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My mother never really enjoyed cooking so when I got old enough to be near the stove, mix things without help, etc., she was glad when I said I'll make dinner or already be working on it without having to say anything at all. That was when we had five people to feed in the family. Now, with being a divorced woman in her mid-40's, cooking or baking for one has been somewhat of a challenge. If I make too much, then I usually take it into work for others to enjoy.
I've learned alot of my cooking tricks and recipes from my late paternal grandmother and two aunts who reside deep in the Appalachia Mountains (two of eight sisters. There were a total of 12 kids in his family!) and these ladies really know how to pull a meal together! My biggest pet peeve is when I hear people say they don't have time to make meals for their family or hate to cook -- it's easier for them to just stop at a fast food place. All I can say is to invest in a crockpot; it's an easy and inexpensive way to make delicious homemade meals for the family. It will change your whole perspective on cooking!!
My passion is old-fashioned, home-cooked meals as well as pioneer- and comfort-foods. Nothing fancy. Just good, home-cooked, made-from-scratch meals. My cast iron skillets, dutch oven, and crockpot really get a workout quite often! My inspirations comes from my family. I enjoy cooking and baking for them and they enjoy eating it!
I enjoy cooking and baking just about anything ... Southern, deep-fried foods (yeah, I know ... but it's sooo good!), stews, casseroles, cookies and confections -- the list goes on and on. There are a few dishes my family and friends enjoy such as my farmers casserole, chili mac, potato ring, and Alabama biscuits (the latter of the two are posted on Food.com). Another favorite is a meat loaf recipe (which I'll be submitting to Food.com soon) which is from my aunt's church cookbook submitted by a close family friend who passed away several years ago. Sometimes I will add a steak marinade to the recipe and let the mixture meld together before putting in the oven. YUM-O!!!
Irish fare such as Boxty and corned beef and cabbage is something my DH likes to have from time to time (his maternal grandmother was from Belfast, Ireland); DH makes a mean bbq beef or pork which he either grills or he'll put it in a crockpot for 2-1/2 day and make a really delicious pulled pork or shredded beef bbq for sandwiches.
Our absolute FAVORITE restaurant is Cheddar's. They have great food that is really inexpensive (1/2 rack of ribs is $8) and we always ask for the same waiter (Jesus) who is awesome!!!