Food interests: Comfort food and country cooking. Nothing too fancy to feed the big boys and grandbabies.
Hobbies: writing, sewing, reading, crocheting, cooking, baking and crafting
Q. What are your favorite things to cook?
I’d love to be able to say “lean, healthy meals,” or something equally as noble–but the fact is Home Cooking Comfort Food has always been my favorite thing to prepare.
Anything that makes the family go– “Oooooh…yum!” So Chocolate Caramel Cookies, Buttercup Bread, Cheesy Lasagna, and Fresh Peach Ice Cream are all big on the list.
Q. How/when did you learn to cook?
My mom let us kids dink around in the kitchen when we were quite young so by the time I was about nine, I could make cupcakes and easy cookies. Not always pretty–but tasty nonetheless. Also, my father was a professional chef, so food–how it looked as well as how it tasted–was a big deal.
Q. Tell us about some of your cooking triumphs.
I have a secret cream puff recipe that I bet could sell for about a zillion dollars–yeah, it’s that good. But the right millionaire just hasn’t offered yet. ha ha. It’s fabulous though and has been the absolute hit at quite a few occasions in this town. The only job I ever get at family weddings is “…to make the cream puffs.”
Q. What was your most memorable cooking tragedy?
I actually started a business delivering cream puffs all over town and did well enough for the first year or so. Then we found out that the name of our company was also the name of an online porn site. I couldn’t go on, knowing that people might be looking for us and getting…them. So I quit. That was pretty awful.
Then there was the Lamb Cake that some friends and I made for our senior class homemaking project. It turned out to be a nightmare–in a funny sort of way. Or hysterical in a nightmarish sort of way. Whichever.
Q. Describe your kitchen. Do you love it, hate it, and why?
Middle-sized kitchen with lots of counter space and light. That helps because–being a blogger, I’m always trying to take pictures of whatever we’re cooking at the moment. We have a nice open pantry as well, which is fun. Someday I would love to have basic ingredients in drawer bins–that sounds like heaven to me–to be able to just grab what you need without a struggle–it’s just right there.
Q. Is your pantry organized and are your kitchen drawers tidy? We need to know.
Because there’s a little one in the house, all the treats and snacks are on the top shelf. Meal options and ingredients are on the next shelf. Cooking ingredients are on the third shelf. On the fourth shelf down we keep cake pans, cookie cutters, cookie sheets, pie plates and party ware. On the floor level is where the flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc., are kept. Yeah, the kitchen drawers are tidy enough. I know what’s in them anyway.
Q. Do you have any favorite family cooking traditions?
My father had quite a “thing” for gingerbread houses. He was famous for holding gingerbread house classes all over the state–and many knew him as the Gingerbread Man. So early in December, to celebrate his birthday, every few years, we get together and make our own gingerbread houses–with his recipe, of course. The smell of the spices reminds us all of him cooking away in his little shop.
Q. What is the one gadget (or ten) you couldn’t do without in your kitchen?
There are a couple. I’m not a fan of microwave ovens–I know, GASP! but I’m not–so I really love our toaster oven. It’s wonderful to have an actual toasted cheese sandwich now and then, or to be able to make 6 waffles at a time, and they’re not soggy!
Also, I love my food chopper. We use it for everything that needs to be broken up, diced, or chopped. And it’s really fun to work with.
I also love my apple slicer–from Pampered Chef–no, this is not a paid advertisement! I use it several times a day to cut up apples for everyone. It makes it so much easier to get the kids to eat apples.
Lastly, I adore my pastry blender. We use mainly it to blend hard boiled eggs with a little butter and salt. Yummm!
Q. If you had to take one food to a deserted island, what would it be?
Provided I had a way to keep it fresh on this deserted island, I’d have to say eggs…or cheese…or French bread…or potato salad…or…Symphony chocolate…oh, how does anyone answer this question? It’s too hard. I hope I never have to decide!
Q. What is your go-to comfort food?
Cheetos. I know, I know. But I loved those crazy things so much as a kid that I used to get my own bag for Christmas. The shine hasn’t worn off yet.
Some of Launi’s favorite recipes that she’s contributed to Farm Bell Recipes include:
See all of Launi’s recipes and blog posts.
Suzanne McMinn on April 24, 2011 | Permalink
Launi blogs at Gracious Rain.
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