Hello, my name is Hailey and welcome to Tasteful Cuisine! Here is my attempt to  answer any questions you may have:

About Me

I am an animal lover (especially cats), wife, writer, and aspiring chef. I was born and raised in Southwest Missouri. I grew up in a wonderful home with my dad, mom and two older brothers. I'm married to my best friend, Mark, and together we have our dachshund, Lady, and two cats, Roscoe and Mufasa.

I love everything about food, I often daydream about food and what I want to make for our next meal. I decided to start a cooking blog to showcase all my favorite recipes.

About Tasteful Cuisine

I started my blog, Tasteful Cuisine, in March of 2013. I wanted a place where I could develop myself as a writer and share my recipes. I try to share my own recipes, family recipes, recipes I've tried from other blogs and tips I've learned along the way.

The past few years, I have followed and read numerous cooking blogs and finally decided, I needed one too! I hope this will be a place where I can learn and grow as a writer and chef.

Important notes about what I will be cooking

I do not cook with peanuts or tree nuts of any kind. My husband, Mark, has sensitive allergies so I omit these from my cooking. Occasionally I may have a recipe containing nuts. If that's the case, it will be a recipe that I am taking to a get-together that Mark is not attending or eating from.

I prefer to make everything from scratch as much as possible. I use natural ingredients and try to stray away from products laden with preservatives. For example: I do not use canned condensed soups. I often try to make my own sauces where these are used in recipes. This is for health and allergy reasons. Plus, I'm a big believe that anything homemade is better than store bought. So I always try to make homemade when possible. I'm not a big radical when it comes to using something pre-made, but I try to be as natural and health conscious as possible.

Where did you learn to cook?

My mother. She is an excellent cook! Growing up, she always made sure we helped in the kitchen. The very first thing I remember making was a batch of cookies (which are still my favorite thing to make). I grew up watching her in the kitchen, picking up her tricks and techniques.

I made many small dishes over the years but I mostly loved to bake. I usually wanted to make the dessert at any family or holiday gathering. Pies, cookies, cake and cheesecakes were my specialties. Once I got married in 2011, I realized I needed to broaden my repertoire (because we, uh...needed to eat). I had spent most of my teenage years and early twenties making nothing but desserts. I knew how my mother made most of our family favorites, but I had never actually done them myself. I spent the first year of our marriage, practicing many different recipes, new and old. Once I focused on the cooking aspect and not the baking, I developed more as a cook (I still have a soft spot in my heart for baking).

I also have picked up a lot of my knowledge from cooking shows. I absolutely LOVE America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country. I watch the show multiple times a week, even it's a rerun because you always pick up something new (You might say, I'm a little obsessed...) I do subscribe to Cook's Country magazine as well. I will try many of their recipes on this blog and refer to many of their tips (because they just have so much!). I watch a plethora of other cooking shows as well: The Chew, The Rachael Ray Show, Chef John Besh, Nick Stellino, Lydia Bastianich, Jacque Pepin and anyone else who's show looks interesting. We get the Create channel of PBS so many of the shows I watch are from there.

My philosophy is that you can never stop learning and you can always improve. I feel that learning to cook is a constant journey of trial and error. I'm still evolving as a chef and none of my recipes will ever be set in stone. I aim to improve upon the ones I post and try new ideas that stretch my abilities.

Did you go to college? 

Yes. I often had dreams of going to culinary school to become a pastry chef. I had a love for baking and artistic design and felt it would be a career for me. I never pursued this because I was too afraid to move away from my family. I'm kind of thankful that I did not pursue culinary school since my cooking preferences have slightly changed. 

It took me a while to decide on a degree but I completed my degree in five years. I originally went to a small Christian college and after three semesters, switched to Missouri Southern State University. I graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with hopes of working in editing. I currently do not work in my degree field but do not regret my major of choice. I believe God works all things for good and that I will use my degree in some shape or form.

How did you and your husband meet?

I met my husband, Mark, in the 3rd grade. We were on a bible quiz team at church and quizzed together for 2 years. Our families later moved from that church but rejoined when were 14. I was very quiet and shy as a teenager and did not become involved in the church group until a year later. Mark asked me to his homecoming dance when we were 16. I declined because my parents did not want me dating until I was 18. We became good friends and hung out through most of high school. Everyone thought we were a couple even though we never went on any dates, only church functions and gatherings with family and friends. We attend junior and senior prom together and officially became a couple during the latter part of our senior year. We dated through college and remained committed to finishing school before getting married.

Mark and I got married in September 2011. If you count the years of being "best friends" we were together a total of 7 years before we married. We often heard jokes of how long we were together and heard: "it's about time" too many times to count, but I honestly believe it was all in God's timing. I believe we needed to focus on school first and allow time for maturity in our relationship before marriage. Mark is one of the most patient, hard-working men that I know and I thank God everyday that he blessed me with him! 

How can I follow you?

You can follow me on: Facebook, PinterestTwitter, Google +, and Instagram

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