dragonflyGrrl Profile - Allrecipes.com (11446476)

cook's profile

dragonflyGrrl


dragonflyGrrl
 
Home Town: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Living In: Kansas, USA
Member Since: Jun. 2010
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting, Charity Work
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Happy Grrl
About this Cook
I have been referred to as a "Punk Rocker Betty Crocker," and I take that as a serious compliment! I'm a graduate student studying technical writing in the English department of a small university with a thriving population of international students who inspire me to try new recipes from all over the world. I work as an graduate assistant instructor, and I teach freshman English composition - I love making muffins for my students as a mid-term and end-of-semester reward (or bribe, depending on your perspective ;)). I have two spoiled dogs and one spoiled husband, and when I'm not cooking, grading, or studying I'm usually playing video games, watching movies (the scarier the better), going to see live music (the louder the better), or trying to write the "Great American Novel."
My favorite things to cook
Where to start? My favorite go-to is pasta with "Leftover Cream Sauce," in which I make a roux, add whatever dairy product happens to be hanging out in the fridge and the stragglers in the leftover veggie bin. I also love throwing parties and making mountains of appetizers and trying international dishes, and making big vats of gooey comfort foods to pour on my all time favorite: mashed potatoes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My heritage is French on my mother's side and Scots on my father's; both parents are first generation Americans. Where most Americans think fondly of grandma's cookies, I have memories of my French grandmother making light, buttery madeleines. From my Scottish Dad, I got what I consider the comfort foods to end all comfort foods: mince and tatties, finnan haddie, apple charlottes, and "real" shortbread (none of this Lorna Doone nonsense in my house!).
My cooking triumphs
Cook enough, and you end up with a lot of these. But the best one so far had to be my BFF's "toga party" themed 30th birthday, held at my house. To go with the theme, I made an all-Greek menu using recipes from one of the myriad cookbooks I accumulate at every festival, benefit, and cultural fair I attend - this one from the Greek Orthodox Church's fair. We had dolmathes, tzatziki, homemade hummus and pita, Greek salad, and moussaka, and even the pickiest "what-is-this-I'm-scared" eaters had seconds. I won't lie, I enjoyed the compliments, but the best part was making my friend feel special on her day.
My cooking tragedies
Oh, my. Cook enough, and you'll have lots of these too! The first Valentine's Day after meeting my husband (who wasn't yet my husband at the time), I decided to make him a big, fancy dinner and really wow him. The "dinner" part turned out awesome, but I may have overextended myself on the cake (I'm no baker!). I'd never made a chocolate cake that didn't come from a box before, so I had no idea what the proper way to melt chocolate was. I put the chocolate in a tupperware, popped it in the microwave, and pulled out a burny, sticky mess. When I gamely tried to carry on with the recipe and added it to the egg whites I'd dutifully whipped, the entire thing congealed into a solid lump of awful. I will never forget the apprehensive look on soon-to-be-husband's face as he waited to see if I'd laugh or explode. Happily, I did the former, and we packed away the disgusting blob into the nearest disposable container, threw it in the trash, and had popsicles instead.
Recipe Reviews 18 reviews
Whole Egg Mayonnaise
This is the basic recipe I use for mayo, and it works every single time. I've made it with all the ingredients at room temperature, and I've yanked a couple eggs out of the fridge and slopped it together, and it still works. I personally am not a fan of mayo with olive oil for things like sandwiches (my main mayo use), but it's good if you're going for more of a sauce than a condiment. Adding fresh herbs to this recipe is also good, and when the week's lunchmeat is roast beef I usually throw in some prepared horseradish and a clove of garlic. Lemon juice subbed for vinegar (and a little grated lemon rind if you're feeling fancy) really does improve the taste, but it's perfectly fine as is.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 10, 2013
Burger or Hot Dog Buns
These are really good. I really can't fathom some of the negative reviews at all. If you're having trouble getting them to rise, or if they're turning out too dense, your first step should be to try proofing your yeast. If your yeast proofs fine, then remember to mix the first stage of ingredients really well before adding the rest of the flour to give the yeast time to start munching on the sugar and making bubbles. Also remember that any bread recipe's suggested amount of flour is just that: a suggestion. If your dough won't take more flour, don't just keep dumping it in. I ended up only using about 4 C of flour total today, but in different weather or with different flour I might use more. Once you get the dough to the right consistency, knead it ONLY until it is smooth. Resist the temptation to keep kneading; overkneaded bread is dense bread.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 21, 2012
Golden Sweet Cornbread
Perfect!

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