All about cooking, along with an ode to an Aid

I stole this great meme from Delicious Days, a decadent blog I discovered through Becks & Posh.

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
I had an Easy-Bake Oven that I remember using once, and I thought the finished product was awful. It sat on our backporch with my other toys, unused, until we finally gave it away or sold it in a garage sale.

Who had the most influence on your cooking?
Definitely my mom and my grandma. My mom ran a catering business for more than a decade, and I grew up helping to make food trays when I was younger and more complicated dishes as I grew older. (I always had to wash dishes -- which is why I think I hate to do it now. Dear Husband and I have an agreement -- I cook, he cleans.) Both my mom and grandma are very Southern cooks, so I have a special place in my heart for things like fried chicken and mashed potatoes smothered in milk gravy.

Do you have an old photo as “evidence” of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?
I will at some point, but I think my mom has all photos of me as a young chef.

Mageiricophobia -- do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?
I don't do fish. I've tried, once, but I was so scared about cooking it too long or not cooking it long enough, I prefer to just eat fish at restaurants. Not to mention DH doesn't like seafood, so I don't cook it much any more!

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?
I adore, adore, adore my KitchenAid stand mixer! It's a beautiful cherry red color, and I got it for a steal on Amazon -- only $160 or so, new, including tax and shipping! It makes life so much easier in the kitchen -- no longer do my arms ache with stirring chocolate chip cookie dough! No longer do my mashed potatoes come out lumpy because my hand mixer lacks power! No longer do I have to ignore recipes when they tell me to add ingredients while continuing to mix! With my KitchenAid at my side, I can conquer any recipe!

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else!
I adore peanut butter and Miracle Whip sandwiches -- sometimes I'll add a banana into the mix if I have them around. (But the banana has to be mashed into the peanut butter before adding it to the sandwich -- it just tastes better!) I also like mac & cheese mixed with tuna, peas and diced tomatoes -- I guess from my college days.

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don’t want to live without?
  • As my Dear Husband can tell you, any time I need comfort food, I break out the sausage gravy and biscuits. It reminds me of home, and it's an instant pick-me-up on those bad-mood days.
  • I couldn't live without seafood -- crab legs and shrimp especially.
  • The last thing on the list would probably be pesto, which is a new favorite. I put it on everything! I can't believe I lived much of my life without it. (Quick pesto tip: Tired of plain ol' crescent rolls from the can? Before you roll the triangles up, spread with a bit of pesto. Roll up and proceed as normal.)
Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer? Well then, feel free to add one!
What dish you love to make?
I love making Italian dishes with a lot of ingredients. Something about taking a ton of ingredients and turning it into one harmonious dish makes me so happy! One of my new favorites to make is a the chicken cacciatore from Bucca di Beppo (which we sadly do not have here in Greensboro). The nearest location is in Pineville, more than an hour away.


At 4:49 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

hiya mel - stumbled here by way of delicious days...reading all the entries for the cook next door meme :)

and i dfinitely feel you on the miracle whip sandwich - though i made it with sugar! lol!

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Mel said...

hmm ... i might have to try that! :-)

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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