It’s a pleasure to introduce you to this month’s featured home cook, **Tinkerbell**. A member since 2002, Tink lives in Boise, Idaho and co-hosts our Kitchen Gadgets & Appliances Forum with Katie in the UP. In her early days of cooking, this self-taught cook made Hamburger Helper every night for a year until she branched out and discovered how much fun it was to create new recipes.
The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About **Tinkerbell**
1. Tink prefers to cook everything she can from scratch and to challenge herself to try new techniques and recipes on a regular basis. She is often teased for making a food that can easily be purchased.
2. Tink has a history of working with food! At one time she ran a home-based wedding cake business with her mom and currently she works as a food columnist for a newspaper.
3. If Tink were an animal, she would be a hummingbird. She has a tendency to extract all the knowledge she can out of an occupation or discipline before moving on to the next thing.
4. She is a gadget junkie and keeps her “stash” in the kitchen, the laundry room and the spare pantry. Broken gadgets end up in the garage, in what is now fondly called the “Gadget Graveyard.”
5. She credits her dad with her willingness to eat new foods. He instilled the value of trying anything once, and if Tink didn’t like it she didn’t have to finish it; though he wasn’t above the occasional bribery of $5 to get her to try something she thought was gross (oysters!).
6. Tink’s biggest (non)cooking regret is the time she took boxed potato salad to a playdate when her son was a toddler. “Even though I never SAID it was homemade, I never said it wasn’t. It is one of the things that motivated me to become a from-scratch cook.”
7. She loves potluck meals and always cooks enough to feed a crowd. Growing up in her family, no one ever left hungry, and she wants to carry that tradition on with her kids.
8. If you give Tink a problem she will find a creative solution. For example, she once helped a friend design a Wonder bread costume for Halloween, made of hand-painted graphics on a large white pillow case and a barcode on her friend’s behind!
9. Tink recently enrolled herself in college at Ashford University. She is now working on her seventh course toward a B.A. in Child Development and has a 4.0 GPA. “It’s not easy, with my kids, the household and volunteer work on Food.com, but it’s definitely worth it.”
10. Tink’s favorite people to cook for are her husband, Bryan, and her children, Nick and Sophie. While she rarely cooks the same thing twice, her friends and family have their preferred comfort foods, including Beef Rouladen and Tink’s “famous” homemade dinner rolls.
**Tinkerbell** was a stickler for following recipes until she learned how fun it could be to create new dishes. These days this home cook is famous for tinkering with any recipe. From Potato Pizza to Spaghetti Tacos, these 10 picks turn unusual combinations into mealtime favorites
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