Hi, cooking friends! I love trying out new recipes and thus, reading cookbooks and cooking magazines, or just cruising on Allrecipes or watching the Food Network. I am a wife and mother of three children, 2 in college and 1 in high school. I love animals, having 3 dogs, 4 birds and a horse. I much rather cook than do housework, as evidenced by my rather unkempt house. :) My son is a vegetarian, so I am trying my hand at making healthy but tasty vegetarian dishes. Allrecipes is often my "go to" site for ideas, so thanks to all that contribute!
My favorite things to cook
My absolute favorite food is shellfish, but since my kids aren't huge fans, I sometimes cook something for them (they like chicken the most) while hubby and I have shrimp, salmon or steak. I especially love finding wonderful but inexpensive ways to cook for my family and church family. I often lean toward Italian style or basic American style cooking, so my favorite chefs include Giada de Laurentiis, Ina Garten, and Tyler Florence.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Let's see...well, we always Champagne after midnight mass Christmas Eve, then have strata or quiche for Christmas morning breakfast, and recently we have begun having untraditional Christmas dinners with a theme like Asian or Italian cuisine.
Our newest tradition is good home cooking on a very tight budget. Due to the economy tanking, we no longer eat at restaurants unless it is a very special occasion. We have found we can usually do a better meal for less $ at home, and my husband and I call cooking together a fun date.
My cooking triumphs
Developing new recipes, some of which I will share here once I get a picture of the finished products. Once I create something, I'm usually so anxious to try it that I forget to take a picture!
I guess I felt really good when I successfully copied one of my favorite restaurant appetizers, the steamed then panfried shrimp dumplings that PF Changs serves. That was my first use of a bamboo steamer, great fun!
My cooking tragedies
The biggest tragedy I have experienced (especially since I got a really good gas range) is when I had my first try at a bourbon flambéed steak....WHOA! I almost caught the house on fire! Funny now, not funny then! Unfortunately, the instructions (I even watched a video) did not include a warning to make sure there was adequate clearance of stove to hood...Live and learn.... :) The video was done in a commercial kitchen that didn't have that issue. Not sure if I will EVER try that again in my home!