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I was about 10 or so when I realized how much I loved cooking and baking. (Baking more so than cooking.) I think one of the first recipes I ever made that got a huge response from my family was Cream Puffs from the Betty Crocker cookbook my mom still has to this day. I realized then the power of feeding people wonderful, homemade dishes. There's a certain sense of pride, joy, and responsibility in the act of nourishing people. I think it's one of the gifts I was given, and the joy I experienced at age 10 has not diminished since.
People often ask why I don't become a professional chef, but I don't want my joy to become my job. Cooking for friends and family is enough. My "public name" comes from the fact that I started making goodies for people's birthdays, holidays, and no special occasion at all here at the office and now not a week goes by when someone doesn't ask, "Done any baking lately?"
Recipezaar has been a tremendous resource for me and I credit good recipes for 90% of my success in the kitchen. The other 10% (in my opinion) is good execution of the recipe and a true love of cooking.
I grew up eating wonderful Mexican food cooked by my mom (green chile, homemade tortillas, enchiladas, etc.) and I still love Mexican food, although Italian is a very close second.
One of my favorite things to make are cookies. They're easy, tasty, and who doesn't love a cookie? Desserts are the most fun for me probably because anything that is sweet is usually a crowd-pleaser.