Tiffany Thornton

Tiffany Thornton, of Slater, Mo., enjoys cooking for family, friends and coworkers. She makes creative desserts for family and coworkers’ birthdays, and she turned that into a cupcake business.

SLATER, Mo. — For Tiffany Thornton, cooking has always been a part of her family experience. She remembers learning the basics of cooking at a young age from her parents, Paul and Linda.

“I learned to cook from my mom,” she says. “I come from a long line of cooks. Growing up, my mom had my brother and I in the kitchen a lot.”

Thornton also learned about the creative side of cooking from her dad.

“My dad is a more adventurous cook,” she says. “He taught me how to be adventurous, and my mom taught me the basics.”

She has plenty of opportunities to share her cooking. Thornton works for Pioneer in Saline County, and she brings food in for office birthdays and dinners. The hobby grew into the idea to start a cupcake and dessert business, Treats by Tiff.

“You can take any dessert and turn it into a cupcake,” she says.

Thornton also enjoys cooking with and for her family, which includes her husband, Blaine; daughter, Charlot; and son, Conrad.

She enjoys putting homemade cookies in her daughter’s lunch to take to school and preparing freezer meals helps keep the family well-fed during busy times with work, kids’ activities and the family livestock farm.

“I try to do some freezer meal cooking because it works well with our schedule,” she says.

She also works with her church, the First Christian Church in Marshall, to make freezer meals for people in the community.

Thornton doesn’t have any one thing that’s her favorite to cook, but her favorite cooking experience is with family, especially being in the kitchen with her kids after a day of school and work. She says it’s a good way to unwind and connect.

“We still bake together,” she says. “I continued on that tradition my mother started with my brother and I. … I love to cook for my family, my friends.”

Thornton says she has a passion for agriculture, and food and meals are a good way to share that passion. She enjoys getting creative and learning new recipe ideas from the Food Network, reading cookbooks and recreating meals from different restaurants.

Most of all, she enjoys sharing her food creations with people.

“I love to see their reaction,” she says. “You really get to know someone when you sit down and have a meal with them."

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Ben Herrold is Missouri field editor, writing for Missouri Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.