Behind our yummy recipes, reviews and photos are creative cooks, crafters, photographers and food lovers. This month we’re spending time with IngridH!
Born and raised in the Seattle area, this accountant is also a gardener, hiker, camper and snowshoer – and, of course, cook!
How has your gardening influenced your cooking?
Gardening has made me really aware of what’s in season and how good real food tastes. For instance, I used to despise fresh tomatoes – wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole. Once I began to garden and tasted my first fresh tomato, straight off the vine and still warm from the sun, I realized that there is a world of difference between a vegetable that’s been grown for its ability to be transported and one that is grown purely for taste.
Tell us more about your private chef business. What’s the best dish you’ve made for a client?
It’s still a work in progress, mostly because of the state of the economy. I keep my hand in by doing what I can for friends and family right now. The most fun I had was this summer, when my sister was pregnant, and on bed rest. I cooked meals for her family to try and make their load a little lighter. When I would deliver the meals, I loved seeing them ooh and ahhh over what would be waiting in their freezer.
Tell us about cooking at home and your family’s favorites. Any of the recipes on here?
I’ve been married for 14 years, and we get a lot of joy from preparing meals together. My husband’s favorite dish of mine (that actually requires a recipe) is Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. It also happens to be a great OAMC recipe, so I’ll make a big batch, enjoy some for dinner and freeze the rest in two serving portions. We don’t have any kids, but I love to cook with my nieces and nephews.
Speaking of which, what’s your favorite Food.com recipe?
I have so many favorites; it’s hard to choose just one. But if I have to pick, I’d choose Thai Red Beef Curry for Two by Galley Wench. It’s simple, flexible and just plain yummy! I love Thai curry, and the sauce in this one is just wonderful. I’ve adjusted the ingredients a tad to suit my palette, but this is the one I keep coming back to, time after time.
Do you have a fave ingredient? What about a least fave? Why?
I’d have to say that it changes depending on the season. In the early spring, I drool over fresh peas and watch daily to get the first ones picked as soon as they are ready to pick in the garden. In the fall, I wait for the chanterelle mushrooms to arrive in the farmer’s market and eat them as often as I can while the season lasts. As far as a least favorite, I’d have to say avocado. I know, most people love them, but to me they just seem slimy and gross. You can all have my share!
Do you have a favorite member/chef here at Food.com?
I play in the Game Forum a lot, so I make recipes from a lot of different chefs. I have such a wide variety of likes that quite a few chefs’ recipes appeal to me. I can say that my heat horizons have been stretched quite a bit by 2Bleu; they like their food much spicier than I do, but their recipes are so flavorful and well balanced that I keep making them anyway, usually cutting the chiles down quite a bit. I also hang out in the photo forum quite a bit, Debbwl, Annacia, and Chef Shapeweaver post such wonderful pictures of the things they have made that I just have to try a lot of those recipes- it’s just amazing how much difference a picture makes when you’re looking for dinner ideas! Zurie and Debbwl, who host that forum, are so encouraging to budding photographers; it’s a great place to come and be part of the community.
Confession time: What’s your guilty pleasure dish… the thing you eat when no one is looking?
If you’re sure no one is looking… I’m pulling out a fresh egg, a little bacon and some spaghetti to make pasta carbonara the old fashioned way — with raw egg. It goes together in the time it takes the pasta to boil, and is creamy, satisfying and delicious!
It’s your last meal: What are you having?
Probably seafood – lobster, mussels or salmon, whatever looks best at the fish counter. Vegetables in season, some pasta and a sauce heavy on the butter. For dessert, chocolate — but bittersweet! Hopefully a couple of nice wines and possibly a Port to go with each dish as well. Yes, I’m a food snob; but for my last meal, why not?
What’s your most epic cooking flop? Did you cry? Save it? Or just get takeout?
Way back when, I was in charge of bringing the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I’d never made it before and was in a hurry, so I forgot to add the sugar. They baked up beautifully, but when we served the pie, it was completely inedible. There was no saving it; we had to just throw it out. Fortunately, my family is pretty easy going and we just laughed it off — but the story still gets brought up every time we have pumpkin pie!
Dig In: 3 Favorites from IngridH
Happy Family Sesame Chicken
“From Leanne Ely’s Saving Dinner, by way of a FlyLady post. Serve with rice and a vegetable to make a meal.”
Oven Roasted Potatoes With Garlic and Rosemary
“This is a truly easy side dish that is great for company. It goes wonderfully with roasted meat or chicken. Prep time includes 20 minutes resting time prior to roasting.”
Asparagus With Lemon Caper Dipping Sauce
“This is easy, yummy and looks elegant when served for company. I’ve also used the sauce for a ‘tarter’ to dip for sweet potato fries.”
Check out our past members of the month: