Megasuss Profile - (10781067)

cook's profile


Home Town:
Living In: Sioux City, Iowa, USA
Member Since: Aug. 2006
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Dessert, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Quilting, Sewing, Needlepoint, Gardening, Camping, Reading Books, Music, Genealogy, Painting/Drawing
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About this Cook
My family has always been close, & while growing up I spent summers with my grandparents & Great Gramma(who came to Iowa in a covered wagon). When I was 4, my Great Gramma would have me in the kitchen helping out with measuring & stirring, & in the garden she would show me what different plants were & how to know when they were ready to pick. By the time I was 8, I could make boxed things like mac & cheese, 'tinned soup', & homemade cookies all by myself. She taught me that the most important ingredient in any recipie is love. Try to think positively about how what you are making will turn out, how much your loved ones will enjoy what you made, & how much you love those people & what you are doing. I've still had failures in the kitchen-things flop, people don't like some stuff no matter WHAT you do to it, but we've always been able to laugh about it and try something else next time (remember, pizza delivery is a common result of kitchen experimentation!)
My favorite things to cook
Holiday meals because everyone's together and helping out, and it's not unusual for everything to be made from scratch. I love to make things from scratch, no matter how long it takes, though it's hard to always do in this day & age. I save the real time-consuming things for my days off from work & it makes those days extra special. Doubley so if friends or family members can join us for dinner & games afterwards. To stay within budget, either we take turns hosting, or everyone pitches in on an agreed menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every Yuletide my family celebrates it's Croatian roots by making Rouskies (a rich butter and creamcheese cookie filled with dates and nuts, and covered in powdered sugar), and all holidays are Celtic inspired(another part of my heritage).
My cooking triumphs
I love it when I can open peoples taste horizens. For example: My Son's friend HATED banana bread with a passion, but to humor me, he tried a bite-and ended up eating half the loaf! Also, making cakes from scratch took me a while(see my cooking tragedies)-the first time I tried making a cake, I didn't know there was really any difference in flours and I was trying a new recipie that called for cake flour. I used normal white, all-purpose flour. It took me a long time to try making another cake after that, and it was just for desert, rather than a special occasion, but I used one of the family standards, and it turned out o.k. Eventually I tried the very first cake recipie again(using cake flour this time)& when it turned out great I was so proud!
My cooking tragedies
The first time I tried to bake a cake from scratch was horrendous! It was for my Mom's 40th B-day, and, well...I never knew something that greasy could be so hard. We had to throw the knife away with the cake because we couldn't get it out! I HAVE learned to make edible cakes since then, but they're usually accompanied by laughter at the tale of that first time!
Recipe Reviews 20 reviews
Gingerbread Waffles with Hot Chocolate Sauce
I used the nutmeg sauce of another reviewer rather than the chocolate sauce (delish!) 4 stars for the recipie as written. Very good, but has some issues as addressed by other reviewers. I've played around with it & suggest the following to kick this upto a 5 star recipie: 1)The molasses makes a difference in flavor, the darker the molasses, the more intense 'molasses taste' & the less sweet it is. 2)Use buttermilk instead of plain milk. This resolves the too crisp too fast issue &, imho, improves the overall texture & flavor, plus it holds together better in my experience. 3)Use heaping measurements for the spices, & add 1/4 tsp. cloves to the mix. 4)Break out your favorite wooden spoon & mix this by hand. Just like muffins, it only needs a few stirs. 5)The batter as written is the same thickness as real gingerbread. I add water at the end, mixing just till incorporated, so it ends up on the thicker end of waffle batter consistency-usually between 1/3-1/2 c., but mix in a T at a time rather than just dumping in the whole amount. 6)Based on my real gingerbread recipie, I tried adding a splash of brandy (or brandy flavoring)-it adds a little 'je ne sais quoi' & also try 1/2 AP & 1/2 whole wheat flour if you want healthier. We have a regular waffle iron, I don't know if the iron makes a difference or not. With the changes I made the results were still filling & more dense than a standard waffle, but that's the gingerbread part & to be expected.

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 13, 2013
Almond Flour Waffles
Since it's been mentioned that the almond meal/flour used can make a difference, I will say that I used 'Bob's Red Mill Almond meal' to make these. I wasn't too sure about the lack of oil or milk, but I get plenty of both in my diet & I was surprised at how runny the batter was. **WARNING** These cook up FAST!!! My DH (the waffle chef at our house) burned the first one because they cook so fast. As others have noted, they do not crisp up like a good waffle should. Also previously noted, they are more "eggy" than a normal waffle (it reminded me of the "egginess" of a french twist donut). These two things combined equal 1 star lost in rating. Still tasty & worth adding to my personal recipie collection, but not over-the-top, all-out to-die-for delicious. I liked the heartier texture & the light sweetness. Even better with a sprinkle of cinnamon in the batter. I also liked these better plain than I did with butter, which never happens for me. Syrup is definitely not needed. I didn't add fruit or yoghurt, as suggested, but may next time - I can see where they would compliment the taste & texture. I also think I might try subbing almond extract for the vanilla. These are a pleasant change of pace that I will make again & I really love the natural ingredients that allows most of the people I know with health/dietary restrictions to enjoy these with me.

40 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Aug. 14, 2011
Simple White Cake
The first time I made this, as written, the batter looked too thick for a cake, so I followed other reviewers advice & added more milk-about 1/4 c. more. I also beat everything thoroughly at each step. The resulting batter resembled coolwhip in fluffiness. The cake had a nice crumb & was plenty moist & delicious. I now prefer to substitute 3/4 c. buttermilk for the 1/2 c. milk which ups the moistness, though tends to crack the top of the cake-not a problem for me since I turn my cakes out onto a plate to frost & serve. I have also had no problems adding gel food color &/or using different flavorings with this cake. The smaller size is very appreciated as well, since it's just my DH & myself here now.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jun. 24, 2011
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