naples34102 Profile - Allrecipes.com (18863788)

naples34102


naples34102
 
Home Town: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Living In: Mequon, Wisconsin, USA
Member Since: Aug. 2004
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Italian, Nouvelle, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting
Recipe Box 1 recipe
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White Chocolate Key Lime Endeavor with Macadamia Crunch
Creamy Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake
Exchange Gang Pasta with Shrimp
Grilled Rosemary Chicken Breasts
  
Summer Penne Pasta
Is there anything cuter than a toddler eating an ice cream cone?
Pub Chops
About this Cook
After raising two children and putting them through college, they are now on their own and my husband and I are empty nesters. Not better, not worse, just different! My husband's job has always required a lot of travel, but now I accompany him on all his trips. It seems we travel more often than we're home, sometimes several trips a month! I have seen and experienced some amazing things and while I do get homesick, I'm blessed for the opportunities to see so much of our country. And, since a great deal of my husband's work is in Naples, Florida, we have a second home there and enjoy our little getaway. When we're home, we've established a new ritual of dining, just the two of us...beautiful music, lots of glowing candles and a martini(Chocolate for me, Traditional for him) while we work together in the kitchen to make creative and elaborate dinners.
My favorite things to cook
While the kids were growing up, cooking meals was more a daily function than a satisfying experience. Once my "work" was done, I always found great satisfaction in baking. Now I've stepped beyond the "kid friendly" meals, and have really enjoyed trying more creative dishes for meals. Baking, however, is still my greatest joy. I still make the family favorites when requested, but I love experimenting, trying new recipes, putting twists on some of them, and try to master higher-skilled techniques not so familiar to me. No distractions anymore, so I now have the luxury of having the time and opportunity to work on more complicated recipes!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Having started cooking at age five, and at my age, there are many memories of family cooking traditions, and I still use them on holidays when we're all together. By far my favorite is our Christmas Eve dinner tradition. I am a second-generation Italian-American who continues to follow traditions set forth by my mom, grandma, and probably by the women before them too. We have a traditional, meatless, Italian Christmas Eve Dinner which has always included spaghetti with sauce made from tuna and anchovies (trust me, you don't taste the tuna or anchovies!), baccala (salt cod), and Shrimp Scampi. It wasn't always the kids' favorite, but they've come around! And I know they'd think something wasn't right with Christmas if it was any other meal!
My cooking triumphs
Consistently preparing beurre blanc and other emulsions perfectly and understanding why!
My cooking tragedies
I've only had one cooking tragedy, but it was a doozie! When my son was about 10, I was in college and preparing my Senior Thesis. I had been studying long hours, getting very little sleep, and still trying to keep up with my domestic responsiblities as well as taking care of the kids and getting them to all their activities. On his birthday I sent him to school with brownies for his class birthday treat. Easy...I made them so often I could do it blindfolded. I'll never forget when he got off the bus after school that day, carrying the empty pan and with his head hung down. Clearly something was wrong! He told me I had forgotten to put the sugar in the brownies, and I can only imagine how embarrassed he was as his classmates sunk their teeth into them! I couldn't have cared less about my cooking failure, but only that I was responsible for my son having a not-so-nice birthday at school.
Recipe Reviews 2367 reviews
White Chocolate Key Lime Endeavor with Macadamia Crunch
How could I not be tempted by a recipe with such an enticing name? I set upon to make this with great anticipation. Unfortunately, because of some problems I encountered, I can't rate this recipe highly. First, I think it's fair to say most will interpret a 9" pie pan to mean Pyrex. And even if not, since it would be at least fair to say they MIGHT use a Pyrex pie dish, the recipe should warn that freezing (or even chilling) the dish, then putting it into a hot oven, is not recommended, as it would invite a potentially serious accident of a shattered dish. This cautionary advisory is important! I chose to use an 8" square metal pan. Next, my years of baking experience should have alerted me that baking the crust 25 minutes is too long. So long that I threw out an expensive, over-browned crust and started over. Fifteen minutes was more like it. The butter/chocolate filling blended nicely, but just as I feared, once baked with the filling much of the butter melted and pooled at the top. I had to sop it up with paper towels. This was the ultimate deal breaker for me. To sum up the final result, the crust was tough and salty (I have not seen unsalted macadamia nuts - almonds would be a cheaper and no-salt option), the chocolate /butter filling too rich - like eating a stick of butter. The overall flavor was good, but largely due to the Key Lime pie filling. One could accomplish as good or better result, easier and cheaper too, just making a Key Lime Pie.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 29, 2014
Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake
Hubs gushed over this. "One of those recipes I tell you I love that I'll never see again." (I rarely make the same thing twice) This is moist and chocolatey, just what you want in a chocolate cake. I preferred it without the Butterfingers frankly, as it was a little sweet, but Hubs said without them this is just plain chocolate cake. (What's wrong with THAT?) A homemade frosting in my view,Creamy Chocolate Frosting, also from this site, made all the difference in the world. To have used the canned frosting directed in the recipe would have been a real deal breaker.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 26, 2014
Exchange Gang Pasta with Shrimp
This recipe has been on the radar (at least mine anyway) for a loooong time and frankly I don't know why I haven't tried it until now - and I regret it. Keri, I'm impressed. You were certainly up to the challenge on this one. To be given a prescribed, predetermined set of ingredients, as was the case here, and come up with a dish - let alone one as good as this - takes a seasoned and creative cook so kudos to you! I changed the cooking method a little for my own comfort level, and didn't measure anything precisely. But aside from using heavy cream rather than half and half and a mix of butter and olive oil, I did not deviate from your creation. Hubs took my mom out for dinner tonight at a very nice restaurant in Milwaukee (I'm in Naples) and I can only hope their $$$$ dinner was even half as good as mine. This is just a simply beautiful dish all the way around, in presentation as well as taste. No need to deviate from your recipe at all. It's perfect.

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 25, 2014
 
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