United States Chef
I'm a home cook who strives to learn how to make all things from scratch-- while balancing my busy life as a working wife and mom. I try to buy (and grow) the freshest ingredients possible. My culinary skills are an ever-evolving process of trial and error. I love to cook and bake, equally. Many of my recipes are influenced from my mother's Southern German background, and my dad's Mexican heritage. I have a list of things new recipes and dishes I still want to learn how to make. I enjoy sharing my self-taught lessons with a photo tutorial. Come join me, in my kitchen.
Definitely my mom. She owned a German Deli, and I endured wearing Lederhosen or Dirndls as a young teenager. Little did I know that, years later, my mom taught me to be a business woman and a pretty organized cook. My "Nana" (dad's side) could make some seriously good Mexican food. I watch a lot of cooking shows. Even if I wouldn't make the recipe, I'm learning new tips and techniques.
I live in the Salinas Valley of California, where I can buy organic and fresh produce year-round. My commute to the Monterey Bay is right past the Fisherman's Wharf, where I can buy fresh seafood and we have plenty of free-range cattle ranches, too. I'm very lucky in that respect.
My husband and adult son are my biggest inspirations in trying out new recipes and they give me honest feedback. They loves and appreciate what I make-- oh, and they also do dishes!
- Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking (Jeff Hertzberg, Zoe Francois)
- Fresh bread after coming home for work-- and it's delicious. I'm in! Love this book
- The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook: Every Recipe from the Hit TV Show With Product (America's Test Kitchen)
- Cook's Illustrated's TV Show that is chock full of no-fail recipes. It's one of my Go-To Sources
- Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is Th (Ina Garten)
- Ina's recipes pretty much describes how I like to cook and bake.
- Tyler's Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Any Time (Tyler Florence)
- He's a talented chef and his recipes are easy for me to follow.
- My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur (Romney Steele)
- I've been coming here for lunch for decades. This book is a beautiful tribute, lovely recipes.
Chefs I recommend
- Hubert Keller (San Francisco, CA)
- I love his show on Public Television. He makes every dish look easy to make.
- Tyler Florence (Marin, CA)
- What can I say? He's eye candy, but he really knows how to cook. I had the pleasure of meeting him, and he's a very approachable chef who appeciates his fan base. I've made many of his recipes, which are simple to make but flavorful.
- Ina Garten (CA)
- Her recipes are easy to understand and always "good" ingredients.
- Anne Burrell (NY)
- She might talk to her food, but she knows how to cook and bake!