chikalin Profile - (11831562)

cook's profile


Home Town: Englewood, New Jersey, USA
Living In: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Member Since: Oct. 2009
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Asian, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert, Gourmet
Hobbies: Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
I'm a law school student with an undergrad degree is in classics and philosophy. I grew up baking with my mom. I took over making all desserts for all family occasions when I was like 15 and started carrying on some of my Italian grandmother's traditional recipes when she got too old to cook. I also took over doing Christmas dinner for her (my mother works Christmas Eve every year so she couldn't do it.) It all kind of sparked a love for cooking and I started trying all the recipes I could! I took to posting pictures of things I made on facebook recently and friends are bothering me to start a food blog, but I'd rather just cook!
My favorite things to cook
My favorite family cooking traditions
strufoli and my family's traditional lasagna at Christmas, wheat pie at Easter!
My cooking tragedies
the first time i tried making strufoli by myself, i didn't have a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. i didn't remember my grandmother's method of testing it (which, as i later found out, was to drip a bit of water in the oil to see how it reacted), and so i added some of the dough balls to test the oil. they turned pitch black instantly! i was young and sort of freaked out because i was pressed for time, so i tried to pour out the oil and for some reason turned on the faucet in the sink. hot oil explosion! luckily i wasn't too badly burned - it was bad at the time, but it didn't leave a scar. the kitchen was a disaster, though.
Recipe Reviews 60 reviews
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
this doesn't have a really strong pumpkin flavor, but it's a delicious cheesecake. went over incredibly well at thanksgiving. if you're looking for something like a pumpkin pie flavor, this isn't the right recipe, but it's a great twist on cheesecake.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 24, 2011
Dinah's Stuffed Mushrooms
these are really great! i was surprised at how easy and delicious they are.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 24, 2011
Ancient Roman Cheesecake (Savillum)
this recipe is ok as a twist on modern cheesecake, it uses unique ingredients yet still tastes familiar enough to be what we consider a 'cheesecake'. it's not delicious, but it's ok. it is also not what it claims to be. this recipe is a heavily altered combination of two recipes mentioned in ancient texts. the reason i am rating it so low for an ok cheesecake is because most, if not all, people looking for this recipe are going to be making it because they think it's 'authentic ancient roman', which it isnt, although the explanation claims it is. it's only real claim is that it's touted as an ancient recipe, so people will make it for things like toga parties. the cheesecake itself is mediocre at best. it is not as sweet as what we consider cheesecake to be, and the bay leaves impart a slightly odd flavor. the romans didn't have citrus fruit until the 4th century ad, and it is disputed if they had it at all. savillum and the other recipe this stems from, libum, were from texts by Cato the elder, about 500 years before that. it was probably added to this recipe to suit our tastes, as cheesecake is often made with lemon. savillum also did not use bay leaves, there was a different recipe for cheese buns (unsweetened) that were placed on bay leaves to bake before they were soaked in honey after baking.

30 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 14, 2011
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