Heidi Profile - Allrecipes.com (10855011)

cook's profile

Heidi


Heidi
 
Home Town:
Living In: Wisconsin, USA
Member Since: Dec. 2006
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Asian, Indian, Italian, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Gourmet
Hobbies: Sewing, Biking, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing
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my first homemade Mardi Gras King Cake
Lentil Soup III
About this Cook
My favorite things to cook
My host mother and father in Japan cooked all sorts of wonderful things for me that my family in America never made before, so I like practicing Japanese cooking because it brings back such warm memories. I loved watching okaasan cook - she was wonderful at it and explained just about everything she did if she knew I was watching. Lately I've also really gotten into experimental cooking, and have come up with a few good recipes from it. It doesn't always go well, but that's why it's called "experimental!" My mom says I take after my grandma in this respect. She's always trying new things out too, and she's in her 80s... I'm also always looking to make things that are at least somewhat healthy for me, and trying new things that I never would eat as a child (or never got the chance to eat) is also fun :)
My favorite family cooking traditions
Basically anything involving cooking with friends or family makes me happy. My boyfriend also enjoys cooking, so we cook together when we can. Dinner parties and "Fake Thanksgiving" (cooking a Thanksgiving feast and inviting anyone you want to share it with - on a day that's NOT Thanksgiving) are two ideas I've been introduced to recently that I think I'm going to have to spread to everyone I know.
My cooking triumphs
My boyfriend is kind of a picky eater and has the same kind of simple and intense tastes as he did when he was a kid. Thankfully, at the very least he tries what I make even if he thinks he won't like it. When I cook him something new that he's skeptical about and he likes it, I feel really good :)
My cooking tragedies
The first time I made meringue cookies, I didn't whip the egg whites nearly enough (I was doing it by hand using a wire whisk), which resulted in very VERY soupy cookie dough (more like batter really) and I didn't know the difference, so I baked them and they were very hard and flat. They didn't taste good at all >_< There was also the first time I made sekihan (Japanese red beans and rice) - it tasted awful and I had made a giant pot of it, and normally I eat my cooking mistakes anyway because I don't want to waste it, but it tasted so awful that I threw it all away. I also made tomato soup from scratch the other day and added milk and it curdled pretty badly. It wasn't smooth but tasted just fine, so maybe it's not such a tragedy.
Recipe Reviews 16 reviews
Pumpkin Nut Muffins
Made these for breakfast for a crowd and they went over very well. I "made" buttermilk from milk and some lemon juice (1 tsp lemon juice, then fill measuring cup with milk to 1/3 cup). I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of salt as another reviewer suggested and I think that helped a lot. Only ended up with ~20 muffins but I may have overfilled them a little bit. I loved the addition of molasses - gave them a bit more depth of flavor. These are much better than the last pumpkin muffins I tried, and I'm definitely keeping this recipe around for the next time I have pumpkin in the house. Thank you! EDIT 8/28/12: Put the batter in a bundt pan, swirled in some apricot jam, and baked until tester came clean (this took ~40 minutes in my oven). Worked great. I plan on making a cream cheese icing for the top and sprinkling on some chopped dried apricots and toasted pecans.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 5, 2012
Best Spanish Rice
Had a hankering for Spanish rice, and decided to give this a go. It is the best I have ever had in recent memory! It was no harder than preparing it from a package (= ridiculously easy), and had LOTS more flavor than I ever remember the boxed stuff having. It will end up highlighting the flavors of whatever salsa you use, so make sure you like the salsa you plan to cook this with. I used jasmine rice, and onion powder rather than cutting up an onion. I used a tomato based salsa with peach and mango, which made it slightly sweet and that may sound odd, but it worked well with the jasmine rice, and provided contrast to the creamy refried beans and spicy chicken tacos I ate it with. I usually skip the Spanish rice with Mexican-style meals, but this was so good I am considering making it regularly with Mexican food. Thank you for the recipe!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 5, 2012
Mardi Gras King Cake
I was in charge of supplying a king cake for Mardi Gras this year at work, and felt like trying to make one rather than drive across town to get one from the bakery (which I thought was nothing special). Normally the king cake stays around all day at my work, but this one was gone within a couple of hours, and people that normally wouldn't eat king cake ate some because it was homemade. They especially loved the rich flavor of the bread, and that it wasn't overly sugary (I went easy on the icing and did not double the filling). I made this twice. Both times I cut the recipe in half (works great if you don't need to feed an army), and used a bread machine for most of the initial work, and did the shaping and final rise as normal. Since it's cold in the winter where I live and room temperature was not enough to raise the bread, I preheated the oven to its lowest temperature, then turned it off, placed a mug of boiling water on the edge of the cookie sheet the bread dough was on, and let the bread rise inside the warm oven. (For me, rising is normally the most difficult part of making yeast bread, and it worked great!) I also brushed egg wash on top (just beat an egg with a tiny bit of milk or water) before baking to give it a nice golden color. This recipe was a great success, and I would even consider making it when it's not Mardi Gras because it's that tasty. Thank you for the awesome recipe.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 28, 2012
 
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