Williams sees cooking as social experience

Williams sees cooking as social experience

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For Torri Williams, cooking alone isn’t the full experience.

“I enjoy cooking when it’s done with a group of people, and we all enjoy the food together and make it a social experience,” Williams said. “I live alone, so when it’s just me it’s a little harder to cook. When there are other people around and you’re talking with them and having fun, it’s a lot more enjoyable.”

Williams said she enjoys cooking at functions and get-togethers with family and friends, and even cooks while on vacation.

“I have a group of friends I vacation with, and we all cook together wherever we go,” she said. “Food is a big part of our family get-togethers, and it’s a great social event.”

Williams was born in Arkansas and moved to Neshoba County in 2006. She currently works as the Human Resources manager at Weyerhaeuser.

Her cooking journey began when she started cooking macaroni and cheese and baking chocolate chip cookies when she was just five years old.

“As I got older, I started making soups since we would move around frequently and be in cold places a lot,” Williams said. “I would make grilled cheese sandwiches along with soups and would help my mother prep dinner. By the time I was in middle school, I could prep dinner on my own and make things like pot roasts, and when I got to college, I started making more complicated things like beef Wellington.”

Williams said desserts were and still are her favorite things to make.

“My favorite things these days are crock pot recipes and sweets,” she said. “I bake a variety of different cookies and cakes, like chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, and cakes like caramel, strawberry, and chocolate.”

SLOW COOKER 

CHICKEN CARNITAS

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

3 lbs boneless chicken cut into 2-inch pieces (may also use pork)

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons dried Mexican Oregano

1 cinnamon stick

1 1/2 cups orange juice

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker (if using pork, brown it before adding it to the slow cooker). Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours until meat is tender and pulls apart easily.

EASY ALFREDO

8 ounces pasta

2 tablespoons butter

1 ½ tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

Black pepper (to taste)

¼ teaspoon dried parsley (optional)

Boil water and follow package instructions to cook pasta. In a large skillet, melt the butter.

Stir in butter to make a paste, lightly brown. Whisk in milk, removing lumps. Stir in nutmeg and pepper. Gradually stir in grated parmesan cheese until melted. Spoon sauce over cooked pasta.

Optional: garnish with parsley.

Variations: add grilled chicken, boiled shrimp, or fried pepperoni.

TORRI CAKE

1 box of devils’ food chocolate cake mix

½ cup olive oil

1 ½ cups water

16 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 ounces chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, olive oil, and water. Pour into a lightly greased cake pan (13 x 9).

In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Stir in chocolate chips. Add cream cheese mixture to cake batter by spoonful.

Bake for one hour at 350 degrees (or until the toothpick comes out clean).





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