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Melissa

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Made by Melis

I’m an architect, who recently moved from New York City to Montgomery, AL...

...with a lot of free time on her hands. I like to apply my passion for design and creativity to all aspects of my life, which includes being in the kitchen.

How long have you been a Daring Baker/Daring Cook and what’s your favorite thing about being in the group(s) so far?

I’ve been a daring baker since May 2008 . My favorite thing to make was the éclairs!

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?

My kitchen aid is my must have for every challenge. My favorite gadget is a peeler.

Are you known for making a certain dish or dessert? If so, what is it?

I am most known for cupcakes… red velvet to be more specific.

Is there any recipe and/or technique that we haven’t covered yet that you’d really like to make/learn?

I would like to work with yeast some more. There are so many recipes out there!

Do you have a favorite movie? Book? Genre of music? Actor? Actress?

My favorite book is the Alchemist, I try to read it at least once a year.

You’ve just won $5000.00!!! What would you spend it on?

I would probably go eat at Per Se and/or French Laundry and other high-end restaurants.

What is the ultimate comfort food to you?

Bread, crackers. Carbs in general!

Which season (Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall) is your favorite.. why?

Fall is my favorite. Apple pie and pumpkin pie!

Other than cooking and/or baking.. what hobbies do you enjoy?

Running and yoga.

How long have you been blogging? Do you like it? What’s your favorite post you’ve written?

I’ve been blogging from the kitchen since March 2008 but I’ve keep keeping other blogs since 2002.

What’s your favorite cookbook for desserts/baking? What’s your favorite cookbook for savory/cooking?

Right now my favorite baking cookbook is Baked: New Frontiers in baking. My favorite cookbook for everything else is Bills Food at the moment.

Is there one food that you seriously dislike/hate? If so, which is it and why?

There isn’t much I dislike.

What’s your favorite flower and/or plant?

My favorite flowers are lilies and plants are lavendar.

Do you have a favorite local restaurant? If so, why is it your favorite and what kind of food is served there?

There are too many, I really can’t decide. But if I had to pick one, it would be Yama in New York City. That is where my husband and I had our first date.

Who taught you how to cook and/or bake?

I was self-taught.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is Christmas, who doesn’t love presents!

Reading any good books lately? Which ones?!

What I talk about when I talk about running. Highly recommend it, especially if you’re a runner.

You’ve had a rough week. How do you relax after a rough week?

Yoga! Bikram Yoga would be best!

Where is your favorite vacation (holiday) destination?

Montreal, it feels like you’re in Europe without the long trip. Food, people, culture, parks, they have it all.

What is your favorite cooking/food related magazine? Why?

Cooking Light and Cooks Illustrated.

Do you have a food addiction?

I would say I am addicted to Le Pain Quotidien’s brioche and baguette!

What did you eat for dinner last night? Did you prepare it or someone else?

Rice with beef stew. My mother-in-law cooked.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Nutella

What kind of colors do you like? Pastels? Earth tones? Brights? Neons? Etc.

Neutral and greys.

If you had the choice of a free kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom makeover – which would you choose and why?

Living room b/c that is where everyone congregates.

The Martha – Angel of Domestication or Minion of Evil? Why?

Angel of Domestication. She is just brilliant.

Do you watch any competitive cooking shows? Like Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen? If so, which is your favorite and why?

Top Chef and Iron Chef. I love iron chef, it really opened up my eyes to creative food combinations and innovative techniques of cooking.

What’s your favorite “sweet” spice? How about your favorite “savory” spice?

Vanilla is my favorite sweet spice. I recently have been using vanilla paste substituting for vanilla extract in a lot of my recipes. My favorite savory spice is fresh ground pepper.

If you could eat in any celebrity chef’s restaurant which restaurant would it be, and which chef owns it?

Thomas Keller’s Per Se. I have dined there before and it was amazing!

What’s your favorite herb to cook or bake with? Do you prefer fresh or dried?

Thyme, either fresh or dried is fine.

Is there one recipe on your blog that you would like to share with us? If so, leave the link here.

I would love to share my roasted garlic white chocolate cupcakes.

Do you have a time saving kitchen tip you’d like to share with us?

If you use ginger often, it would save a lot of time by grating or mincing the ginger ahead of time. Then put it in a ziplock bag and flatten as much as possible and freeze it. When you need to use the ginger, just break off a piece from the frozen sheet.

You can visit Melissa on her blog Made by Melis