Shelley Stockmaster is a full-time college student, but does her fair share of teaching.
About a year ago, the Norwalk woman started a monthly children's cooking class for all ages in her home. A fellow Pampered Chef consultant, who does something similar, was the inspiration.
"I thought what a great time to spend time with my kids and teach them the fundamentals of what I didn't learn as a kid. I thought it sounded (like) fun," the 38-year-old single mother said.
"I typically don't do it in the summer because it's too hot," she said.
Stockmaster makes her featured recipe, onion dip, about 10 times a year at every major holiday. A friend gave her the recipe four years ago and it soon became one of Stockmaster's regular recipes.
"At any gathering, it's assumed: Bring the dip," she said.
For Thanksgiving, she and her siblings have specific dishes to bring. Her sister handles the mashed potatoes and her brother is responsible for the pies. Stockmaster takes care of the green bean casserole.
"Christmas is more of a finger food type of thing," she said.
If asked to have a dish for a potluck supper, Stockmaster usually brings her onion dip or hot pretzels.
Her oldest daughter, Cassie, 11, admits to not being a "big fan of dips."
"They're not much into onions," her mother added, also referring to her youngest daughter, Beth, 7.
Stockmaster's top three comfort foods are: chipped beef gravy ("Yum," Cassie chimed in), spaghetti and homemade vegetable soup.
"I love that," Cassie said about the soup.
Stockmaster most often makes grilled chicken, pork roast, roast with carrots and potatoes and smoked bratwurst. When cooking, she always has onions, fresh garlic, flour, milk and olive oil handy.
The worst thing she ever made was deviled eggs.
"I had too much paprika on them and nobody would eat them," Stockmaster said.
The "trick" to the best thing she makes, lasagna, is to include Italian sausage and pepperoni.
The feature cook, who is studying accounting at the Firelands campus of Bowling Green State University, encourages new cooks to not be afraid to experiment. Stockmaster also makes sure her daughters try new foods she serves them.
"That's our rule here," added Cassie, who discovered her favorite fruit is kiwi after she tried it.