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I am a private piano and flute teacher with 50 students, so getting dinner prepared earlier in the day, while watching my 2-year-old grandson, is sometimes a real challenge. I love to cook and I love collecting and trying new recipes. I was born and raised in Texas, and for most of my life have mainly cooked Southern and Tex-Mex, and also Italaian & Asian. In the past couple of years I have been experimenting with Indian, Moroccan, and other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. I have yet to really dabble in French, but Ina Garten has made some simple dishes I want to try. I don't care much for other European cuisine other than Italian, but maybe there's something I don't know. I'm Irish, but that food seems a bit boring, espeically because I love pungent spices and a bit of heat. Crock-pot dishes are a lifesaver with my schedule, so I'm always on the hunt for something different that's beyond the usual chicken with creamed soups. I am most famous for my Southern Thanksgiving spread which family and friends look forward to all year. I am told I make the best gravy in the world, thanks to my ex's grandmother from South Carolina. Secondly, my family adores my chicken and dumplings. I have wanted to write and publish a cookbook for years, but have yet to do so. I did, however, make sure that all of my recipes were on my computers, which took a good week or so back in 2001.