“I feel so lucky to have found one of my greatest passions in life – (which is cooking!) and building a community around the food that I make.”

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Stephanie is @graceandgarlicfingers – a blogger, personal chef and recipe creator

Get to know Stephanie in this Q&A and get her “Taco pop tarts,” TUESDAY (3/26) from 3:30-7:30PM! Follow her on Shmeal and on Insta – @graceandgarlicfingers.

Q: What’s your cooking background?

Stephanie: I am proud to be a self taught chef! But, I didn’t grow up in the kitchen. I started getting more immersed in cooking when I was in my mid-20s. At that time in my life, I was dealing with some personal traumas and being in my kitchen cooking was one of the only things that offered peace and solace to me.

Stephanie is a self-taught cook!

As the years went on, the more I learned about food and technique, the more obsessed I became. I feel so lucky to have found one of my greatest passions in life – (which is cooking!) and building a community around the food that I make.

Q: Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?

Stephanie: I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago and grew up in a predominantly Italian household. (Cue lots of pasta and tomato-based meals).

Stephanie’s “Taco pop tarts” TODAY from 3:30-7:30PM! “My favorite ground beef taco filling is baked with spices, cheese and green chiles in a puff pastry crust (sour cream also included as a topping). My favorite chili lime black beans are served on the side.”

My other childhood favorite dishes were fettuccine alfredo, my Mom’s chicken noodle soup (featuring Mrs. Grass noodles) and chicken parmesan. No one would’ve guessed I would’ve turned out to be the foodie, because I was always the pickiest eater of the bunch!

Q: What’s your favorite food memory?

Stephanie: There are so many favorite memories involving food that it’s hard to pick just one! Most of my favorite food memories aren’t from special occasions, but from random weeknights or Sundays when I spend the day making a meal for my tribe. The only thing more amazing than cooking is sharing the fruits of your labor with friends and family (and then having them swoon over the food).

Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?

Stephanie: There is love and passion in everything I make! Again, food and cooking is all about community for me and I’m so excited to build a community on Shmeal! I’m also always open to suggestions and trying new things so please let me know if anyone has any requests! Please also follow my food blog and Instagram page @graceandgarlicfingers.

Follow Stephanie to see what she makes next! 🏡 And get her “Taco pop tarts” TUESDAY (3/26) from 3:30-7:30PM!

By Shmeal

The Shmeal Team. 🐖💻

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