Laurel Dingman Profile - (10812477)

cook's profile

Laurel Dingman

Laurel Dingman
Home Town: Illinois, USA
Living In: Illinois, USA
Member Since: Nov. 2006
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Asian, Indian, Italian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean
Hobbies: Photography, Painting/Drawing
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Ryan and I
School Portrait
Pancit bi hon
About this Cook
I'm newlywed, in my twenties, a redhead, and an artist. Currently living with my sister-in-law and her little family, while my husband and I try to find our own place. I love experimenting with cooking and finding new flavor combinations, but I can not wait until I have my own kitchen to do it in. Unfortunately, my husband has the palate of a 4 year old, and we are often stuck eating mac n cheese or pizza for dinner. Someday, I will have children to cook for whom I can infect with my taste in vegetables and exotic foods before they pick up on their father's picky habits...
My favorite things to cook
Although pasta is my all time favorite type of food to eat, I have found that I really enjoy roasting birds and cooking pork chops or loins. There are so many different flavors that can be involved by brining, using rubs, stuffing, etc. and it is so much fun to find a unique flavor to compliment the meat.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I grew up as the youngest of 4 children in a family with a tight budget. One meal that my mother cooked frequently to save money while feeding six mouths was in our house simply referred to as "tuna noodles"- not a tuna noodle casserole, as it typically only involved 3 or 4 ingredients and was never baked. It was prepared either hot with a creamy chicken soup base for cold weather, or as a cold pasta salad for the summer. The addition of peas was optional. As simple a meal as it was, it always brought me comfort, and to this day eating it still reminds me of a happy childhood in which money did not matter, only the love and fun times spent with my parents and siblings.
My cooking triumphs
Most memorable is the time that while still in high school, I decided to take upon myself to be completely and solely in charge of preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family. I had already discovered All Recipes, and used several recipes from this site, including a brine and roasted rosemary turkey. I had never roasted a bird before, and until that point, I was used to dry, bland turkey. That year, everyone including my picky boyfriend (now husband) who despises turkey raved about how good the meal was. The turkey was super moist and flavorful, and from what I recall the sides turned out perfectly as well. I was told by my father that it was the best turkey he ever tasted, and now my husband won't eat turkey any other way.
My cooking tragedies
This winter when both my husband and I had the flu, I thought I'd be sweet and cook chicken and noodles to make us feel better. I chose to make it in the Crock Pot, hoping for a delicious meal with little effort. Unfortunately, I made the poor decision to purchase the cheap egg noodles, and I accidentally left them in too long. When I went to serve up a bowl to my sick husband, I found all the noodles had absorbed too much liquid and coagulated into one giant lumpy mess! The whole pot was ruined, and as much as my husband appreciated the gesture, he could not eat more than a couple bites before giving up. I've learned my lesson- the more expensive, Amish style noodles are worth the price for a truly superb pot of chicken and noodles. I may try it in the Crock Pot again, but I have the feeling that the slow cooking method was part of what caused the noodles to take in too much liquid and begin to dissolve.
Recipe Reviews 7 reviews
Modenese Pork Chops
Based on other reviews, I used olive oil instead of butter. I left out the salt and pepper because my family members aren't big fans of either. I also threw in some mushrooms and onions right before adding the white wine. My pork chops were so large, I barely managed to squeeze them into the pan side by side, but 20 minutes was the perfect amount of time to simmer them for. My family loved these! My dad actually insisted I leave the recipe with my mom because I'm moving out next week and he can't wait to have them again. I think my favorite part was the juice created by the wine; I'm sure it would be wonderful thickened up into a gravy to serve over mashed potatoes.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 2, 2011
Rosemary Roasted Turkey
Apparently I forgot to review this after making it for Thanksgiving! This was the first time I have ever cooked a turkey, and it was also the best one I've ever tasted. My parents and siblings all agreed that they've never had a better Thanksgiving dinner. Tip: definitely brine the turkey overnight. I did in a saltwater solution with some extra fresh rosemary and a lemon. It made is sooo juicy and worked wonderfully with these ingredients.

15 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 13, 2011
Roast Pork with Maple and Mustard Glaze
I cooked this on Christmas for my family, and everyone loved it. I used a 6 pound pork loin, so of course it took closer to 2 hours to cook. I had plenty of sauce without scaling up, though! I had no Dijon mustard, so I used spicy brown mustard that was in the fridge. Delicious, incredible, will definitely make again- soon!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 4, 2011
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