I can’t live without my Santoku knife, food processor, heavy bottom skillet, blender, whisk and bamboo spoons. My pantry essentials include: pink Himalayan sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, real butter, fresh garlic, onions (though I prefer shallots), fresh ginger, dry dill, vanilla beans, saffron threads, cumin (seeds and ground), double concentrated tomato paste, cinnamon, nutmeg, soy sauce, fish sauce, fresh parsley and cilantro, various dried chilies and peanut oil, among other things. I have a weakness for ethnic foods, especially Vietnamese Pho noodle soup and fresh spring rolls, Chinese dim sum, German sauerbraten with red cabbage and spaetzle, Greek pastitsio, moussaka and dolmas, Lebanese baked Kibbeh, Irish colcannon and parsley sauce, Sicilian meatballs and risotto, Indian curries, samosas and pilaus, Japanese sushi, El Salvadoran tamales and mole, Mexican chile rellanos, menudo and enchiladas, Polish pierogis, oh, and the list goes on…

I collect autographed cookbooks (that I want to cook from), block optic depression glass, vintage/antique pansy decal tableware, beautiful and solitary salt or pepper shakers, vintage mirrors in unique shapes, beautiful teacups and saucers and anything else that catches my fancy. I am a huge fan of the arts, all of them. In addition to cookbooks, I love to read good books and watch good movies (both matters of opinion, I know). Star Wars, Star Trek and Dr. Who are all things I will stop and get sucked into at anytime. Hallmark commercials make me cry and Craig Ferguson makes me laugh. I love cooking shows like Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” and “The Layover,”  Alton Brown’s “Good Eats,” and “The Iron Chef.”  I also like Martha Stewart and Nigella Lawson.

The French Laundry(in California) and The Russian Tea Room(in NYC) are two restaurants I would like to dine in before I die. My last meal would be my mother’s chile rellanos and my dad’s menudo. I believe that chocolate should be a food group. I had a bad experience with goat cheese a few years back and cannot abide even the smell of it anymore, which totally bums me out. I do not like the texture of sweet potatoes and do not care for fresh mango, unless it is in a fruit salsa. And I only like wild game if it isn’t “gamey.” The gamey smell/taste is reminiscent of goat cheese, so no dice.

I own a ridiculous number of cookbooks and too many pieces of baking ware. I’m a sucker for appetizer and cookie cookbooks, especially those with lots of great photographs. I like to take pictures of my food, whether at home or in a restaurant, and post them on my blog or facebook. Good food makes me gush. I worked as a waitress in my youth and always leave a good tip for good service. And if you are still reading my profile after all that, thank you! I’ll have to save the rest of my biography for the blog or the big screen, either way, enough for now.

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