Michelle Barrera is the ambitious home cook we all aspire to be. Her well-stocked pantry is painstakingly organized. Her cookbooks are wrapped grade school-style in brown paper to prevent splatter damage. She taps detailed notes about every big family dinner into an iPad complete with a debrief on which dishes were hits and misses.
She’s thrown numerous shindigs for 100-plus guests in her home while simultaneously cooking every morsel of food and remaining a gracious hostess. But right now, Barrera has had it all the way up to here with the requests from her husband and three adult children for a beloved — but hugely labor-intensive — dessert she’s been roped into serving at regular family meals.