I am a pastry school dropout who has dreams of her own bakery...
...I would call it Friand ! I was a part time pastry chef and full time pastry student last Spring and fell victim to the economy. When I lost my job I couldn’t afford school full time so I took a job as a reservation agent with Clipper Vacations in Seattle. It’s a fun job-everyone is going on vacation so everyone is happy and I get to meet people from all over the world. When I’m not working there I’m home baking or cooking. My official taste tester is also my husband, Jim. We got married in Tasmania,Australia-December 10,2009 ! We had previously been married before for 35years divorced for 2yrs and now make where we both belong. I also share my baking space with Mischa the Kitty and Hailey our 3yr old flat coated retriever. While we were on vacation-doing the wedding thing in Tasmania, I discovered I also like to write and when we returned from vacation I thought about how I could combine the things I am passionate about-baking,traveling and love ! Thus the blog. I’m really loving it and learning so much from everyone out there in blogland. And when I discovered the Daring Bakers I was so excited about it and couldn’t wait for the first challenge. I can’t wait to see upcoming challenges after this one ! And besides loving to travel- I love Paris and all things French-I’m sure in another life I worked as a pastry chef in Paris !
How long have you been a Daring Baker/Daring Cook and what’s your favorite thing about being in the group(s) so far?
Only a member since February 2010. I love the interaction and tips and questions-it’s an incredible resource but more than that it’s an incredible inspiration .
What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?
My favorite gadget –something very simple but very special to me,it’s a bowl scraper I brought back from Paris. My favorite appliance is my Kitchenaid Mixer-we are joined at the hip-or at least my hips are getting so large from using it so ofter I could probably balance the mixer on them!
Are you known for making a certain dish or dessert? If so, what is it?
Chocolate Bouchons-little tiny corks of chocolate heaven and Canneles-divine custardy treats !
Is there any recipe and/or technique that we haven’t covered yet that you’d really like to make/learn?
Still working on this since I’m so new and haven’t had a chance to peruse all the forums
Do you have a favorite movie? Book? Genre of music? Actor? Actress?
My favorite movie is Like Water for Chocolat-when I bake I try to put myself in that place when she was cooking with the rose petals-so much love and passion. As far as music I like jazz,easy listening,pop,rock and sometimes on occasion-rap. My favorite singer is Van Morrison.
You’ve just won $5000.00!!! What would you spend it on?
A trip for me and my sweetie to Paris
What is the ultimate comfort food to you?
Homemade chicken noodle soup with a dollop of mash potatoes swimming in the center of the bowl.
Which season (Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall) is your favorite.. why?
Fall, I love the colors of the trees,the crispness in the air,the fruit and vegetable harvest,the grapes are ready,the days are still long and warm and cool nights just made for snuggling.
Other than cooking and/or baking.. what hobbies do you enjoy?
My stained glass mosaic work,hiking with my sweetie,walking the dog and photography
How long have you been blogging? Do you like it? What’s your favorite post you’ve written?
Since vacation last fall. My travel blog at Travel pod was so much fun check it out : http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/jimnsandy/1/tpod.html My favorite food blog is going to be my first challenge one for Daring Bakers March Challenge !
What’s your favorite cookbook for desserts/baking? What’s your favorite cookbook for savory/cooking?
For baking it’s Lora Brody’s Growing up on the Chocolate Diet and for savory it’s Rao’s Recipes from the Neighborhood
Is there one food that you seriously dislike/hate? If so, which is it and why?
Lima beans-forced to eat them as a child and I never recovered from the trauma !
What’s your favorite flower and/or plant?
Lavender and roses
Do you have a favorite local restaurant? If so, why is it your favorite and what kind of food is served there?
Angasi in Bay of Fires Tasmania-it’s where we were married but they have incredible food with an emphasis on local and a super emphasis on fresh seafood
Who taught you how to cook and/or bake?
My mother and my aunt. I grew up watching them prepare for holidays and celebrations and that’s where I learned to bake
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas-I’m a lover of all things sparkly
Reading any good books lately? Which ones?!
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
You’ve had a rough week. How do you relax after a rough week?
I bake ! With a glass of red wine closeby !
Where is your favorite vacation (holiday) destination?
What is your favorite cooking/food related magazine? Why?
Donna Hay-so pretty and so delish and Saveur-love the recipes and photography in both
Do you have a food addiction?
What did you eat for dinner last night?
A wonderful salad with fresh ciabatta bread
Did you prepare it or someone else?
Little old me prepared it
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Fran’s Dark Chocolate Carmels with Sea Salt
What kind of colors do you like? Pastels? Earth tones? Brights? Neons? Etc.
Earth tones,especially sage green and cocoa brown
If you had the choice of a free kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom makeover – which would you choose and why?
Kitchen-we live in a house that was built in 1919 and the kitchen is still pretty much the same-no counter space,no storage space-I could go on and on,kitchen kitchen kitchen.
The Martha – Angel of Domestication or Minion of Evil? Why?
She’s a brilliant business woman but I have noticed in the last year or so she spends a lot of time talking over her guest or interrupting completely and not letting them finish their stories
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 it’s not competitive but Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations-love that man and want his job !
What’s your favorite “sweet” spice? How about your favorite “savory” spice?
Cinnamon,it always brings on such wonderful memories-savory –any type of chili spice !
If you could eat in any celebrity chef’s restaurant which restaurant would it be, and which chef owns it?
Le Bernardin,Chef Eric Ripert
What’s your favorite herb to cook or bake with? Do you prefer fresh or dried?
Rosemary and always fresh, anything else is just a waste of time
Is there one recipe on your blog that you would like to share with us? If so, leave the link here.
Do you have a time saving kitchen tip you’d like to share with us?
Always do Mise en place - always always always