groverox Profile - (10151009)

cook's profile


Home Town: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Living In: Shelton, Connecticut, USA
Member Since: Sep. 2007
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Biking, Walking, Reading Books, Music, Genealogy
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About this Cook
Single mom of a wonderful teenage son. Love to cook, hard to find time for it! I work full time in the office of a cardiologist. I enjoy it but it can be very stressful! I am always looking for ways to stretch every dollar, so I cut coupons, use cold water for all my laundry, run around shutting lights off all the time, and pack my own lunch for work nearly every day. And I love my slow cooker!! :)
My favorite things to cook
I would say that sides and appetizers are my favorite to make. I love to come up with that "just right" accompaniment to a main dish and so sides are usually what I volunteer to bring to those "bring-a-dish" occasions with family or at church.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Baking cookies at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do okay when I am helping -not so well as the "lead" baker. Baking is NOT my strong suit! But I do love the process and togetherness.
My cooking triumphs
My first "solo" Christmas dinner was my biggest. Everyone expected a disaster, but they were fighting over the leftovers! I did appetizers, sides, turkey, and pie for 10. I know, most cooks are saying "so what?", but... I was 19 years old and had never done a whole meal by myself before, never mind a holiday meal!And though the pies were made the day before, I did not find out I was preparing the meal on my own until 5:00 Christmas morning (long story). So for me, a triumph!
My cooking tragedies
Not too many disasters, thankfully. Once I was making a dish, and the recipe called for 2 T. chopped fresh dill. I didn't have any, and had no time to get to the store so used dried. Naive as I was about cooking at that time,I did not know to cut the amount if using dried.I went ahead and used the 2 T. of dried dill. I thought it smelled kind of strong, but I served it anyway. Horrible doesn't begin to describe it, really. Ugh. Nobody ate it, and it ended up in the trash. I definitely learned from my mistake!
Recipe Reviews 8 reviews
Sloppy Joes II
I always try a recipe as is first to give it a fair shake... Not fair to rate a recipe if you've changed half the ingredients! I liked this as written, though a touch sweeter than I am used to. But like meatloaf, I change it a little each time! I do always cut back on the brown sugar, but that is the only consistent difference. I have done: half red, half green peppers; added a pinch of cayenne and cumin; a small can of chopped green chilies; a dash of Worcestershire; less ketchup and add some bbq sauce; used spicy brown mustard instead of yellow; a dash of hot sauce; and one of my favorites is to replace 1/4 cup of the ketchup with 1/4 cup of Goya Sofrito. Obviously I don't make all these changes at once, but in different combinations, and sometimes only make one. The point is, start with this basic recipe and tweak it... It's a great starting point! My son even suggested adding a few pieces of crumbled bacon...

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 23, 2015
Chef John's Smothered Pork Chops
This was fantastic! I didn't have poultry seasoning on hand, though, so used Penzey's Bavarian spice blend (which is my go-to for pork - delicious) and it tasted phenomenal!! I agree with other reviewers - it is a little labor-intensive so not something you would make in a hurry. But oh, it's worth it! Don't skimp on the time it takes to caramelize the onions, and don't skip the buttermilk either. Both are key to making this one delicious dish... Served it over egg noodles with green beans on the side. And keep rolls or bread handy to sop up any extra gravy!

7 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 8, 2014
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia Fillets
Fantastic! Tried it as written, using smoked paprika and it was delicious. We do like a little kick, though, so did it the next time using Penzey' s half-sharp paprika.... You won't need quite as much, but the flavor is superb! This is a dinner fave here!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 1, 2014

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