Mama Jena Profile - (11786665)

cook's profile

Mama Jena

Mama Jena
Home Town: Clarksville, Arkansas, USA
Living In: Springdale, Arkansas, USA
Member Since: Sep. 2009
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Low Carb, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Quilting, Sewing, Hiking/Camping, Boating, Biking, Photography, Reading Books, Painting/Drawing, Charity Work
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Mama Jena
About this Cook
I work full time, spend my weekends volunteering at church, and have two beautiful children. I'm trying to lose weight, but it doesn't help much that I LOVE food! I cook from-scratch meals every day, and am always looking for the trifecta: quick, healthy and inexpensive. It helps when the kids and the husband will actually eat it, too.
My favorite things to cook
Everything! I really love making soups. Summer, winter, it doesn't matter to me. I also like to try new foods, techniques, etc. I love baking and decorating cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Using fresh veggies straight from the garden (or, nowadays, the farmer's market). That's how we grew up, and I wouldn't dream of using instant mashed potatoes or canned cream of broccoli soup.
My cooking triumphs
-White chocolate strawberry ganache, that I invented and actually worked! -I've developed some great ways to cook things like bacon and mashed potatoes that make them perfect every time. -I got a KitchenAid mixer a year ago and have learned how to make perfect meringue, my own whipped cream, etc. -And I am down to maybe 2-3 cans per shopping trip (mostly tomatoes and creamed corn, and that's it). -I made some pretty amazing lo mein for the first time recently. Usually my Asian food isn't so great. -I have developed some really good plans for using leftovers. -I am pretty good at packing healthy, well-balanced school lunches.
My cooking tragedies
-I still can't get the kids to eat anything with mushrooms in it. -My Asian food skills are not that great (though I did have one triumph). -I made a guitar cake for my daughter's 8th birthday when I was very, very novice at cake decorating. It looked like a homeless person's shopping cart. We didn't get pictures. -I don't really recall any other instances that I would describe as tragedies. We've had a few new things go wrong. We even picked up and went to a restaurant once, but I don't even remember what it was I had attempted to cook. I tend to just fix it until it's right, or eat it anyway and not worry too much about it. It's food. Next time will be better.
Recipe Reviews 5 reviews
Easy Slow Cooker French Dip
This was pretty good. I used Miller Lite, because that's what I had (the husband is a fan), and I used that onion soup mix stuff, beef bouillon, and water. I was in too much of a hurry to leave for work to add anything else. I came home to see my husband drooling all over the place, waiting for dinner to be served. It was pretty salty, but that was probably my fault -- bouillon and onion soup mix are both salty. There was no slicing it because it kinda fell apart.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 26, 2011
Mom's Chocolate Meringue Pie
I love to cook but don't do loads of baking. Usually, I cheat and use pudding mix and do the meringue the right way. I decided that was silly, so I found this recipe. I always read the comments; the advice about why sealing the pie is important was very helpful. This worked perfectly. I followed the ingredients to the letter, working with my 10-year-old (except timing -- I kind-of eyeballed that). The custard was so thick it was already setting as I was smoothing it out in the pie crust. The meringue (with only THREE egg whites!!!) is nearly 4 inches tall in the middle. I think this pie looks like something out of a magazine. WOW!!! I will definitely use this recipe again.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 26, 2010
Blackened Salmon Fillets
This was really good; my husband did it in an iron skillet on the grill. The only thing is, no one told me it would be sooooo hot!!! Maybe because he put so much rub on, I don't know, but it was barely edible for me (I'm a wimp). But we do plan to replace the cayenne and try something else next time, because the salmon was cooked to perfection, and my husband LOVED it (of course, he eats hot peppers as snacks). With changes, I think it will be a definite keeper.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 7, 2010

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