OSI: Gretchen from Canela & Comino

Let’s give a warm welcome to our host this week, Gretchen of Canela & Comino who picked the Lenox Almond Biscotti.


1. When did you start baking?
I started baking as a young girl alongside my mom and grandmother. I remember making things out of a Strawberry Shortcake cookbook when I was around 8 years old. Once I was out of college, I realized that I have a love for baking.

2. Do you have a favorite baking memory?
I think every time I have baked alongside my friends, I have created a baking memory! Those are special times that I will not forget!

3. Who is your TWD blog idol?
I am always impressed by the comparisons Shari from Whisk: A Food Blog shares with us. But overall, I can appreciate that baking, photographing and blogging about each recipe each week truly takes time and effort. I think that makes all of the TWD blogs an inspiration for me!

4. What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?
I really enjoyed the Gooey Chocolate Cakes. I had to give them away immediately!

5. What recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?
Salt & Pepper Cocoa Shortbread – it just sounds interesting!

6. What 2 questions would you ask Dorie if you ever met her?
“What do you find as challenges in the kitchen?” and “Can I be your apprentice for a month?”

7. Share one food item that best describes the last year of your life. (example: “frozen pizza” because I did a 180-degree turn this year, or “cinnamon roll” because it had lots of twists and turns but overall was pretty sweet)
I think blanched & sautéed vegetables. Why? Because of the process…first you boil them, then dunk them in ice water and then sauté them until they have that sweet caramelization. Some things in my life this year have felt like boiling water and ice water…I am just waiting for the sweet part to result from it all.

8. What one item in the kitchen best describes you and your personality?
I think I would say a cookbook, because I am often full of good ideas. I want to show you and tell you how to do things. I am trustworthy and worthwhile to spend time with over a cup of coffee. I can be creative and back-to-basics all at the same time. Oh, and I am organized too.

9. What’s your favorite band or CD of all time?
All time, I am not sure…but I really like listening to Juanes.

10. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
This may sound strange and not extravagant, but I would like to live on a small farm for a year. I think it would be great to grow everything I eat.

11. Complete the statement “I recommend…” (it can be a show, movie, book, restaurant, website, activity, etc.)
I recommend eating Peruvian food. Period. No exceptions.

12. If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what dream would you attempt?
I would write a cookbook of Peruvian food which would include recipes, photos of markets, kitchens and farming throughout Peru. It would be sort of a coffee-table book for the photos and cookbook for the recipes. So if there are any publishers or sponsors reading…

13. What super-power would you most like to have, and why?
I would like to fly so that I can get between different countries quicker and without the hassle of booking tickets.

14. If you had 1 hour of free time, no distractions, what would you do?
I think I would sit with a cup of coffee and read a magazine.

15. What is the meal and dessert you would choose as your very last?
I would choose Peruvian food. I would eat a Juane which is comparable to a jungle tamale accompanied by tacacho (fried & mashed green plantains) as well as hot sauce. For dessert, I would ask for a bruleed Peruvian rice pudding so I could get the best of both worlds – crème brulee and arroz con leche!

16. What is the “strangest” food you ever ate?
Cold pig tongue with taste buds still visible, cold raw pork fat, and rattlesnake.

17. What are three adjectives that describe you?
Organized, detailed, intentional.

18. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
The fact that I am committed to things and people that are important to me.

19. Have you ever met a famous person? who?
I went to high school with Kristi Yamaguchi.

20. What’s your favorite spice?
That is kind of a hard one…it depends on what I am making…can I share my favorite place to buy spices instead? Whole Spice has been my spice supplier during the past several years. They have fresh ground, flavorful spices for reasonable prices.

21. Do you speak another language? (If yes, say something and translate)
Claro que si! Aprendí conversar en español cuando me mude al Perú. Creo que me puedo comunicar mejor en español que en ingles.
(Of course I can! I learned to speak Spanish when I moved to Peru. I think now I can communicate better in Spanish than in English.)

22. Do you have any pets? (List what kind of pet, names etc)
Not currently. I have had a few cats and hamsters as I grew up.

23. Are you a ‘morning’ or ‘night’ person?
Both, really. Afternoons are when I tend to crash but I get a lot done in the mornings and tend to catch a second or third wind towards the end of the day.

24. What was the last book you read?
Memories of a Boy Soldier…I started and finished it on Sunday.

25. “2 Truths And a Lie” – Share 3 unique things about yourself and your life, 2 of them true, 1 false, and let the group guess which one isn’t true.
** I spent two years with the peace corps in Africa.
** I lived in England for three years as a toddler.
** I have never redeemed any frequent flier miles.

7 thoughts on “OSI: Gretchen from Canela & Comino

  1. I love Peruvian food–we spent two weeks in Peru last fall on vacation and fell in love, totally. I always enjoy reading your posts that focus on Peru, Gretchen. As for the last question, I’ll guess that the 2nd one is not true. No reason, just picking. :)

  2. Wish I was a publisher — I’d publish your cookbook in a hearbeat! (But I’m not.)

    I’m going to guess #3 because it sounds like you must have a lot of frequent flyer miles.

  3. Ooooh, look at all of those fantastic desserts! I enjoyed reading your bio.

    I’m going to guess #2 is not true. I just can’t believe someone wouldn’t redeem their frequent flier miles, lol.

  4. I did read your comment and I have also read many disturbing stories/book of the same nature about other countries in Africa and South America. I just have to take a break once in awhile, because it stays in my head. I am going with #3

  5. All your pictures are beautiful. It was really hard just to choose a few from your blog b/c all of them are awesome! Can you teach me how you make those cool banners across your pictures? Photoshop? Please…

    As for lie. I say #3. I get the feeling you are a jet setter and I can’t imagine you wouldn’t redeem! HAHA

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