1. What was the first thing you ever cooked? I've been cooking so long I honestly couldn't tell you, so I asked my mom. She's still thinking, but she does remember me smearing peanut butter onto wheat bread and sprinkling it with raisins when I was almost 3.
2. What's your signature dish? Depends on who you are... friends that like my baked goods will probably say my blueberry muffins, Mom would say my refried beans. Other things people associate with me making especially for them: chicken almendrado, baklava, whoopie pies, and soft gingersnaps. I'd love someday to be known for sticky buns from my grandmother's recipe.
3. Ever had a cooking disaster? (tasted like crap, didn't work, etc.) Describe. Several, but that's what cooking's all about. I'd rather not go into detail, but I've learned the hard way exactly how much fat you can trim from a recipe without killing it and similar healthier substitutions from living with Robert (high blood pressure and cholesterol). He once added whole peppercorns to beef stew I'd made from scratch while it was simmering. Biting into a whole peppercorn is an experience I hope to avoid in the future.
4. If skill and money were no object, what would make for your dream meal? Aside from having Chuck in the kitchen since he owns Italian cooking like I do Mexican... his veal Parmesan, my homemade garlic bread -- more garlic than bread, lots of fresh fruit, and something absolutely luscious for dessert. Unfortunately I have no idea what... (:
5. What are you doing this weekend? So far I've already spent way too much time at Lowe's. Thanks to that, I'll be helping install vinyl tile in the main bathroom, continue my work on the vanity cabinet -- finishing painting, replacing hinges, installing new handles and measuring for some rolling storage bins and other storage inside it, and helping prep the back half for wall painting. Dad will be installing the new faucet in there too, so it should look pretty sharp when we're done. Sometime during the weekend we may make a run down to the Southwest Plaza area to go to Cost Plus World Market and a few other places I'd like to stop in down there.