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I'm the mother of an awsome 17 year old daughter, who keeps me very busy. She is now driving and constantly wanting to take the car somewhere. She is a pretty amazing person - she does well in school, helps around the house, is very responsible and actually keeps her room pretty clean! I feel very lucky! She is also developing a love of cooking, but right now it is mostly cookies and brownies. I think she really likes the thought that she can produce something really delicious and impress her boyfriend :-) She also developed a love of sewing after not being able to find clothes that fit the way she likes them. She alters almost everything she buys! And it really comes in handy when I need something sewn! In January, I accepted a position as a Compliance Manager overseeing 4 branches of a major investment firm. It has been very challenging, but I'm learning a lot, and while I'm very overwhelmed, I'm really enjoying it. When I started this job, my office was in Torrance, but after a month, my office was moved to Santa Monica - right on the Promenade and just 2 blocks from the beach and Santa Monica Pier. Very cool area, all types of people walking around all the time. Not sure if I'll be in that location permanently, as it is quite far from home, but I'm liking it so far. My mom subscribed to the Taste of Home and Quick Cooking magazines and always ordered the annual cookbooks. When she passed away, I inherited all of her cookbooks. I've started to post recipes from those books, because it helps me keep track of my favorites. We have a very sweet 6 year old greyhound mix, Sally, who keeps us constantly entertained. She is very lovey and playful, but is always looking for trouble :-) On 1/3/08 we brought home our newest pup, Lucy, a very sweet beagle we found at the animal shelter. Sally isn't quite sure what to make of her yet, but Lucy would really like to play with her, so hopefully they will become friends. We also have a little grey cat who we just call Kitty. He is one of those cats who keeps to himself most of the time, but on the weekend mornings he demands attention and wants to play - but just for a little while, then he retreats to his room (my DD's room) and sleeps the day away. Since I found RecipeZaar, I've developed a reputation with my friends and family as a fabulous cook! This site gives me the tools to try things I never would have thought I could make! I've always been an OK cook, but in the last year or so, I've suddently realized that I really enjoy cooking and entertaining. I don't like spending hours in the kitchen, though, so I'm always on the lookout for quick and easy recipes and I've found so many here. As most people do, I usually start with a recipe and change it to suit the taste of my family or to what I have on hand. I throw together my own dishes often, but haven't posted them, because I never measure anything and just add ingredients to taste. Both of my parents were excellent cooks - both actually cooked in restaurants and my dad owned a restaurant for a few years. All of my friends loved eating at my house when I was a kid, because there was always something good cooking. My mom always had a garden and apricot tree, and she loved canning. We never had store bought jams, dill pickles or canned tomatoes when I was growing up. These days, my pantry has all store bot stuff - I always watched my mom do her canning, but never learned. Unfortunately, my recent love of cooking has shown in the wastelines of both myself and my husband. Now I'm starting to look for lower fat and calorie recipes and trying to learn how to lower the fat in the meals that I love. Pet Peeves...Mean reviews! I've seen so many mean reviews just because someone didn't like the recipe. Just because one person doesn't like a dish, doesn't mean someone else won't think it is a 5 star recipe! Also, it seems like every recipe that says "authentic, from my grandmother who lived in (you name the country)", someone has to say that the recipe isn't authentic. Just because one German family makes something different than another German family doesn't make it any less authentic. Different regions tend to have variations. OK, that is my gripe and it feels good to get it off my chest :-)