Cooking is my passion. It allows me to be creative when I’m normally not. Anything I cook makes me feel good: desserts, lunch, dinner, or snacks. I’m most relaxed in the kitchen, apron on, and ingredients everywhere. It’s like a challenge to see what’s in my fridge and pantry and to see what I can create. Every pot and pan I have waiting on my stove, a pantry full of ingredients at my leisure, an eager family waiting in the other room, ideas tumbling around in my head, utensils cleaned and ready, my mind goes somewhere else and I am in my element. My passion is waiting. The simpler the ingredients, the better. I can’t decide whether to use pasta, rice, or potatoes. My hands instinctively grab for the olive oil to prep my sauté pan. A dish in my house is not complete without garlic so I start there. Within minutes I have the veggies sautéing, the pasta boiling, the salad resting, the meat searing, and the fresh bread baking. The aroma wakes my family from whatever they were doing and they join me in the kitchen to chitchat and watch me work. Swatting my husband’s hands as he attempts to sneak a bite is instinctual; he has to wait for the finished product like everyone else. The meat is resting and waiting to be sliced, the fresh bread is cooling on a platter, the water glasses are waiting to be filled, and the table is set. I get anxious as everything is finishing at once and my husband helps by draining and tossing the pasta with some olive oil to keep it from sticking. The veggies are perfectly tender in the garlic butter cream sauce and look beautiful atop the tri color pasta. I feel proud that my family enjoys my cooking as much as I do. Their joy is the reason I love it so much. It’s finally time to eat.