christina b Profile - (1058398)

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christina b

christina b
Home Town: Spring Valley, California, USA
Living In: El Cajon, California, USA
Member Since: Mar. 2001
Cooking Level: Expert
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Pumpkin Gingerbread cake with Rum Cream Cheese Glaze
About this Cook
I’ve ALWAYS loved to cook…my grandpa, a native Filipino who cooked on a Navy ship for many years, is an excellent chef. I grew up amidst the aromas of his kitchen, grabbing whatever “samples” I could off of his coveted butcher block table and watching him cook every chance I got. Everything he made was absolutely mouth-watering and I noticed how much enjoyment he got out of making everyone so happy with his food. In addition, my grandma - an outstanding baker who makes all her own jellies and jams - complements his cooking perfectly. I'm Filipina/Hawaiian/Chinese on my mother's side, Irish/Italian on my biological father's and my dad who raised me is 100% Japanese...needless to say I can eat like a demon in at least 6 languages!!!
My favorite things to cook
My specialties are Italian and comfort foods. Everyone loves my pork ribs (they are fall-off-the-bone tender and have a "finger-lickin-good" homemade sticky bbq sauce) and my kids say my Sinangag (Filipino fried rice) is better than the Japanese fried rice at Benihana! But to me nothing is more satisfying than putting a giant pan of lasagna or pot of spaghetti and meatballs with garlic-cheese bread or a yummy meatloaf and mashed potatoes meal on the table for my family.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I bake up a frenzy at Christmas time and include biscotti, snickerdoodles and the most decadent handmade truffles...about half of it gets handed out to friends and family, the rest straight into my husband's tummy...
My cooking triumphs
My very first attempt at making the entire Thanksgiving dinner was flawless. The turkey was moist and juicy and the homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, and sweet potato casserole all turned out perfect. Talk about a confidence booster! Also, when I was still dating my now-husband, I'd made him a stuffed chicken breast using items I found in his (totally bachelor) fridge and cupboard. He tells everyone that that chicken is what made him know I was "the one"!
My cooking tragedies
I'd promised my grandma a Pineapple-Upside-Down cake and when it didn't turn out as "pretty" as I'd liked (it basically fell apart when I tried to turn it upside down) I threw it away...she was SO disappointed and the worst part was that it tasted yummy, I just didn't like that I'd failed at the last step of the process (I've since mellowed, believe me!). However, that experience taught me that I didn't need to be crippled by a by a bad presentation result and I could have easily salvaged it by crumbling it and serving it warm over vanilla ice cream. When it comes to cooking, flexibility and an ability to adapt are key!
Recipe Reviews 82 reviews
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake VII
Excellent - this cake turns out perfect every time. My oven runs hot so I have to turn it down to 325 for about 40 minutes, other than that I follow the recipe exactly. Everyone who tries it loves it :-)

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 17, 2011
Beef Pot Roast
Oh. My. God. This is it, people. I've cooked pot roast a hundred different ways with all levels of results, but this one WORKS. I normally don't follow recipes to a T, however figured I'd try it as written and make any changes from there since there were so many good reviews. The meat turned out perfect and juicy, smelled heavenly while in the oven, and holy moly the gravy! All I did was pour the juices into a saucepan, add a teaspoon of butter to smooth it out, bring it to a boil and then thickened it - that's it and it was absolutely delicious. I won't make pot roast any other way from now on.

18 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 6, 2010
I found cod on sale and wanted to try something different. This dish would make Paula Deen proud, there is so much butter and sugar involved that I could have made a batch of cookies instead...who knew fish could be so unhealthy? The end result was, as previous reviewers stated, kind of close to that of lobster (albeit a lobster who'd just had a sugar bath!). I don't think I'll make this again, but I am very glad I tried it as my curiosity is totally sated :)

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 2, 2010

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