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Interview II

 

 

When did you start cooking?

      I wanted to start cooking when I was about two or three. My mother always let me play with the pots & pans in the kitchen. I pretended to cook on a cardboard oven at age five. 

     I also had an Easy Bake oven in which I made a lot of chocolate cakes (and ate them too). 

 

Easy Bake Bundle - Oven and Mixes

 

    It seemed I just wanted to cook from a very young age and was very curious about what was going on in the kitchen. 

     My first real creation on a real stove was puffy eggs. Most likely it came from my curiosity to see what would happen if I used a scrambled egg mixture in an egg poaching pan. By the time I was eleven I was making lemon meringue pie and strawberry jam.  We had our own garden and enjoyed fresh fruit and fresh grown vegetables. My father really worked at enriching the soil on the farm/campsite where we lived in Africa. He took so many rocks out of the soil and then finally he started to grow his own tomatoes, corn and zucchini. I remember my dad making fried zucchini blossoms as a child. We definitely never went hungry. 

 

Why do you love multicultural cooking?

     After touring Europe and working as a personal chef in both the United States and Africa, I came to understand the "comfort food" of the international family and the culinary preferences of the American palate. Cooks from every culture have made a unique contribution to our kitchens. We should celebrate our cooking heritage and take pride in the foods we have created using the ingredients we have learned to love. I enjoy the flavors presented in many foods. From curry to a delicate custard, there is an immense variety of flavors and textures.  

 

Whom do you most admire?

     The women I admire the most are Barbara Walters and Oprah. They can talk to anyone and are genuinely interested in people's lives.

     I also think Anthony Robbins was influential and helped me change a lot of the ways I was thinking at a pivotal point in my life. Carolyn Myss helped me recognize my self-esteem issues and that helped me to pull myself out of a very deep depression caused by the loss of a long-distance relationship. 

     When I was at a "rebirthing" stage in my life I discovered a very healing CD by Robert Shahidi and his influence on my life is significant. He helped me to see that I was not alone in my goals and that living through emotional pain was possible. After listening to that CD I started to refocus my energy and think about life in a much less pessimistic way. 

     I admire the men and women in the world who find the time to cook for their families even though they may have very little to cook with. 

 

How do you relax?

     Believe it or not, cooking is actually relaxing for me. Lately, I've found I enjoy a bit of gardening and writing has become a sort of hobby for me. See this page for my reviewing journey.

     These days I find myself reviewing books for Amazon. It is not only relaxing, it is enlightening. Books hold most of the secrets to life. I also enjoy listening to music or recorded books while reviewing or working on this site. 

 

 

Cats Make me Happy

What makes you happy?

        I love cats, cooking and people caring about me. Nurturing our spiritual selves can only bring us more joy and happiness. For the best life, I believe we should forgive, give, hope, laugh, encourage, love, play, read, serve and think about positive things. I go through cycles and I've had to learn what to do when feeling blue, but overall I am working on being more balanced. Reading  helps me stay focused and I love helping new authors and writing reviews is very rewarding. I live for reviewing. I am probably at my happiest when I'm either watching a movie recommended to me by my best friend or I'm surfing at Amazon. I also like swimming, taking walks with my cats and talking to friends about reviewing. 

 

Who and what inspires you the most?

     Sandra Lee, Christopher Kimball, James Beard and Julia Child (through books), Sharon Tyler Herbst (she is such an expert on everything to do with cooking) and all my friends and relatives who have given me so many creative ideas for recipes and cooking techniques. 

     The inspiration for the recipes also comes from the foods I grew up with and have sampled all over the world. 

      I am also inspired by Frances Mayes and her experiences in her books about Tuscany. I would run away if only I could, but there are too many books on my shelves. I guess I could run away to Tuscany one day and write reviews from Italy although I've always dreamed of having a home in Provence, France. 

 

What is your idea of the perfect summer meal?

    A simple chicken salad with a balsamic dressing. 

 

What is your idea of the perfect winter dessert?

     Apple crumble with a rum-butter sauce.  Everyone loves it!  

 

What is the most difficult thing for you to say no to?

     Chocolate! 

 

What are your favorite creature comforts?

     Down comforters, hot chocolate in the winter and a leather couch to lounge on while reading a good book. I also secretly love teddy bears.

 

 

Rebecca's Internet Kitchen

 

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes - we tested these a lot :)

We are still trying to find something wrong with them. Maybe one more test!

 

 

What was your most embarrassing moment in your cooking experience?

     After I was married, I invited my grandmother and aunt over for dinner. I had a beautiful crystal bowl and had placed it in the freezer filled with ice. Just as we were starting dinner, I brought it to the table. The handle snapped off sending the bowl crashing into a crystal salad bowl. My poor aunt had crystal all over her lap and plate. So much for impressing your relatives. I've learned to never put crystal in the freezer! 

 

How do you save time?

     I always carry a list of things to do. If I am in the neighborhood of a store I need to go to, I don't have to make another trip. I  shop mostly on the Internet.  Even if you have to return an item, it beats standing in line at a department store. I used to buy all my groceries online, but lately I find going to the store is more enjoyable and you can pick
out the produce you are happy with instead of being satisfied with what the grocer brings to your home. Amazon.com does have a new gourmet store that looks just intriguing. I've started to review various items. 

 

A Store I Love

Amazon's Gourmet Food Store

 

 

What is the best advice you ever received?

    "Follow your Dream." 

 

Who are you in reality?

     I'm a Gen Xer (born 1967), so I tend to see the world through rose-colored glasses. I'm also a complete Virgo: practical, analytical, perfectionist, a real romantic. I'm not good at pretending to be anyone I'm not. Living in the moment leaves me more satisfied. 

     I'm also a "mystery-seeker" and seem to be drawn instinctively to the edge of my knowledge. I get energy from not knowing and also love testing out new ideas. I'm curious about a wide range of subjects and my reviews tend to reflect that aspect of my personality. I'm seeking to understand and I can be insatiably curious. 

     My father nicknamed me "question box" as a child. I enjoy playing with words and ideas. My minor was psychology so I'm also interested in knowing how people think and why. Mystery Seekers will often "Experiment and even willingly include self as part of the experiment." 

    Projects make me restless until I complete them. I'm completely devoted to each project I undertake and work at it until it is completed. The problem is, I'm overly creative at times and have more ideas than I can handle by myself.

     I am driven to achieve some measure of success. I'm probably overly conscientious and can become a bit obsessive when involved in project that hold a deep interest for me. I like critical analysis, but have to try not to be too critical and demanding. 

     When someone mentions an idea to me, I put it on the backburner and then all of a sudden I will be looking at a magazine, see an article, and have to send it to them. It is as if I forget the thought for the moment, but it is simmering in my mind. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and a solution to a problem will just pop into my head as if I was working on it all night in my sleep. 

     I tend to be more aesthetically aware and appreciate the beauty in life. To me, life is a series of commitments and I thrive in places where security is valued and nourished. I have been told I have the "gift of helps" in that I would rather cook than be entertained. Although lately, I've been eating out more. 

     I am driven to participate in online life and tend to be deeply committed to any cause I take on as a project. I am the most self-disciplined when I have a cause or a project. Most would say I am a "blue" personality. That is not blue as in sad, but is a personality type. 

 

What is your vice? 

     Until recently, I didn't know people could be addicted to online life. I work online, so it isn't like I'm just hanging out, but still, I mean, the Internet is so entertaining. 

     The Internet can help you form connections in your mind that you didn't even know existed. I think better while I'm working online.

 

What is the best feeling in the world? 

     Being in love with life. 

    

Continue to Interview III

 

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