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I have lived in Lake Charles, LA for the last 6 years; transferring with my job from Dallas, TX.
I am married to a wonderful man from Lake Charles and our combined children (his two boys and my one daughter) are grown and in the process of forging their own careers and lives. We are very fond of our two Chihuahuas named Margarita and Cinco they keep us on our toes, as it should be.
Cooking, party planning and entertaining has always been a passion and hobby of mine - I just did not realize how much until the last ten years. I have been known to jump at the chance to cater a friends baby shower, or friend's son graduation party - it is my therapy and my joy. If anyone should happen to mention the topic of cooking or recipes I cannot contain my enthusiasm - I'm a true "foodie".
To have a favorite cook book is difficult to list I easily have over 100, two of my sentimental favorites are: "San Francisco a la Carte" and "In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chef's"; both of which were gifts from special people in my life at special times. The Julia Child cookbook is also signed by Julia Child and will forever be one of my prized possessions.
Favorite foods... love Thai food, Mexican, Indian. There are not many things I would not try at least once.
To cook I enjoy baking breads and making desserts; but most of all finding that interesting new recipe that needs conquering! For example: my friend Kathi calls me up from Alexandria, LA (we get together and cook in her gourmet kitchen several times a year) last fall she wanted to make a Williams Sonoma recipe for a Creme Brule French toast that called for Brioche bread. There is no Brioche in Central Louisiana or in Lake Charles, LA (where I live). Kathi and I decided to bake our own Brioche, it was an adventure for both of us; we did it and it turned out wonderful. The French toast was decadent and rich!
Next adventure please ~ this is how I found RecipeZaar.com. Wanting to make my daughter Katie's favorite dessert for Thanksgiving last year, Tiramisu. This is not an easy dessert to find in smaller towns of Louisiana that we were accustomed to finding in Dallas, TX. Kathi and I found our recipe, a Tyler Florence recipe, Tiramisu Italiano (after wading through 6 and deciding this was the better one to try - user friendly, and cooked eggs); then came the hunt for the ingredients. Last year you could not find mascarpone cheese in Central Louisiana or in Lake Charles so I called a local Lake Charles authority, a gourmet gift basket company and asked for mascarpone cheese, the owner suggested I go to RecipeZaar.com and ask for a Mascarpone cheese substitute - the rest is history; I've been hooked ever since to RecipeZaar. Good news... one of the local grocery stores is now carrying mascarpone cheese in my area, Yea!
Known amongst my friends for homemade enchiladas (my Texas roots showing) and jicama salad.
When in Dallas, like to go to Hook, Line & Sinker (off Lemmon Ave.) for the Mexican Cocktail - Appetizer. Mercardo Juarez in Dallas off NW Hwy for almost everything on the menu. I'm Mexican food deprived in Lake Charles - Texas girls need their Mexican food! Many more favs in Dallas - those are the two that came to mind quickly.
Is this just in Lake Charles?... Still don't understand the need for the plop of potato salad in the middle of a bowl of seafood or chicken gumbo. Lots of rice and gravy on everything in Central and South Louisiana...still learning the Cajun ways down here and loving it.