For Gaiero, cooks and bakers must have a love for the activity, as it all comes down to enjoyment.
“You’ve got to love doing it,” she said. “If it’s not fun, don’t do it.”
She doesn’t worry so much about presentation, as long as her creations taste good, she said, and urges other cooks to keep that in mind. The first cake she ever baked stuck to the pan, she recalled, and she initially hesitated to ever want to bake again.
“Nothing’s perfect,” she said. “You just keep trying and have fun. You can always start over.”
We’re looking to share the recipes and secrets of amateur cooks who have a knack in the kitchen and consistently amaze their family and friends with their culinary skills. If you know a great cook or are one yourself, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM KATHY’S KITCHEN
Below are recipes for some of Kathy’s favorite sweets, as well as two of her favorite Thanksgiving side dishes:
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 15 Minutes
1 1/2 sleeves of Saltine crackers
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips (1 package) If you like, try different varieties, such as peanut butter or white chips.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Arrange the crackers in a single layer on the baking sheet so there are no empty spaces in between them. Crush any remaining crackers into small crumbs and set aside for now.
Place the butter and brown sugar in saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir while the butter melts and bring to a rolling boil.
Once boiling, carefully pour the sugar-butter over the crackers on the baking sheet in an even layer, trying to cover most of the crackers. If you miss some spots, don’t worry as the toffee will spread in the oven.