Susan McGreevy says she enjoys cooking with vegetables, in particular butternut squash. Her butternut squash risotto is a winning recipe amongst loved ones for whom she cooked, and now it's been deemed a winning recipe among thousands as chosen by Just a Pinch Recipes, a recipe sharing website.
According to a Just a Pinch spokeswoman, only 2 percent of the 125,000 recipes posted on the site ever earn blue ribbon honors.
The Port Jefferson Station mother of two said the recognition was simply a nice surprise for something she already loves to do.
"I love everything associated with cooking. Planning a menu, food shopping, putting a recipe together, cooking it," she said. "I love cooking for people, making people happy. When someone enjoys something that you make, it feels really good. It’s a passion of mine."
McGreevy said she began using the website to plan a family cookbook, a collection of recipes handed down for generations in her family that she created as a Christmas gift for family members this past holiday season. The oldest of her parents' seven children, she said she has been cooking since her teenage years.
The blue ribbon award for her butternut squash ravioli isn't her first; about a year ago, McGreevy won another for a vegan pumpkin coconut cake she perfected for her sister.
She enjoys having dinner parties and family get-togethers. Once, she said, she did a French-inspired dinner in which each course was paired with a complementary wine. And McGreevy said she has also begun cooking for folks who have become ill, spreading word through her church, Infant Jesus in Port Jefferson.
Her husband, Mike Duffy, is a professional chef. "I always have him taste test everything for me and make sure I’m not totally off the mark with something," said McGreevy, who has a career managing an infertility practice.
"I don’t have the guts to [cook] as a full-time career," she said. "Who knows, maybe someday my husband and I will retire and we’ll open up a bed-and-breakfast. For me, right now, doing it as a hobby and cooking for other people is what I love."