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Hello! I'm a semi-beginner cook learning loads from Recipezaar. Great site! My cooking successes are enjoyed by my husband and sometimes my colleagues (I'm a mechanical engineer working in wind energy development). The flops (thankfully few) are enjoyed by my slightly bonkers dog, Spud, who eats anything. Just don't mention the sushi ... Aside from cooking I also enjoy gardening. I have only a very small town garden but I love to be able to grow things I can use in my cooking. I have two bay trees, a little herb patch with three types of thyme, chives, sage, rosemary and parsely. This year I'm trying to grow sweetcorn though I don't know how it will like our cool, damp summer weather here in Dublin. I'm also growing tomatoes and 'Scarlet Emperor' Runner beans. And when I'm too lazy to cook and its too wet and cold to garden I love reading - pretty much anything from my gardening and cook books to page-turning bestsellers. I'm currently reading Michael Moore's 'Stupid White Men' and Nelson Mandela's autobiography, 'Long Walk to Freedom' (quite a contrast!). I'm always on the look-out for suggestions for new reads. And if I'm too lazy even to read I enjoy a good film (movies) or listening to the radio (big fan of BBC Radio 4 - its always on in my kitchen). I love to travel (I've been to the US (Boston - the obligatory three-month stint working there when I was a student in 1995, New York (just a week in Manhattan) and California (twice - I love that place!), Australia (five months backpacking - amazing place!), Malaysia (loved the fresh fruit slices from street stalls that I had for breakfast each day, not to mention curry dumplings ... mmm!), Singapore, Thailand (the backpacker trail!) Spent a couple of weeks learning Thai cookery and Thai massage (not similtaneously!) in Chang Mai in north Thailand ... beautiful food, beautiful people (ditto Malaysia). Done a fair bit of travelling in Europe too: London, Edinburgh, Paris, Barcelona, Andalucia, Copenhagen, Kosice, Florence and my favourite of all, Rome. And one of my favourite parts of any adventure is trying out new foods. Looking forward to trying many of the recipes and tips here on Recipezaar...