How long have you had a fascination with food?
I was involved in 4H as a young girl. I had two leaders, Ruth and Lucille, who patiently and lovingly instilled in me the love of cooking. They helped me prepare for my first food demonstration at our county fair. The title of my demo was “Fluffy Little Muffs.” I showed how to make a basic muffin recipe. My mother worked as a nurse, which gave me the opportunity and responsibility of preparing meals at home. I learned at a young age how to follow recipes and coordinate many family dinners.
What energizes you?
Early morning walks with my husband, reading the Bible, coffee with friends, sunrises and sunsets, designing a quilt, and of course…time in my kitchen!
What kind of shopper best describes you?
I can only shop of an hour or two…no all day shopping sprees. I frequent bargain stores such as Marshalls, TJ Max or our favorite, Last Chance. It pains me to pay full price on anything. If I had my choice of shopping at any stores, it would be grocery stores. When we are in Phoenix for the winter I browse Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Sprouts on a regular basis. My husband can out shop me.
What are some of your favorite kitchen tools/toys?
Vitamix, Estro Expresso Machine, Olive and Thyme grill pan, Bosch Mixer, Silpat baking pads, hand nut grinder, microplane grater, and my Wustoff chef’s knife.
What would be your perfect job?
Managing a coffee shop/ bistro, book store somewhere in the mountains where I could see the sunrise and sunset every day.
What are the top 10 items you wouldn’t be without in your pantry?
1. Canned beans; white cannelloni, black, garbanzo and pinto
2. Roasted red peppers
4. Extra virgin olive oil
5. Natural sweeteners; real maple syrup, agave, date syrup and honey
6. White albacore tuna
7. Broth or stock. I prefer making my own, but in a pinch, these work fine. I prefer the Swanson organic chicken broth in the carton.
8. Whole tomatoes. Buy the whole tomatoes, and crush them up yourself…they have much better flavor! I also get tomato paste in a tube; many recipes call for just a tablespoon or two.
9. Whole grains; oats, barley, flax, brown rice, quinoa, popcorn, and wheat.
10. Whole grain pastas.