What I wanted to be when I grew up:
I envisioned my future self as a single gal with no kids, living in a big city, working for a big newspaper. (Kind of like one of the Sex and the City girls but long before that show ever hit HBO.) Or, being a professional novelist, living on the New England coast and wearing cardigan sweaters with my faithful golden retriever by my side.
What I ended up being when I grew up:
I spent the first 15 years of my professional life as a newspaper reporter/editor but in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania. For the past 17 years, I’ve been a communications and marketing professional in that same small town, married to the same man for 28 years, with one grown son, three grown stepsons and two grandchildren. I didn’t quite hit the mark with dogs, either. I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Izzie and a Corgi/Pomeranian mix named M. (She was named after James Bond’s boss.) None of this was what I thought I wanted, but it is definitely what I needed. (Cue that song by the Rolling Stones here.)
Pizza and salad. They’re both so versatile. But, I also love rare cheeseburgers with lots of accouterments and gyros. And pierogies. And I can’t forget bacon. And lamb shanks. Oh, never mind, you get the idea.
Least favorite food:
Lima beans. They’re just gross no matter how you cook them.
Vanilla or chocolate?
Vanilla, which is perfect since my husband is also a vanilla guy. But, I love making chocolate magic for my family and friends.
Favorite Food Show:
All of them. I grew up watching the Frugal Gourmet and Julia Child. Now, I love watching “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
In my kitchen:
I love listening to all kinds of music when I cook, from Ray Charles and Dean Martin to Sting and Peter Gabriel with some Florence and the Machine, Annie Lennox, Halsey and Beth Hart tossed in for good measure.
Favorite food movie:
I have more than one: “Like Water for Chocolate,” “Chocolat” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which are also all great books. (Hmm … interesting that they all have chocolate in the title.)
Favorite kitchen gadget:
Gotta be the microplaner, which makes zesting a breeze.
Smoked paprika. Wow, it makes just about everything taste better. But chipotle chile powder is pretty special, too.
Least favorite spice:
Nutmeg (and cloves). Nutmeg is just kinda weird, and cloves are just too strong.