Monday, October 4, 2010

From Corn to Clams

I was really excited to interview my friend A.M. I met her when I was a freshman in college at St. Edward’s (Go Hilltoppers) and she always had a great sense of humor so I knew that she would be PERFECT for the job. She’s been married for 5 years and grew up in Ohio. A.M. lived in Texas throughout college and then moved to Rhode Island when she got married. What A.M. didn't know, is that one of my favorite memories as a child was traveling up through New England and eating clam chowder and clam cakes on the sides of the road. New England has such amazing food and I'm jealous that she gets all that fresh seafood I hope you enjoy reading her interview as much as I did! Thank you so much A.M. for being a part of Salty Brownies! She’ll be sharing her favorite dessert soon!

My first memories in the kitchen were watching my mom bake cakes. She took a few cake decorating classes and then it evolved to an at home business. The tagline on my mom's business card was, "Cakes that Make Your Party Glowe"...this was a perfect name since her last name is Glowe! Anyway, getting back to my memories: I would watch and my mom in the kitchen and she would be talking about baking. She would say things like, "Great cake makers squeeze the frosting with a firm and steady hand from the top of the pastry bag." "Be sure to scrap the sides, you want all the batter in the cake." As a kid this advice made me sad because I always wanted to so badly to lick the mixing bowl and the mixers. ;-) Sometimes we would get to try our frosting skills on a plate if there was extra frosting left over from when she made the cakes.

Ahhh! Disasters in the kitchen. I think disasters make you a better cook. It means you are willing to experiment! One of my disasters was with My First Thanksgiving dinner that I decided to create for my brother and boyfriend. I was on Thanksgiving break from college staying with my brother. I went shopping and began reading the family recipe that my mom gave me. I was bugged out with the fact that you had to pull out the organs of the turkey before cooking the thing. I needed to put on rubber gloves and called my boyfriend over for support. GROSS. It ended up that I did not even get all the gizzards out. When we carved the turkey a heart was still in there! YUCK! Oh yeah, I burn meals about 3 times a year. This happens when I have too many things cooking at once or if I am on the phone with a friend or family member. Can anyone really multi-task? Maybe we all just say we can?

I like to think that I am still learning how to make a great meal...I like exploring new cuisines so I began a Gourmet Club with three other couples. We choose a theme and all take turns with what to bring to the dinner. We have been doing this for about 5 years. The way it works is one couple brings appetizers, another drinks and finally the dessert. The couple who chooses the theme and hosts creates the main course. Our gourmet club has a blog...I will send you the link and you can see the dinners that we have been successful on!

For the most part I love what everyone else loves when it comes to cooking. Some of my favorite cuisines are Thai, Asian, Tex Mex and Mexican.

No fear in trying to cook, I fear I won't have enough time to do a good job, then I try to take short cuts...not a good idea with a new recipe.

I asked my husband what people say about my cooking and he said, "They think you are a great baker!" That was a nice way to say....I am still learning to be a good cook and I have a feeling it is because my roots are in from the Midwest. The Midwest mentality towards food is to enjoy the flavors that the food. Generally, you do not need to spice it up. Just taste the flavor that is already there...maybe you add pepper. From a health standpoint our cholesterol is awesome, but from a taste standpoint we could improve our daily currently, I am using different low cal marinades and spices and I love it! Now, I know what Christopher Columbus was looking for keeps eating interesting.

Now, we are living in Rhode Island, to tell you the truth cooking here consists of chowder, lobster, scallops, shrimp, littlenecks etc. Popular dishes that people commonly have in RI are stuffed clams, better known as stuffed quahogs. I am not fond of fish smell in the house, so I have not ventured to cook these lovely sea creatures from scratch. I have happily bought pre-made New England dishes from the butcher/sea market and baked them. Maybe around Lent (No meat on Fridays) I will be more adventurous and try to cook some New England dishes.

My family menus are classic at the holidays- turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas, ham for Easter, My husband's family serve a seven fish meal on Christmas Eve, and since his mother is Italian they serve pasta with every holiday and a few times they had lamb at Easter. We don't have any kids yet, so we still are swapping turns at our mom and dad's places, so we still have the chance to establish what we will cook for our family.

I would love to cook for Curtis Stone, he is a celebrity chef that is easy on the eyes. The reason I would choose Curtis is because I would actually be secretly trying to get him to teach me his wicked mad skills. BRING THOSE SKILLS CURTIS! I would NOT want to ever meet or eat with Rachel Ray. I have a love/hate relationship with her. She gives great tips, but her personality is annoying, especially when she says EVOO!!! Aaaaaahhhhhh. What is so hard with saying, Extra Virgin Olive Oil? On a side note, there are websites that have hate groups on Rachel Ray. I am not the only one who finds her obnoxious.

One of my last meals would need to include a dessert called Strawberry Pretzel Dessert..sweet potatoes.....hmmmmm.....other than that I am not sure what else would be on the menu.

The Middle East sounds interesting when it comes to their cuisine. I would love to go there and try things blindly. I know that they make hummus and I love that!

Candles are in my freezer and batteries are in my fridge! If you have melted candles stuck in a glass holder you can freeze them and then the melted candle will pop out cleanly. (Sometimes you need to use a little force with a knife.) I have read that keeping your batteries in the fridge will keep them fresh and working better when you use them.

My guilty pleasure is licking the batter bowl or eating cookie dough! Yum!

Eating veggies was natural and easy for all of us in the family. I still load my plate with veggies today! I grew up eating a salad with every meal and loved it.

I don't like saying that I don't like certain foods because as time goes on I noticed that my palette changes and honestly I don't want to sound prejudice! ;-) Right now, I shy away from dark heavy beers- like guinness and on a day to day basis I stay away from pink ham. I find ham super salty. I mean who likes to retain water weight?

Recently, I mentioned to my husband that I love that he loves CHEESE. I think it makes our cooking relationship just work out so well. It would be hard to live with someone who doesn't love cheese. Cheese makes so many meals amazing. Chocolate is a side item for me...I like to dip things in chocolate or have nuts and chocolate but I am not a purest when it comes to chocolate.

A favorite recipe...Strawberry Pretzel Dessert...I will have to get it from my mom! Look to the blog in the future and I will give Danielle the post.

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