An Interview with Micki:
What is so great about olive oil?
Olive oil has been named the healthiest oil on earth. It is loaded with mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and those MUFAs are what lower your bad cholesterol. Many health studies have proven olive oil reduces bad cholesterol and aids in the fight against heart disease. When baking desserts with olive oil, you will use about 1/3 less fat than if you were to choose butter, margarine, shortening, or lard - all of which are all unhealthy for the body.

Do your desserts have the strong taste most always associated with olive oil?
When baking desserts, I use pure olive oil or a very mild tasting extra virgin olive oil. Pure olive oil is a blend of extra virgin olive oil and slightly refined olive oil. There are two reasons why I often use pure olive oil, rather than extra virgin olive oil; first, because it contains the same amount of healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) as does extra virgin olive oil. Second, because it is cost effective. Ounce for ounce, the cost of pure olive oil is about the same as butter. I do adore fresh pressed virgin olive oil and do use it in place of other fats in all other cooking.

If I make your desserts for my family and friends, will they notice that they're "healthy�
It seems that most everyone wants healthier food, but does not want it to taste healthy, and I am no different. As I am creating my dessert recipes, I keep this in mind. My recipes are delicious and they are good for you.  Rarely does anyone detect that my desserts are made with olive oil. In fact, I have received many emails stating the opposite - that desserts made with olive oil are moist and delicious.

Do you use sugar in your dessert recipes?
My dessert recipes use sugar. Where I can lower the sugar content in a recipe without effecting the overall taste and texture of a dessert, I have done that. There are various natural sugars on the market today, and I have used many of them. When doing this, I find that there is rarely a difference in the finished product. I do steer clear of all artificial sweeteners because the finished product is often less than desirable. I am a believer in real food and real sugar is no exception.

I have heard that many of your dessert recipes can be made into a whole grain version. Is that true?
Many of my recipes can be made with all purpose flour or with soft wheat flour. Soft pastry flour is also known as "whole wheat pastry flourâ€. It is a different wheat berry than that used to make hard wheat flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is lower in protein and gluten than that of a hard wheat flour and because of this fact, the final dessert remains moist and delicious. Either way I give you the choice, and teach you how to do it.

What's in the future?
I am working on simple healthy recipes for college students and newly married couples. In our fast paced, fast food lifestyle, many people have not yet learned the joys of cooking and baking at home. I would like to help young people on a budget learn how to make simple, healthy and inexpensive meals at home.

Tell us about your family: How many children, ages, what you do together in the kitchen and outside of it?
We are a family of 6. My husband David, three sons, (Ryan 18, Chris 17, Michael 14), and my daughter Jessica 9. We also have a Golden Retriever (Sandy), a cat (Cali) and 8 chickens (fresh eggs). Our family enjoys camping, hiking, snowboarding, Disneyland, and eating desserts. This year we became involved with the Heart 2 Home foundation, and enjoy doing community service. My husband and children are all snowboarders, but I am a California girl and even after 22 years in and out of Utah, I still miss the warm weather. Give me a beach, and I'm there! We do cook and bake together and as tradition goes, everybody is a creative cook! I have to say my boys are especially talented in the kitchen.