COOKINGIRLLJ Profile - (1168103)

cook's profile


Home Town:
Living In: Hackettstown, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: Oct. 2001
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Italian, Dessert, Gourmet
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About this Cook
Cooking is my absolute favorite hobby. From the time I baked my first muffin in 7th grade Home Economics class, I was hooked. I enjoy cooking for my family and friends, and perusing the internet (AllRecipes, Epicurious), cookbooks (love the Barefoot Contessa) and magazines (Martha Stewart Living) to find new recipes.
My favorite things to cook
I'm especially interested in baking and desserts, as well as delicious Italian fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Preparing specially requested meals and desserts/cakes for family members' birthdays and special occasions. I also enjoy my family's Easter-time traditional Polish meal of kielbasa, babka, farmers cheese, hard boiled eggs and the like. Reminds me of going to my Grandmother's house when I was kid.
My cooking triumphs
Anytime a recipe turns out great and others get a chance to enjoy it along with me. Also, completing a beautiful special occasion cake at a pastry certificate class I recently took at the French Culinary Institute in New York City.
My cooking tragedies
Oh sure I've had a few. : ) But, I've found that it's extremely helpful to learn from one's mistakes. This certainly applies in the kitchen!
Recipe Reviews 22 reviews
Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff
As written, this recipe would warrant a 2-star rating. But with some changes, it could well be 5-star! As others, I also added crushed garlic (1 large clove), and a few dashes each of soy and worcestershire sauce. Without these flavor enhancers, the recipe would be quite flat. I also reduced the sour cream to 1/2 cup; fearing that 1 1/2 cups would be way overkill. 1/2 cup was perfect, and I used the lite version with success. Once the sour cream and flour mixture was added to the mushroom and broth mixture, I cooked everything on med/low heat for about a minute to cook the flour a bit (raw flour is not a good thing). For further improvement next time, I'd add a few teaspoons of tomato paste to ramp up the flavor and richness of the dish (tomato paste is sometimes found in beef stroganoff recipes). Also, unless you're a strict vegetarian, I would recommend using beef broth in place of the vegetable broth. Lastly, I would reconstitute a few dried mushrooms (ex: dried porcinis) and add them into the mix. This would pump up the 'mushroomy-ness' of the dish. For texture variety, you could also add in some other types of fresh mushrooms (button, oyster, etc.) Lastly, don't cook your noodles before starting to prepare the stroganoff. They will get cold and sticky by the time you're ready to use them. Instead, cook 'em at the last minute. Once served up on your dinner plate, add a dollop of sour cream to the top of the stroganoff. Yum!

444 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 9, 2007
Cranberry Nut Bread I
Very good! The orange flavor really comes through and enhances the bread's flavor. I used dried cranberries ("Craisins") and it was great. To add a little something extra to the finished bread, I made a glaze of powdered sugar, orange juice and some orange extract and drizzled it over the top. This is a great treat to make at holiday time - I'll bake it up again!

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 21, 2006
Spicy Peach Chutney
Very, very good! The house smelled wonderful while the chutney was cooking and my guests and I enjoyed the finished product. This chutney would be good with pork, chicken, fish - I served mine alongside cornbread with a barbecue meal. I halved the recipe, and it yielded exactly 3 cups.

51 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 10, 2006
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