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And her Mom! Hi everyone. My name is Shannon and I am going to be a senior in high school in Michigan.

Life is a pretty hectic with sports and after-school activities, but family time is extremely important to me. Everyone in my family loves to cook (and eat), especially my mom and me, so we joined this group as a way to spend some more time together in the kitchen. Hopefully Daring Bakers will become another way to stay in touch when I leave for college next year for a physical therapy degree.

How long have you been a Daring Baker/Daring Cook and what’s your favorite thing about being in the group(s) so far?

We are going on our 4th month in the group and we’ve loved every minute of it! My mom and I love waking up on the day the next challenge is announced and checking the blog. Then we spend at least half an hour planning on how we’re going to complete it. Of course nothing beats the actual time we spend together in the kitchen.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?

The best gadget ever is just a simple balloon whisk and my mom’s favorite appliance is her food processor.

Are you known for making a certain dish or dessert? If so, what is it?

My mom is known for her chocolate chip cookies (oh my word are they good) and I am told that I make the best chocolate cream pie.

Is there any recipe and/or technique that we haven’t covered yet that you’d really like to make/learn?

One word. Caramel.

Do you have a favorite movie? Book? Genre of music? Actor? Actress?

Movie: Remember the Titans
Book: Gone with the Wind/To Kill A Mockingbird
Actress: Kate Winslet
Actor: Denzel Washington

You’ve just won $5000.00!!! What would you spend it on?

A vacation for my parents.

What is the ultimate comfort food to you?

Oh, it’s a tie. Either Baked ziti or risotto.

Which season (Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall) is your favorite.. why?

I love something about each season. Winter means Christmas and family and cookies and everything wonderful. Summer means no school, fresh produce, and ice cream. Spring is rain, flowers, and new life. And Fall holds time for apple picking, pie baking, leaf jumping, Halloween and football games.

Other than cooking and/or baking.. what hobbies do you enjoy?

I’m a long distance track and cross country runner. I try to read as much as I have time for. I love learning and speaking French.

What’s your favorite cookbook for desserts/baking? What’s your favorite cookbook for savory/cooking?

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan has not failed me yet. And Lidia’s Italy by Lidia Bastianich (sp?)

Is there one food that you seriously dislike/hate? If so, which is it and why?

Mayonnaise. If I even eat a little bit of it, I feel nauseous. It has made me sick ever since I can remember.

What’s your favorite flower and/or plant?

Cherry trees. They remind me of home.

Do you have a favorite local restaurant? If so, why is it your favorite and what kind of food is served there?

Antonios is a family-owned Italian restaurant in the metro Detroit area. They have the best gelato.

Who taught you how to cook and/or bake?

My mom taught me how to cook and I taught myself how to bake, but my grandfather and mother owned a bakery before so I guess it’s just in my genes.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas because there are just so many family traditions and an overall cheerful mood in our house no matter what.

Reading any good books lately? Which ones?!

I am currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. So far so good.

You’ve had a rough week. How do you relax after a rough week?

Sleep. And sleep. Play with the dog. Sleep some more.

Where is your favorite vacation (holiday) destination?

Easy. Paris. It’s incredible.

What is your favorite cooking/food related magazine? Why?

Martha Stewart Living. I just think it has a lot of good ideas and interesting articles that go beyond food.

Do you have a food addiction?

Apples. I have eaten 12 in a day before.

What did you eat for dinner last night? Did you prepare it or someone else?

Actually I had oatmeal and a frappuccino for dinner last night. I owe that meal to the best Starbucks barista ever. She kept the shop open past closing to make my friend and me something.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Bread. All kinds and any kind.

What kind of colors do you like? Pastels? Earth tones? Brights? Neons? Etc.

I like really rich, deep colors like plum, burgundy, navy, black, and golds, but I’m really not that biased.

If you had the choice of a free kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom makeover – which would you choose and why?

Obviously the kitchen. It’s the most used room in our house.

The Martha – Angel of Domestication or Minion of Evil? Why?

I wouldn’t go so far as to call her either. She is a smart businesswoman with a lot of good ideas.

Do you watch any competitive cooking shows? Like Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen?
If so, which is your favorite and why?

Our tivo s full of Top Chef, TC Masters, Iron Chef, The Next Food Network Star, etc.

What’s your favorite “sweet” spice? How about your favorite “savory” spice?

Cinnamon. I put it in almost everything. Does garlic count as a spice?

Do you have a time saving kitchen tip you’d like to share with us?

Read the recipe the day before so you actually have everything you need ad can set it out to be ready to cook/bake when you want.

You can visit Shannon (and her mom!) on her Daring Kitchen profile.