Cheri Franz Profile - (10964255)

Cheri Franz

Cheri Franz
Home Town: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
Living In: Portland, Oregon, USA
Member Since: Jan. 2008
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Asian, Mediterranean, Healthy, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Hiking/Camping, Biking, Walking, Photography, Painting/Drawing, Charity Work
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About this Cook
I cook every single day and bake several times a week - I love creating new recipes and filling the house with the aroma of home cooking. For years I have cooked entirely from scratch and prepare my meals well under 30 minutes. Baking, on the other hand, is a slow and somewhat dreamy indulgence. My favorite part of baking is licking the spoon.
My favorite things to cook
Baking tasty treats for my husband and the guys at work is probably my favorite past time these days.
My cooking tragedies
My very first attempt at cooking: 18 years old, living on my own and I asked my mother how to fry chicken for my boyfriend. She told me to just cut up the chicken, put it in the oil and fry it until it was done. I poured cold oil in the pan, placed the cut chicken pieces in the cold oil and turned the fire to high - no seasoning, no coating - just raw chicken in cold oil. It was a disaster! I instantly learned the importance of starting with a recipe.
Recipe Reviews 17 reviews
Cream Cheese Penguins
This is always a hit at every winter event that I take it to. Over the years I've fine-tuned the prep time by taking advantage of other reviewers . . . but the best thing that I do is that I make a cheese ball from a favorite recipe (or you can even purchase a cheese ball); and then I 'frost' it with softened cream cheese and take a toothpick to carve lines in it resembling blocks of snow so it looks like an igloo. Then I make a 'door' by scraping off the cream cheese in the form of an upside down U - thus exposing the cheese ball. I arrange the penguins around the igloo and place them all on a shiney metal serving tray to look like ice. This is a darling center piece. Make sure to serve crackers along side.

22 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 24, 2009
Basic Flaky Pie Crust
I was away from my kitchen and needed a dough recipe so I could whip up a pie at the last minute, so I tried this one. I was in a rush and only had butter so I used the food processor and processed flour and butter then drizzled the cold water in while I pulsed a few times. Then I dumped it onto a floured board and formed two balls I doubled the recipe) There wasn't time to chill the dough, so I simply rolled it out between two pieces of plastic wrap and it was quite easy to work with. The best news is that it actually tasted as good as my tried and true recipe in my kitchen file. This makes a very light and flakey crust - everyone who ate the pie remarked at how delicious the crust was. This was so good, in fact, that I plan on baking it side by side with my regular recipe to determine whether or not I should begin using this as my standard. No need to worry if you don't have time to chill this dough - you can be pretty confidant that whatever you make will taste delicious with this dough as your base!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 22, 2009
Honey Bun Cake I
This is a very tasty cake, though I made some alterations after reading comments: I used my Kitchenaid to mix the eggs, oil and sour cream, then I stirred in the cake mix. (I find it is too easy to over-mix when the eggs and wet ingredients aren't fully blended)I also added 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup melted butter to the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. I used a lightly greased bundt pan and placed 1/3 of the batter in the bottom followed by half of the cinnamon mixture; another 1/3 cake batter and then the secong half of the cinnamon mixture - I swirled this somewhat with a wooden skewer, then I topped it off with the remainder of the batter. I baked it for 45-50 minutes and allowed it to settle for three minutes before I removed it from the pan. I came out easily and looked great. I served it as is - no need for any glaze or frosting when the cinnamon is integrated well into the cake. This is the first cake that I made with a mix in which the cake mix is undetectable in my opinion. The addition of the butter and graham crackers made this a more complex and richer cake, so I was able to serve this up in smaller pieces which were every bit as satisfying as a larger piece of cake. I was a little hesitant to serve a box cake at a social gathering, but it was literally devoured before any of the other desserts. This is definitaly a winner!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 22, 2009

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