August’s featured member, Bonnie G #2, has used Food.com to become a master of cooking. This grandmother of six is a skilled bread-maker and an expert at managing large family meals.
Although you describe yourself as a beginner chef, you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. How has Food.com improved your cooking ability?
Without Food.com I’d never have reached the level of cooking that I have. Since I started using FC, my grandchildren say that everything I cook is their favorite. It’s quite a compliment, coming from some very picky eaters.
You and your husband have traveled and lived all around the world. In your opinion, what country has the best food?
It is hard to say, because I have a favorite dish for every country we’ve traveled to. We loved sharwarmas in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Peking duck in China, pasta in Italy, pisco sours in Peru and Bake ‘n’ Shark sandwiches in Trinidad.
Have you learned any interesting cultural culinary tricks during your travels?
In several countries we didn’t have an oven, which made baking a challenge. For example, in Italy we would mix our bread at home and then take it to a local bakery to bake it.
What are your go-to recipes for keeping it simple in the kitchen?
It can certainly be hectic when my large family gets together. My go-to recipes are ones that I can make ahead and freeze, such as mashed potatoes. I also like to make bread dough to freeze. I can defrost the dough whenever I need some hot homemade bread.
When the weather is nice, you enjoy picnicking with your family. What are your favorite picnic foods?
We try to make our picnics as simple as possible. We usually bring a loaf of fresh bread, different types of cheese, fresh fruit, an avocado, a great bottle of wine for the adults and a thermos of cold lemonade for the kids. The key is bringing less to carry, and items that offer easy cleanup. That leaves us with more time to wander and enjoy the areas we visit.
You have recently been experimenting with bread baking. What Food.com bread recipes are best for beginners?
A great beginner recipe is Donna M.’s Basic Sourdough Bread. For a regular yeast bread I like Dawn in Minnesota’s Everyday Bread. Both of these recipes can be made without a bread machine.
What are your biggest culinary achievements?
Without a doubt, my newfound bread baking skills. Baking bread was always something I thought that I could never do. My family and friends now call me the “bread-baking queen.” I think the nickname is a gross exaggeration, but it makes this Nana proud anyway.
What are your favorite kid-friendly recipes, and how do you get your grandchildren involved with your cooking?
I have them help with stirring and mixing, and sometimes I let them pick out recipes to make. They love making scrambled eggs, because they like watching the eggs change when they’re stirred. Of course, they all love cookies, and my recipe for Animal Crackers is one of their favorites.
What are your hobbies outside of the kitchen?
I love to garden. I have a rather large garden that includes a greenhouse, which allows me to extend my growing season and bring fresh fruit and veggies to the table all year round. I also live for some quiet reading time. Since I joined FC, I have also found that I enjoy food photography.
What other interesting facts should we know about you?
I grew up in Las Vegas with four sisters. I was a homebody and I even hated going on summer vacations with my family. It’s amazing that my married life took me so far from home. I now find excitement in making a home in strange and unfamiliar places. Traveling and living in different areas allowed me to learn several languages, including German, Arabic, Italian and a little Chinese.
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