First thing you remember baking: Long days of bread baking with my mom, using our steam radiators to assist the dough rising.
Favorite goodie: In the last few years, I have fallen in love with a pastry called a Kouign-amann--a dense sort of puff pastry that is almost creamy in the center, while crunchy with crystalized sugar around the edges. A while after becoming obsessed with these bites of joy, I discovered they were from the Brittany region of France, which seemed all too perfect!
Favorite ingredient: I know it is unpopular with a lot of people (they say it tastes like soap), but I absolutely love lavender in sweets. I'm also a huge fan of rose water, rhubarb and candied meyer lemon.
What's the best part of your day: Whenever I get time alone in the kitchen to try a new recipe. Or, when I get to spend some play time with my kitten.
Perfect breakfast: Slow, soft scrambled eggs with any sort of leafy green and topped with creme fraiche, with a side of warm, buttered bread and ripe fruit. And a cappuccino! (Who am I kidding? A slice of cold pie!)
Dessert first or second: Dessert as separate mini meals!
Best workday soundtrack: I once worked in a kitchen where we established bluegrass fridays. Blasting Old Crow Medicine Show, Dr. Dog and Trampled By Turtles during prep certainly keeps the kitchen alive.
Personal mantra: I'd say this changes daily for me, depending on my state of mind and my obstacles, but I know one sentence I can tell myself that will get me through any trivial struggles: "You can have a slice of pie when you get home tonight".
I see the glass half... hopefully full of one of my mom's fresh squeezed juice concoctions. Or an iced cappuccino.
Cats or dogs: I always need to have a feline in my life. As I write this, my wonderful kitten, Ira Kousmichoff Vock, is cuddling by my side.