ShannyBanany Profile - (10405579)

cook's profile


Home Town:
Living In: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Member Since: May 2008
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Gardening, Camping, Boating, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting
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About this Cook
I'm a 20-something single girl that thought for years that I hated cooking. However, once I moved out on my own and had to cook ... and started cooking things that I liked, I realized that I loved it!! I love to go to the grocery store and pick one random thing that I have either never eaten or never cooked before, take it home, and see what kind of interesting taste treat I can come up with. And I have to say over the last few years I have really impressed myself!
My favorite things to cook
I will try my hand at cooking just about anything. If it sounds interesting and yummy I will try it. I also like baking, although I hate making pie crust, lol.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family never really had cooking traditions, other than making the same menu for just about every holiday, which I was never a fan of. lol. The one thing that I always remember being special to me were the "special dishes" each of my grandmother's made. My dad's mom made a sweet potato casserole, complete with marshmallows and brown sugar for almost every holiday; while my mom's mom made (and still continues to make) pizzelle cookies for most holidays. She always sets a special container of them aside for me! ;)
My cooking triumphs
I think just realizing that I was a much better cook than I thought was a triumph in itself. Each time I make something that I love, that I get rave reviews from, that some one asks me the recipe for, or that is a new food item ... I consider that a notch in my apron strings! ;)
My cooking tragedies
My tragedies are not really cooking so much as things I manage to do in the kitchen while I'm cooking, lol. I have had my fair share of melting and exploding dishes from sitting them on a burner that I mistakenly turned on. And I'm a master at dropping and breaking anything glass ... lets just say I'm a clumsy cook and you might want to make sure you are wearing shoes when walking in my kitchen! LOL
Recipe Reviews 57 reviews
Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
I really loved this recipe. I was looking for a good, chewy oatmeal cookie that would allow for some add-ins and that's exactly what I got. I made them exactly as stated, and ended up with 49 nice sized cookies. I followed the basic recipe to the T, but changed the add-ins: 1c semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1c toasted almond slivers, and 1c dried cherries. I also used almond extract instead of vanilla, to emphasize the almond flavor. With the additions, since chocolate and cherries are both a little sweet, I felt that the amount of salt was good. However if you're just making a basic oatmeal cookie, you will want to cut down on the salt. Also, if your cookies are coming out flat and burning it is likely because you are over mixing (or over creaming), or because your dough has gotten too wet or too warm ... all of these things can thin out your dough and create a flatter cookie. I'm happy to say that mine turned out great. I did end up having to cook mine for 15 minutes, rather than the stated 12 minutes, because for my oven 12min was just not enough. So many things can go wrong with baking, even the temperature outside plays a part in how your items turn out. If you didn't get a good result the first time, you might want to try again rather than just throw this recipe out.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 10, 2014
Mexican Quinoa
I made this last night for dinner and really enjoyed it. It's very similar to a Mexican rice dish that I made, but was better because quinoa is better for you and more filling than rice. I basically followed the exact recipe, using 2c of quinoa and 3c of broth, rather than the stated amounts. Otherwise I kept everything the same, including only using one can of tomatoes with chilies because I felt that there was already too much liquid in the pot, and it worked out just fine. It took a little longer to cook than 15-20min, but I assume that's because I used more quinoa and broth. This is not something that you want to let sit, make sure to give it a stir every few minutes so it doesn't stick to the bottom of your pan. I served this as a side dish with a ground turkey and veg tostada. For an extra treat, top the quinoa with cilantro, a sprinkle of cheese, and some sour cream. Yum!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 5, 2014
Pastel de Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake)
This was awesome and much simpler than I anticipated. My mixer did all of the legwork really, and I just added things in lol. I followed the directions and ingredients exactly, however I did forget the .5c of milk IN the cake batter. I was kicking myself once I realized what I'd done, but fortunately I made a small tester cake to try. The result was probably a touch drier than I would have liked, but once I added the mix mixture and let it absorb in the fridge for a few hours, it turned out great! I've had tres leches before, but had never made my own, so I at least knew what consistency and flavor I was looking for lol. I served this as a Mexican/Spanish inspired potluck that we hosted and all of my guests raved about it. Before the night was over they had completely demolished the cake, which I took as a good sign. ;) I opted to just simply sift powdered sugar on the cake right before serving, garnished with a few sliced strawberries in the middle, and on the side of each piece when I served it. I'll definitely be making this again and next time I won't forget that .5c of milk lol.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Aug. 4, 2014
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