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Meet the Cook: Natalie Cyphers


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Say hello to Natalie from Michigan!

Food interests: Anything chocolate, breads, pastas…basically anything that looks and sounds great!

Q. What are your favorite things to cook?
This is a hard question as I like to cook or try almost anything. Probably my favorite things to cook are chicken breast with cream of chicken soup in the crock pot, pork chops with cream of mushroom soup in the crock pot, homemade pizza (crust and sauce are homemade), homemade chocolate cake and frosting and lasagna. Since I am not a big fan of leftovers, when I make a meal I usually have leftovers that others get to enjoy (my mom and grandma seem to reap the leftover rewards!).

Q. How/when did you learn to cook?
I started cooking when I was a young girl at my parents home. We were definitely a ‘meat and potato’ kind of family. I still have recipes in my head that I use to this day!

Q. Tell us about some of your cooking triumphs.
I am going to have to say that last year was my first year of canning and it was a big success for me! I canned bread & butter pickles (everyone that has tried them has loved them), tomatoes, raspberry jam, strawberry jam, and kosher pickles. It’s like an addiction once you start!

Q. What was your most memorable cooking tragedy?
Recently, I wanted to make some homemade cupcakes for my co-workers and the first batch didn’t rise correctly so I threw the whole batch away (24 cupcakes). I made another batch and thought I would give one a try and they didn’t taste correct, so I threw the whole batch away (another 24 cupcakes in the garbage). I then reverted to a boxed cake with some homemade cream cheese frosting….SUCCESS! Maybe, my taste buds were off…not quite sure, but my co-workers liked the strawberry cake that I brought in. After I told them this story, they said I should have brought the cupcakes in anyways…lol 🙂 Also, I am not very successful at baking cookies 🙁

Q. Describe your kitchen. Do you love it, hate it, and why?
I rent an apartment so counter space is not plentiful. I do have an island that I own so that gives me more space to prepare my meals and baked goods on and to store some goodies underneath.

I have this awesome wood/wire rack that I have in my kitchen that was given to me. In this rack, I keep most of my spices, hand mixer, extra sugar, flour, and misc. I love it 🙂

Overall, I think that my kitchen is pretty nice and big for an apartment.

If there was one thing that I would change, it would be to have a gas stove/oven instead of electric!

Q. Is your pantry organized and are your kitchen drawers tidy? We need to know.
My kitchen drawers and pantry are organized and tidy for the most part. I am lucky enough to have a nice, big pantry in my apartment! One of the shelves in the pantry is dedicated to baking goods only. 🙂

Q. Do you have any favorite family cooking traditions?
No real family cooking traditions. But over the last few years, I have taken on the tradition of making a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

Q. What is the one gadget (or ten) you couldn’t do without in your kitchen?
I love my bread maker machine. My mom and grandma love the cinnamon bread that I make in it for them! Oh, my hot water bath canner. I just started canning last year and I love my canner that a friend gave to me! I also love my new stainless steel cake/brownie pans that I bought at Lehmann’s.

Q. If you had to take one food to a deserted island, what would it be?
Does chocolate count????? I love chocolate and could probably live on it. I could probably even make a chocolate face mask! I could use the chocolate to cover the taste of ants, bugs, and wildlife that I really didn’t want to taste. Chocolate makes everything better…lol 🙂

Q. What is your go-to comfort food?
I am also going to have to say CHOCOLATE!! I always seem to have some on stock and when I want or need it, I go right to it…like now….I NEED CHOCOLATE…to the stash I go…lol 🙂

Some of Natalies’s favorite recipes that she’s contributed to Farm Bell Recipes include:

“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

Bread and Butter Pickles

Italian Rotini Salad

Texas Sheet Cake

Banana Nut Bread

Strawberry Jam

See all of Natalie’s recipes!

Do you have a recipe post or kitchen-related story to share on the Farm Bell blog? See Farm Bell Blog Submissions for information and to submit a post.

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Posted by on May 28, 2011 | Permalink  

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7 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 5-28

    It’s so nice to meet you, Natalie!
    That’s a pretty roomy kitchen for an apartment, and your island sure gives you that needed counter space!

  2. 5-28

    I really enjoyed this “meet the cook”…I think because of the inclusion of the pictures. It was really nice to actually get to see inside your kitchen.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. 5-28

    Nice treat to see into the kitchen. I really enjoy the photos also, it adds to the post.
    Nice to meet you Natalie. Thanks for the pictorial tour of your kitchen.

  4. 5-28

    LOVE the wire/shelf, Nat!!!!

    I really do miss our visits with the chocolate cake 😉

  5. 5-28

    Natalie, I like your wood and wire rack. Does it have wheels on it? That would be so nice to be able to wheel it to my baking/mixing area. Everything would be right at hand instead of trotting back to the pantry for forgotten items. Love the pics!

  6. 5-29

    Thank you for the comments 🙂 Yes, the wire/wood rack has wheels on the bottom! What a great addition to my kitchen and I know that CindyP would love to have this rack one day…lol 🙂 I do not know where the previous owner bought this shelf, but maybe you can find someone to make one that is similar?! I’d be willing to post more pictures of it if someone would like them! 😉

    My apartment is very big and I am grateful for that. I know the next apartment will not be this big! 🙁

    Your welcome for the pictures of my kitchen! 🙂 I thought it would be a nice addition to the write up!

    Ok, I have to confess that the bottom of my pantry is not very organized. I do have multiple store-bought canned items down there, full canning goodies, and empty canning jars (one day I will organize that party of the pantry).

  7. 1-31

    nice to meet you,,,I am new to this,,,,and saw you was from michigan also,,,,I am from west michigan,


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