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We have lived the last few years in a small West Texas town that we like to affectionately refer to as "Cow Town USA". There are more cows to people by like 50,000 to one. Really!! Not joking on this one.
My favorite cookbooks are local/regional cookbooks from all over the world, with an emphasis on ones published by women's groups, churches, and student associations as they tend to give a more local flair and cultural taste. I have also been testing my East cooking skills, be that Far East, Middle or Near East as well so have acquired a few excellent ones from those genres as well.
I also rely heavily on the old "red checked" Better Homes and Gardens for good old fashioned recipes and recipe conversions, substitutions and cook times for various items. I also use a cookbook published by our old electric company, SPS, for good ol' Texas Panhandle cooking.
I would love to go to culinary school someday. My DH says I'm the best non-"chef" chef he knows. Aaahhhh....ain't he just the sweetest...sigh.
I love cooking, of course. I love to learn new things in or out of the kitchen. I read, play crosswords and other puzzles, paint, crochet, cross-stitch and other needle work. I really love playing with polymer clay! I love to study religion and spirituality formally and would love to learn more and possibly take holy orders in the future.
We have 2 four-legged children that are like little floor sweepers when I cook. Don't have to worry about the troublesome food, they don't like them.
One of the things I hate is when you need a specialty ingredient and our little small town stores just don't know what you're talking about. We now have a Walmart, so I have access to a wider variety of produce and ingredients. It is really nice. I could hardly stand it when I would ask our grocer about leeks and he'd point me to the green onions. We had some discussions about the difference let me tell you. Not to worry anymore! Walmart has them all the time.
My favorite dish to cook is any dish my DH loves. I'm spoiled to his praises.
I am most famous for my cheesecakes. I won 2nd place for my chocolate chip cheesecake once in a cooking contest. I need to get it posted here.
I'm secondly most famous for my soups. I came from a family that would make up recipes and I make up my own soups. DH loves my chicken taco soup and my 15 bean soup, and my potato soups (a leek version and a baked potato version are his favs). I've since added an indian inspired potato soup that he now claims to be his favorite. Note to self, have to get that recipe posted here too.
My favorite restaurants are The Golden Wok, San Antonio, Texas; Abuelos, Amarillo, Texas; Maharajah, Lubbock, Texas; Gardunos (R.I.P.), Albuquerque, New Mexico, El Pinto, Albuquerque, New Mexico; The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas; and the list could go on and on. My fav types of food are Good chinese, indian, middle eastern,mexican, italian, good seafood, and a good steakhouse.