Chele Smith Profile - (10843442)

cook's profile

Chele Smith

Chele Smith
Home Town: Massapequa, New York, USA
Living In: Gray Court, South Carolina, USA
Member Since: Dec. 2006
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Dessert
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, Gardening, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Genealogy, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting
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About this Cook
I've been cooking ever since I was a little kid. I remember my Dad teaching me how to make homemade spaghetti sauce when I was real young. I think that's when I got hooked on cooking and have been doing it ever since. I enjoy cooking, grilling, and baking, among my many other hobbies. I always enjoy having friends and family over to entertain with my cooking and my husband definitely doesn't mind either as he enjoys eating my creations!
My favorite things to cook
Italian spaghetti sauce, stews and soups, side dishes and casseroles, cakes and pastries, appetizers and dips.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Since 2000 when my husband and I purchased our home I took over cooking the family Thanksgiving Dinner and look forward to it each year. I fix the entire dinner on my own from appetizer to main course to all of the desserts. I add a little fun to it before hand by creating and sending out "funny" turkey invites. Aside from the traditional fixings of the holiday dinner, there are three dishes that are ALWAYS served along with them, regardless of who is cooking - rutabagas for me and my Mom as we're the only ones that will eat them, and lasagna and sausage and peppers for my Dad as he is Italian and doesn't like turkey. The holiday season is the time of year I love the most!
My cooking triumphs
I would have to say it would be successfully cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner on my own for about 18 - 20 people. Everything came out great. The only flaw was a few timing issues and we ended up eating a little later than planned, but it was worth the wait!
My cooking tragedies
My parents came over one night for dinner and brought with them 2 beautiful racks of baby back ribs. I seasoned them, fired up the grill, and began slow cooking them. After a few hours of slow cooking on the grill they were almost done - they looked and smelled delicious and were tender. I then basted them with BBQ sauce and went in the house for just a moment to finish off one of the side dishes. That was all it took because the next thing I knew the grill had caught on fire! We got the fire out but the results were a disaster - the ribs were almost completely charred and ruined, so bad in fact some of bones were completely incinerated! There was maybe about half of each rack that was left that was even close to edible, so each of us only got about a quarter of the rack for dinner. We laugh about it now, but it was so embarrassing at the time.
Recipe Reviews 36 reviews
Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup
These were fairly good. They are dense, but do have a good flavor and a great way to celebrate the Fall season. For me, though, this was a lot of work just for a waffle. I don't think I'd make them very often and if I do make them again, I will make a huge batch so I can freeze some for later. My baking powder had expired so the only change I made was I used Bisquick for the flour and baking powder. The syrup was good also, but for me personally the cinammon was very strong. In my book, a little cinammon goes a long way so next time I'll try reducing the cinammon down to 1/2 tsp. Even if I don't make the waffles again, would definitely make the syrup again for everyday pancakes and waffles.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 6, 2012
Excellent Shrimp Creole
I have made this recipe several times and everytime it comes out, well, excellent! The first time I made it I followed the recipe exactly. The last few times I've made it the only changes I've made are I use beef broth instead of water, creole seasoning instead of just chili powder and hot sauce (this way I get the flavor without the heat), and I add the seasonings while it cooks instead of at the end. I've never had a problem with it being too thick or floury/pasty tasting. If it's too thick simply add more water or whatever liquid you're using. If you're getting a pasty taste, it could be either your roux is not smooth or it may not be cooked long enough - I do cook the roux slightly longer than stated to ensure the flour taste is cooked out. At the end where it says to slow cook I turn the heat down to low to medium low with the lid on and stir occasionally. Never had a bad batch. It's great over white or brown rice or pasta. And it does make a ton of servings - way more than 6. I usually freeze the extra portions for later as it does freeze very well and the flavors develop even more.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 14, 2012
Carrot Cake III
I only made the frosting from this recipe and it was fabulous. I don't use all the sugar called for, but add and taste as I go until I get the sweetness level I want. I've used this frosting on all different flavors of cakes. So easy and delicious.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 11, 2012

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