MelindaD Profile - (10001318)

cook's profile


Home Town: Charleston, Illinois, USA
Living In: South Western, Illinois, USA
Member Since: Dec. 2006
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Kids, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, Walking, Reading Books, Genealogy
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My Family
About this Cook
My mom was born and raised on a Central Illinois farm and came from a LONG LONG line of extremely talented cooks. My mom was known as an INCREDIBLE cook for as long as I can remember and had the cooking skills to prove it. Every meal we had when I was a kid was huge and full of amazing food! Unfortunately, it was my sister that picked up all that talent from my mom. I have discovered in recent years, however, that I CAN cook, and in fact, I'm quite good at it. The talent was there in my just needed to be encouraged!
My favorite things to cook
Italian and Mexican food are my favorites! Anything "down home" or "comfort food" brings me right back to my childhood. One of these days, I'm going to attempt my most favorite meal my mom made when we were kids....fried chicken, real mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, carrots with brown sugar butter, noodles, and apple pie....and that was a typical evening meal for us!!
My favorite family cooking traditions mom always brought out the GOOD china and cooked prime rib as part of a 5 course meal. mom was the "room mother" for every class I was in in Elementary School. I was guaranteed something amazing to bring in for our treat for class parties. I remember for Valentine's day one year, my mom made each student a heart shaped cookie frosted them, then piped on their name and some other fancy decoration on the edge of the cookie. No one could believe it! They were pretty amazing cookies. (and my mom did stuff like that for me to take to school ALL THE TIME!)
My cooking triumphs
The day I made something not out of a box and it tasted FANTASTIC! It was honey lime chicken sandwiches with avocado, tomato, green onion, romaine lettuce and salsa verde. That was the day I decided that maybe I really could cook and that my sister didn't really end up with all the cooking talent in my family.
My cooking tragedies
Well, one time, I tried to make tortilla pie. I prepared the dish, then popped it in the oven on my way to take a shower. After my shower, I couldn't find my underwear to put on. I knew I had brought them with me...but they weren't there. All the other clothes I had brought with me were there, but there were no underwear in sight! On my way back into the bedroom to try to locate the underwear, I noticed smoke coming from the oven....apparently, when I put the tortilla pie in the oven, my underwear had fallen out of the stack of clothes I had in my arms to take with me to the bathroom. Needless to say, my underwear burnt up in the oven and I didn't even attempt to try the tortilla pie. I guess that side dish of underwear did all our appetites in! No wonder I was certain I didn't get any of those cooking genes from my mom!
Recipe Reviews 13 reviews
White Cheese Chicken Lasagna
Because I liked the ingredients in this recipe, I decided to give it a try, but modified it to make it easier to make. This is what I did and it turned out great: Instead of lasagna noodles, I used a lb. of rotini. (I HATE cooking lasagna noodles, don't ask me why). I cooked the pasta while the chicken was boiling. I used 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts and chopped them up when they were done boiling. At the same time the pasta and chicken were cooking, I defrosted the spinach in the microwave and pressed all the moisture out of it. I mixed the chicken, pasta, and spinach all together in the pasta pot after I drained off the pasta. I seasoned it with the oregano, a little basil, salt, and pepper. I made the cheese sauce as directed and added a little nutmeg to the sauce when it was done. If you have one of those little choppers, I highly recommend using it to finely mince your onions and garlic. Then, I added two eggs to the ricotta cheese along with a little bit of parmesan cheese, about 1/4 cup. To assemble this recipe, I layered pasta mixture, ricotta, and cheese sauce in that order ending up with cheese sauce. I then covered the top with mozzarella cheese and sprinkled on a bit of parmesan, popped it into the oven and baked it for 35 minutes. This way is much easier for my kiddos to eat and I feel the ingredients blend together better this way. It all fit very nicely in a 9x13 pan. We will definately be making this again. The taste was awesome! The o

22 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 7, 2008
Beef and Bean Chimichangas
These have great flavor! We prepared this recipe as written and were impressed with the finished product. Recommend you try these!

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 27, 2007
Seven Layer Tortilla Pie
VERY GOOD! I like the fact that this is a meatless recipe. The flavors were great. We prepared this exactly as written and the proportions came out perfectly. Didn't have anything left over when we were done assembling the pie. We will be having this again.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 27, 2007

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