Congratulations to genevievemarie, whose Raw Mint Chocolate Truffles with Almonds and Sea Salt won the Best Recipe with Fresh Mint contest, earning her a $100 Whole Foods Market gift card.
The winning cook in her home kitchen and her perfectly balanced, fudgy Raw Mint Chocolate Truffles with Almonds and Sea Salt
Q&A with genevievemarie
It’s midnight and you’re hungry. Do you reach for something savory or sweet?
Sweet. Breyers Mint Chocolate Ice Cream -- a special treat I occasionally like to keep on hand.
An ideal dinner party includes a) 2 people, b) 4 – 6 people, or c) 8 or more.
4-6, intimate yet lively. Small enough that you can participate in the same conversation, but big enough to create an energetic atmosphere.
How did you first become interested in cooking?
Through my parents, who not only demonstrated a love and passion for cooking, but intentionally included us in the process. From a young age I was put on a stool to help roll pizza dough, make cookies, and simply observe the happenings in the kitchen!
If you were reincarnated as a single dish, what would you be?
Spanakopita in honor of my Greek roots. Flaky pastry, with a warm, rich filling of spinach, feta, and cottage cheese...I could continually contribute towards people's happiness.
Describe your weekend cooking style.
When life slows down, I love to try something new, savoring the extra time to create a beautiful dish. Last weekend's success was a Blueberry Lemon Tart with a Walnut Hazelnut Crust and Lemon Cream.
Is there one ingredient you can’t live without?
Lemon. Essential for brightening a soup or sauce, a key player in guacamole and many dressings, and it can be used as the primary flavor to create a fresh dessert. My new favorite way to work with lemon is to preserve it in a salt brine. After a month, a new lemony flavor profile is created, and it is delicious added into salads, pasta dishes, and salad dressings.
genevievemarie with a gleaming bowl of jalapeños; slicing and dicing in the kitchen
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
My first attempt at kale chips! I cooked them in the oven and they burned slightly and were poorly seasoned. I tried to eat them knowing they were good for me (and the new trend!), but finally gave up because they were so bad. Since then I have tasted many great varieties of kale chips and have perfected my own recipe. Now I can't get enough!
What music (if any) do you listen to in the kitchen?
I love to put on music while I cook. Often it's country, sometimes worship music, and if I am in a "classy" mood then I will choose jazz!
Which cookbook(s) do you reach for most often?
I tend to gather inspiration from many sources. Blogs, magazines, cookbooks, and food I have enjoyed at restaurants. Then my imagination runs, and I like to make alterations to improve the nutritional aspect of a dish or make substitutions that are more economical or that I think would taste delicious. A favorite cookbook was a gift from my sister, D.I.Y. Delicious by Vanessa Remington, which had me hooked on making sourdough bread and experimenting with homemade mustard last summer. My recipe book from culinary school is also a staple. They just came out with a new cookbook, Flavors of Health by Ed Bauman and Lizette Marx, that has many healthy, creative food options.
What is your most cherished food tradition?
Mealtime with my family. It is not simply a time to eat, but an event. Care and creativity have gone into the process and time is taken to stop and cherish the company and the food. My parents have instilled in me a love for hospitality, and so I love the opportunity to share our food events with others.