ChezSpice Profile - (1010981)

cook's profile


Home Town: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Living In: Seattle, Washington, USA
Member Since: Jan. 2001
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Needlepoint, Gardening, Photography, Wine Tasting
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About this Cook
Early on my mom molded me into her personal baker. As a child I would enter and win 4-H bake-offs. Family and friends always request my desserts for get togethers. I've been married almost two decades and always cooked meals, but I always followed the recipe to a 'T' and never experimented. But a recent relocation from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Northwest left my palate desiring the Southern foods I grew up on and I had to learn to cook "real" food. Southern cooking is a little of this and a little of that with no "real" recipe. Even though I document my recipes, I don't follow the recipe exactly now and I always experiment. I guess I'm not worried about ruining the meal now. My personal goal is to try two new recipes per month, but usually make a new one every week. I now love experimenting and creating new dishes.
My favorite things to cook
Pasta and sauces, Steak, Chili, Seafood Gumbo, and I'm learning to love making casseroles and one pot dishes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
For years, my sister and I made winter holiday candy for our family and friends. I love making Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and dressing and Christmas dinner with ham.
My cooking triumphs
When my family and friends come back for seconds, I know the recipe is a keeper. My friends base includes Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Laos. We all try to get together once a month and everyone brings a dish. We trade recipes and I love learning how to cook my friends' favorite dishes.
My cooking tragedies
I'm always cutting or burning myself in the kitchen, but I never let it discourage me. Most of the time I follow a recipe exactly the first time I make it and then decide how to make it mine the next time.
Recipe Reviews 9 reviews
Connie's Zucchini "Crab" Cakes
Following other reviews: I lightly salted the shredded unpeeled zucchini with kosher salt and let drain, then I squeezed the excess moisture, which was a lot. Two cups of shredded zucchini turned into 1 cup when all the water was squeezed out. Since I had so little zucchini, the Old Bay Seasoning was very strong. Next time, I'll leave it out. I did add black pepper and cayenne pepper. I used Panko Japanese breadcrumbs and put about 1/3 cup in the mixture, along with 1/8 cup flour. After making the patties, I patted additional breadcrumbs onto each pattie before cooking. I baked them on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, turning over once halfway through. Then I finished them off under the broiler, less than two minutes on each side. Next time, if I use Panko, I'll add Italian seasoning, dried oregano, dried parsley or something along those lines. I may try them with Italian style breadcrumbs, which I think would be good too. I dredged a couple of mine in flour before adding the Panko, and I would not do that in the future. The flour didn't cook off in the baking process, though it probably would in the frying process. Because I called them crab-style cakes, my husband was expecting crab and now I have to make crab cakes. :) We both agreed they were very good and could see ways of improving them. Mine were a little dry without Marinara Sauce, probably because I cooked them too long. NOTE: 1 large zucchini makes about 2 1/4 cups of shredded zucch

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 4, 2007
Lemon Dill Rice
I thought this would be very good with a fish dish. Reading other reviews, I reduced the amount of dried dill weed to 1 teaspoon and it still overpowered the dish. My husband couldn't even eat it. Also, I took other's advice and cooked on the stove-top due to time. While the reduced dill was still very strong for me (a dill lover), I think the dish has potential. The lemon zest topping was great and I liked the idea of cooking it in lemon juice. If you are unsure of the dill flavor, start with a small amount, you can always increase it but you can't remove it. I served this with Broiled Tilapia Parmesan (Yummy!) from this site and Roasted Asparagus. I even took some leftover lemon zest and topped the asparagus and fish, which was a very good addition.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 4, 2007
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
This recipe is a family favorite for fish. It's good enough as written to have once a week. Sometimes I like to change it up but I mostly stick with the original. It''s such a light tasting and flavorful dish. Very quick to make on a hectic busy night. I always have leftover mixture, so I store it in my fridge in a vacuumed-sealed half-pint jar making it an even faster weeknight meal. I line my pan with foil for easy cleanup and broil on high for the recommended time. I serve it with flavored rice and roasted asparagus. Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 4, 2007
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