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I live in Minnesota, and actually like the winter more than summer! (Must have Siberian ancestors!)
The main focus of my life is, and always has been, children. I've spent the majority of my life either educating myself about children, having and raising children, or working with children. I presently work in an elementary school with children that have emotional/behavioral difficulties, and have three daughters of my own.
I also have four grandsons (one an extra gift that came when my daughter very wisely married his dad) and will become Grandma to the the 5th baby in June. This one a little girl! I can not wait!! I received so much joy being a mother that finding that much joy, and more, in being 'Grandma' has taken me by surprise. They are all the best gifts ever given to me.
Whatever free time I have is spent with my nose in a book, surfing the web for new recipes, or with my wonderful friends, both online and "in person".
My favorite dishes to prepare are definitely appetizers. There's something about the "putzy-ness" of them that I love! I am always on the lookout for recipes that are easy to transport to parties or can be prepared ahead of time. I also love bread-baking. I'm family says I can't be beat for my cheeseburger pizza, Polish rye bread, and tuna casserole. My friends also love my shrimp salad puffs, bruschetta, mini-Reubens, and quesadillas.
If I am eating out I love Culver's (greasy patty melts--yum!) for fast food, and a restaurant called Oceanaire in Minneapolis for the other end of the money and/or gourmet spectrum. They are very pricey, but serve the best seafood dishes I've ever eaten. (Hard to believe in Minnesota, I know, but even East Coast transplants have raved about their food!)