This week is my older sister. She has long been the family cook, known for her tasty and comforting meals. Her specialty is everything as nothing she makes ever turns out weird, bad or anything else negative. (She has the golden spoon of cooking.) Thus we all found it ironic when it was I who landed the Italian husband with non-english speaking Italian mother in law who I have learned to cook from....go figure.
Location: Seattle, WA
1.) What recipe do you consistently make at home?
I have two awesome boys so my go to kid friendly meal would
have to be Bolognese Sauce with rigatoni (their favorite type
of pasta). I always turn the leftovers into a baked ziti or
lasagna for another family favorite meal later in the week.
This works great for soccer practice nights!
2.) Name three items you have in your refrigerator?
I always have the much needed items like eggs, butter and
various cheeses. However, it is the three items not in my
refrigerator that define my style of cooking. I always have
onions, garlic and cayenne pepper in my kitchen.
3.) Tell me about your most memorable meal.
My husband and I went to Italy for our honeymoon and we had a
most romantic lunch sitting in front of Mediterranean. The
view was beautiful, the local people all around us were so
charming, and the food was incredible. The dish we had was
pasta with scampi in a spicy red sauce. And, of course, we
shared a wonderful bottle of wine.
4.) What are your favorite restaurants and what do you order there?
I am really torn between two loves. I love to eat at Italian
food and Tex Mex restaurants. If we are looking for a more
formal occasion, my choice would be Italian and I love just
about anything there. However, for a more relaxed, fun loving
evening there is nothing better than salsa, chips and
margaritas. I usually order seafood enchiladas or fajitas, it
depends on the particular restaurant. To be a truly good
Italian restaurant I would say they would have to make fresh
pasta and likewise, for a truly great Tex Mex restaurant, they
must make their own tortillas. Both of these things make a
5.) What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
If you read this section from two weeks ago, you heard from my
mother about Cowboy stew. Yes, I used to have to eat that
stuff when I was a child and I have to say that it was never
enjoyable to me.
6.) Of all the places you have traveled, which has the best food?
Well, I loved the food in Italy so it deserves mentioning, but
I have to say that I really adored the boulangeries and
patisseries in Paris. I could walk into either one of these
places and find something delicious to eat for breakfast, lunch
or dinner. They are divine. French baguette is my all-time
favorite thing to eat.
7.) What is your drink of choice (alcoholic)?
I really enjoy a good margarita, on the rocks with salt. It
must be made with fresh lime juice. I also prefer Patron
8.) What is your ultimate dessert?
My sister and I grew up around Louisiana women that were
wonderful cooks. Our mother, my grandmother and our cousin,
Adeline, are just the greatest cooks. I am always asking for
any recipes that come from Adeline. She shared with us a
recipe for a homemade cake that is so delicious. It is her
Pecan Cake. The cake is a sweet white cake and the filling is
made of ground pecans, sugar, butter and evaporated milk. The
cream cheese frosting finishes it off perfectly. This dessert
just speaks to me in a way that the moss does when dangles from
the oak trees in Louisiana. It is a truly southern delight.
9.) What is a food/dish that reminds you of your childhood?
Any Cajun dish reminds me of my childhood. In particular,
seafood dishes because members of my family would bring home
freshly caught crawfish, catfish, shrimp, snapper and blue
crab. My grandmother would cook it up and usually prepare what
came in several different ways to please everyone. I must
mention that it was always wonderfully seasoned -not over done,
but enjoyably spicy.
10.) What is your go to meal for a dinner party?
I like to serve a roasted beef tenderloin with a horseradish
sauce and a vegetable gratin. And, if my guests are lucky,
they will get Adeline’s Pecan Cake for dessert with coffee.
I often will have guests request that I make some Cajun dishes.
I like to make gumbo, shrimp etouffee or jambalaya for friends.