Melissa Profile - (11071446)

cook's profile


Home Town: Yucaipa, California, USA
Living In: Oak Harbor, Washington, USA
Member Since: Nov. 2009
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy
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About this Cook
I am a Navy wife and the mother of two. My days are spent keeping my two-year-old daughter out of trouble, and caring for my baby boy. My interests include crochet, reading, and attempting to find new recipes that might entice my picky toddler to actually eat something healthy.
My favorite things to cook
I love anything that can be thrown into the crock pot. As a mother of two in diapers, anything quick and easy, especially recipes I can allow my daughter to help with, is my preference. Recipes I find myself making over and over again include chili, meatloaf, chicken casserole, and tacos. I love Asian dishes, especially stir-fry, but my husband does not like oriental dishes, and so I do not have the opportunity to prepare them often.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every Christmas season, my mom, grandmother, and aunt would get together to bake Christmas goodies. They'd each take several treats to prepare and focus on making enough of those for everyone. At the end of the day, they'd assemble goody tins with all of the treats that had been prepared. It was always a lot of fun to help out, and I know my mom always enjoyed getting to catch up with her mom and sister. Now that I live so far away from family, I miss that time. I miss getting to focus on baking Christmas treats while chatting with female relatives.
My cooking tragedies
The first meal I ever cooked was a Mexican chicken dish with homemade flour tortillas. First, I burned the chicken . . . as in, it caught fire. Then, the tortillas wound up fluffy and buttery (used butter flavored crisco rather than regular shortening or oil). To top it all off, I left the tortillas in the warming drawer to stay warm, and turned on the broiler to cook the chicken. The tortillas came out of the warming drawer rather crispy. I can't remember if the rice turned out OK or not, and I also can't remember what vegetable we had. But the chicken and tortillas were a definite disaster!
Recipe Reviews 36 reviews
Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic
I have prepared this recipe a few times now, exactly as written, and it turns out amazing every single time! It is almost like a crustless sweet potato pie. Definitely could pass for a dessert. This is one of those potluck favorites. Every time I bring it to an event or family gathering, I have someone ask me for the recipe. I will never make sweet potato casserole using a different recipe again. This is it for me!

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 22, 2012
Spicy Shredded Beef
I made this for the first time this evening. But rather than babysitting it on the stove for two hours, I opted to attempt it in the crock pot. I am so glad I did, because it saved me a lot of time and trouble! First off, I didn't have to cut it into 1-inch pieces. I just browned the whole roast in a little olive oil and popped the whole thing into the crock pot. I then covered it with the canned tomatoes and spices, threw in a tiny bit of red wine and some beef broth for a little extra liquid, and cooked it on low for 10 hours. When we were ready to eat, the roast was practically falling apart and shred very easily. My first taste after shredding it was really quite bland and dry, so I spooned quite a bit of the liquid back over it and stirred it as the beef sucked it right up. I then tasted again, and wow, what a difference! Moist and flavorful! Next time I make this, I will likely do the same thing with the crock pot for cooking it, but not omit simmering on the stove in the liquid after shredding it. I have a feeling that step makes all the difference in the flavor for this dish. I served it with homemade whole wheat tortillas and all your usual taco fixings. If you are looking for a little extra heat or more flavor, try adding a little oregano, cilantro, chili powder or cayenne pepper, and/or a little more cumin (I wound up needing a full teaspoon). Really, this is one of those recipes that leaves a lot of room for customization.

7 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Aug. 13, 2012
Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
I have made this ice cream a few times now, always exactly as written, and every single time it comes out absolutely, incredibly delicious! We've even made it for company or to take to potlucks, and every single time, we get rave compliments about how good it is. As I write, I am making another batch to celebrate the 4th of July (making ice cream has become an Independence Day tradition for our family), and I am looking forward to digging into it after our big meal this afternoon. Couldn't be easier or more delicious, and I LOVE that it doesn't have raw eggs in it! I was pregnant the first time I made this, and have preschoolers helping me to eat it up, so raw eggs were a worry for me and a deciding factor in choosing this recipe the first time around. Obviously, I have not been disappointed! :)

12 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 4, 2012

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