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I am a second-year graduate student working towards my master's degree in speech-language pathology. I currently live in Southern Illinois, near the beautiful Shawnee Forest.
I grew up in a very small rural town in northern Illinois and attended a residential high school in Aurora. I love soccer, fishing, dissecting stuff, drawing and painting, henna, pyrography, knitting (although I am not very good at it!) cooking and prowling for recipes online, "Brown Judaism" (ask! ), reading, rock climbing, and the outdoors.
One of my favorite hobbies is cooking, evident from how often I am on recipezaar! I am Jewish, but only moderately observant-- but I do try to keep a "semi Kosher" diet. This means my recipes will never include shellfish or pork, nor red meat and dairy products together. My cooking style is fairly eclectic. My mom has Irish/Native American/Southern roots, while my dad is of Sephardic (Turkish-Spanish ancestry. I used to most commonly prepare dishes from both of those broad cuisines. But ever since meeting my Persian fiance, I've begun experimenting with various Persian dishes as well!
I am half Sephardic (Jewish), and love foods that hail from around the Mediterranean, Middle East, and South America! Some of my favorite ingredients are:
Beef and lamb
Beans and legumes, especially chickpeas and lentils
the spicier, the better!
Bell peppers, eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes
Any desserts with rosewater
food with real (Spanish) olive oil
Dulce de Leche, cinnamon and chocolate
Pickled vegetables and tart flavors
Some of my favorite foods include empanadas, just about any Indian food (especially korma, delicious!), lentil soup, veg antipasta, pesto, falafel, skirt steak with chimichurri, chelo kebab and fesenjan (my Persian boyfriend-now fiance- introduced me to the cuisine a few years ago and I've loved it since!) Pastel de Papas, devilled eggs, grilled eggplant, chickpea salad... it goes on
I shouldn't be making a list, I will eat just about anything!