I have been cooking and baking for a very long time. Pretty much since I was a kid. I used to beg my Mom to let me do Sunday dinner and then I'd go all out. I'd search recipe books for days looking for something a little out of the ordinary for both dinner and dessert. What I found was, most of the time, I would treat the recipe as a suggestion, an inspiration.
It is rare, to this day, that I ever follow a recipe to the letter. And that is how I've managed to come up with several original recipes - I like to be inspired but I also like to be original. Now, that's not to say that each recipe was a winner - or even edible! Trust me, I've had my share of failures, some of which even the dog wouldn't eat!
But, along the way, I've had a great time learning about a lot of stuff like:
- Meal preparation
- Meal presentation
- Ingredients (and things you can and cannot substitute)
- Kitchen Gadgets and Appliances (truthfully, I haven't met a kitchen gadget that I didn't like)
Although I'm not a chef, I do have is a passion for food that tastes good, looks great and is easy to prepare. I've also been a wife and mother for more years than I'll admit to, which has to count for something.
I also carry a few extra pounds (sometimes more than few!) but have decided that I'm not actually overweight - I'm under-tall!
It's tough to enjoy cooking/baking and also be thin - so, as the title says, I have learned to stop worrying about diets and enjoy my cooking.
What is my inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration has come from the people in my life and their encouragement.
My Mom, who I miss dearly, allowed me to cook some Sunday dinners at a very early age and encouraged my blossoming interest.
My Dad was, and still is, an experimenter. To this day he, also, treats recipes as suggestions and often does the "what if I just do this" style of cooking.
My kids and I used to make cookies together when they were young and their suggestions and ideas helped me develop a cookie recipe that can be made into many different types of cookies from one simple dough recipe.
My husband, Geoff, who is quite an accomplished cook himself, is often the guinea pig to my experiments. He is always, bless him, honest in his appraisals. Although he is also gentle in his criticisms. I know it's not a winner when he quietly says, "Okay, I guess we won't have this one again."
Having said all this, baking is actually my forté, hence the name of the site Victoria House Bakery. So, even though you will find recipes other than baking ones on this site, a lot of it will be devoted to the art of baking - bread, cakes, pies, cookies, squares, etc.
So, you may ask, why Victoria HOUSE Bakery? After all, my last name is Wells, not House. That is an homage to my husband's British heritage. His Grandfather owned a very large grocery shop in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire not far from London, which was named Victoria House. So, we thought it appropriate.