Nov. 15, 2011 at 9:43 AM ET
Meet Liz Della Croce, this week's winner of TODAY's Home Chef Challenge! Her healthy, delicious pesto chicken pasta with Swiss chard won 56 percent of the vote. Get the recipe here, and read on to learn more about Liz, who hopes to carry on her aunts' cooking skills with a finger-lickin' good Middle Eastern meal.
Name: Liz Della Croce
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
How does it feel to win the Home Chef Challenge? It is a thrill and an honor to be featured. I am so excited for the opportunity to share my recipe with others. Last year I started my food blog, The Lemon Bowl, for this very reason! Food is all about sharing.
How long have you been cooking? I have been cooking for as long as I can remember. As a young child, I stood next to my great aunt Vieve as she prepared Middle Eastern dishes and I have vivid memories of those times. She is gone now but I have the privilege of making her famous hummus platter with toasted pine nuts for our family’s holiday gatherings along with other favorites. My goal is to master these dishes so that I can pass them down to the next generation.
Share your favorite cooking tip: Garlic is a cheap, healthy and delicious way to add a major flavor boost to food. I love using a Microplane to grate fresh garlic into salad dressings, soups, pasta, stir-fries and more. You don’t have to dirty a cutting board and no one ends up with a big bite of garlic.
What would be your ideal last meal? A spread prepared by my aunt Paula that might include tabbouleh, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, baked kibbee and other Middle Eastern specialties.
Are you up for the challenge? Enter your recipe here, and vote for next week's winner.