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 16 years, I’ve been a communications and marketing professional in that same small town, married to the same man for 27 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 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” and “Man vs. Food.”
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 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, I recently discovered chipotle chile powder. That’s pretty special, too.
Least favorite spice:
Nutmeg (and cloves). Nutmeg is just kinda weird, and cloves are just too strong.