The name. It's unusual--she's heard every way to mispronounce it that there probably is, but it is really very simple. Jaa is pronounced like "Jay", it's just spelled a bit differently.

Jaa has been interested in cooking and food for as long as she can remember, and collects antique & regional cookbooks whenever she can find them. She learned cooking basics the old-fashioned way: from Mom, Grandma, and Great-Grandma. Through the years she has been fortunate to learn at the side of professional chefs, but still loves to make and improve old family recipes. Her favorite time of year is the holidays when the cooks in her extended family gather on Thanksgiving weekend for the Annual Cookie & Candy Making Extravaganza--enough treats get made to go through at least a 50 lb bag of flour.

Jaa believes that a recipe is just a starting place; a better recipe is just a spice cabinet away; and a cooking failure may be inedible but next time it will be delicious.

In her spare time, Jaa manages social media and public relations at CHEFS Catalog. She also values our reader's and customer's input. You will see her poking around answering emails, comments, and questions that are posted on posts or come into our CHEFS Mix inbox.


A Guide to Cooking and Enjoying Fava Beans

Fava beans are delicious and rich in nutritional value. After fava beans have been shucked, they're traditionally added to stews, soups and salads.

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No Foolin': New Custom KitchenAid Stand Mixer Just for Mom!

Mother's Day is quickly approaching. And if you haven't seen our new Limited Edition Mom's Kitchen KitchenAid Stand Mixer, come on in and take a look. Plus we are giving one away: don't forget to enter the CHEFS Mother's Day Giveaway!

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Bawk, Bawk Mr. Easter Bunny!

Colored eggs are beautiful symbols for the rebirth that comes with spring. I have been on the hunt for some new and interesting ways of making Easter Eggs this year. I have come across several unique and interesting kitchen crafts you may want to try this year!

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We are in love with waffles! Fluffy waffles for breakfast, waffle fries for lunch, and even waffles for dinner. But what is the best waffle maker? We looked at a few waffle makers, and made a whole lot of waffles. Here is what we like and didn't like about each, plus a recipe or two for yummy waffles from our friends at Cook's Country.

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Let Them Eat Pie!

Today is National Pi day. While some folks will probably celebrate the mathematical constant, we choose to celebrate the sweeter tradition of pie!

Pie is an American tradition. Whether it is served a la mode or with cheese, pie is one of my favorite ways to finish a meal. We have some tricks and tips for perfecting pie crusts

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Spring Stir-fry

Looking for a quick, one-dish meal idea with plenty of room for creativity? Try making one of these five delicious stir-fry dishes. Plus hints and tips on making stir-frys, the wok, and common Asian ingredients.

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Good Cookies Gone Bad

I have made this chocolate chip cookie recipe hundreds of times. It is my family's favorite and is usually the cookie of choice filling my cookie jar. This past weekend something went terribly wrong. So a little research later, and I know what went wrong. Here are some cookie baking hints to help you the next time you are tempted to make cookies.

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What A Crock!

Okay, I couldn't resist the pun! The design of a tool crock for the kitchen seems like a no brainer. What could we possible do to a utensil crock to make it that great? Well, let me count the ways…

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Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Coconut is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. You can use the meat, juice, milk and oil. It can be baked in sweet treats and added to savory meals. But first you have to crack the thing open.

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Cold February Day = Chicken Pot Pie

A wintery, February day puts us in the mood for more comfort food. Today we are craving Chicken Pot Pie. It may be cold on the outside, but this delicious meal keeps us warm on the inside!

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Quick Breads

A quick banana bread, coffee cake, or muffins are easy to make and delicious for breakfast as a snack or for dessert. Most quick bread recipes are versatile and substituting ingredients is fairly easy. However, quick breads can be challenging to keep moist. Try these hints and tips to keep your quick breads moist and delicious.

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Spaghetti Squash

I got myself on a squash kick. After posting yesterday I made some Spaghetti Squash for dinner. Spaghetti squash, in my opinion, is one of the most underutilized vegetables in the kitchen. A winter squash like pumpkin, this is a delicious and healthy option for either a main course or a side dish.

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The Joys of Winter Squash

Few vegetables are as dependable - or as heartily satisfying - during these cold months as winter squash. While most other vegetables are coming from the hothouse and do not have the same flavor as the spring crops, this is the time when winter squash is at its peak. I can find a wide assortment at my grocer: from butternut to kabocha, there is a squash for any meal, savory or sweet.

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Valentine's Day Dinner Made Easy

Still haven't figured out what to make for Valentine's night dinner? Today we present a menu that keeps the cooking time to mid-week friendly, but is a little more special than an everday weeknight meal. Added bonus: you probably have most of the ingredients right in the pantry!

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Croissants Made Easy

I love croissants! Their tender and flaky texture and buttery flavor are just an ideal combination. Like chocolate and souffles, there is something about the croissant that just is synonymous with Valentine's Day and sweethearts. Maybe it is the vague beginning of a heart in the crescent shape of the pastry, or maybe it is just because they are most associated with Paris, the City of Love and Lights. Whatever the reason, I think they are the perfect pastry for Valentine's Day. Today we take a look at how to make croissants with a perfected recipe from America's Test Kitchen.

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