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I love to cook. My idea of the perfect gift is a cooking gadget, which amuses my family to no end. I was given the choice of a lovely sapphire ring as an anniversary gift or a set of titanium cookware, and it was really no shock to anyone that I chose the latter. I am particularly interested in heart-healthy cooking and love to find recipes that are both healthy and jam-packed with flavor. However, that said, I do not try to make healthy desserts. I’d rather have a smaller portion of a decadent, naughty sweet than an entire tray of something that tastes wholesome. I am a Marine wife, happily married to the kindest, sweetest military man there is. I am a stay-at-home mom to a daughter and two dogs, a Pug and a Dachshund. I am a massage therapist with the goal of going to nursing school, hopefully in the next couple years. I did not grow up in a family where cooking was an integral part of our lives. My bag of cooking tricks has next to nothing learned from my mother or grandmother, so I am very much starting from scratch. At first, I needed to learn to cook the basics so I could provide home cooked meals for my husband and daughter. However, in a surprise twist, I actually enjoy cooking. I like the entire process. I like to make as much as I can homemade, and I enjoy the challenge of cooking dishes that don’t utilize premade, store-bought shortcuts. Unfortunately, I don’t have any friends who enjoy cooking. This is a real bummer for me since there’s almost nothing I enjoy more than sharing my recipes and having others share theirs. Since we are a military family, there is always the hope that when we relocate I may meet other home cooks who love to share their secrets. Until then, I’ll have to get my food fellowship time in online. When not in the kitchen, my number one favorite thing to do is read. I have a degree in English Literature that enriches my life to no end but has not turned into something I’d like to do as a career. I often read a novel while cooking, which explains why the books I pass onto friends often have olive oil or tomato stains on some of the pages. I also enjoy writing, though I don’t seem to have the attention span to finish much of anything. I am currently writing product reviews for a green living blog. I am not a social butterfly, a personality trait I have tried to change but to no success. Give me time alone with a good book or a page to write, or give me quality time with my family or one of my three close friends (all of whom are several hundred miles away from me), and I am completely content. The only part of socializing I enjoy is being able to cook or bake for others. Put me in the kitchen during a party and I’m all set!