TARADAWN Profile - Allrecipes.com (1223447)

cook's profile


Home Town:
Living In: Somerset Hills Area, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: Jul. 2002
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean
Hobbies: Hiking/Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Painting/Drawing
  • Title
  • Type
  • Overall Rating
  • Member Rating
About this Cook
With three generations of Italian women as my cooking mentors, I grew up surrounded by shouts of "mangia" and heaping plates of ambrosial foods. My father tells a funny story of his first meal at my mother's home, marinated vegetables, meat and cheese antipasto, then pasta with homemade meatballs, he ate until he was about to burst. And then my grandmother brought out the roast! We were always eating...and eating well. My mother and grandmothers enjoyed having me in the kitchen with them and I loved being surrounded by all the marvelous aromas. While my grandmothers strictly cooked Italian, my mother experimented with many different cuisines and recipes, always with her young assistant. I am now passing on my enthusiasm for cooking and good food to my daughter...who loves to be mommy's helper, but isn't necessarily ready to branch out beyond eating pasta with butter right now.
My favorite things to cook
Recipes that incorporate many fresh ingredients (light, fresh and fast), seafood, vegetarian, ethnic fare, baking--I'll try just about anything! I enjoy recipes from Cooking Light and Eating Well magazines. When reading my reviews, it may be helpful to know that I am a fan of the savory and don't have much of a sweet tooth, although I enjoy baking very much, especially with seasonal fruits.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The "Sunday Sauce"...a big bubbling pot of Italian gravy with meatballs, sausage and pork braciole simmering inside. I grew up in a Catholic Italian household but now practice Judaism, so I am busy learning the customs and food traditions surrounding the Jewish holidays. Thus far my favorite is potato pancakes with applesauce for Hannukah!
My cooking triumphs
The chocolate-orange Passover torte I brought to my future husband's seder, the first time I met his extended family. They all thought it was from a bakery, the chocolate-honey glaze was so smooth and shiny you could see your reflection! They were all blown away and I made quite an impression. (Thanks to Alice Medrich’s "Cocolat".) Also, my first cooked-for-company meal was an ambitious chicken and mushroom crepe recipe at age 11.
My cooking tragedies
Footnote to 11 year-old triumph above. I still have the burn scar on my hand from when I reached into the oven without proper mitts. Immediately taught me the value of good kitchen equipment!
Recipe Reviews 18 reviews
Baked Kale Chips
Raw kale is rough and chewy with a distinct seaweed-like flavor, but roasting the kale in this manner results in a mellow flavor and crispy, crunchy leaves. The ratio of oil to kale is just perfect here. Be sure to mix well to distribute the oil evenly or use a mister. The four stars are because I thought there was far too much salt for--although I used regular table salt and not seasoned salt. I realize salt is a very personal thing in recipes, so I think a range of suggested salt might improve upon this recipe. I used 1/4 tsp with 1/4 tsp cumin and was very pleased with the results. And yes, even my picky eaters enjoyed them (especially the kid whose only vegetable is broccolli). Thanks for this recipe! I will be experimenting with different seasonings like wasabi, curry, miso, and honey soy.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 25, 2012
Best Ever Banana Bread
I must have tried a dozen different banana bread recipes and this is by far the best, with the deepest, truest banana flavor. (I think recipes that use butter and vanilla somehow interfere with the banana flavor.) The second time I made this, I substituted low fat sour cream for the buttermilk. Plain vanilla yogurt would also work well, or you could add 1 tsp. lemon juice to 1/3 cup milk to create a quick buttermilk. (That's my trick for buttermilk pancakes.) For those who don't want to wait the 80 minutes for this to bake, try using a Bundt pan and turn up the heat to 350 degrees. It took 45-50 minutes, almost half the time, and the only difference was a slighty darker crust. After years of searching, this is now my go-to banana bread recipe.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 10, 2010
Chicken Noodle Salad with Peanut-Ginger Dressing
Tasty and easy to prepare, this dish reminded us of our favorite Thai restaurant's peanut dressing. I added fresh minced garlic and Thai sweet red chili sauce to the recipe since I did not have garlic-chili sauce. You don't need a food processor for this recipe if you simply warm the soy sauce and chicken broth in the microwave first, which helps to melt the peanut butter. Just whisk them together until smooth. You can therefore make the sauce right in the serving bowl, making clean-up so much faster! I also added some stir-fried broccoli to this dish and next time I might also try water chesnuts for added crunch. Delicious. A definite make-again--next week!

26 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 16, 2008

In Season

Hop On Easter
Hop On Easter

Recipes for baked ham, deviled eggs, and oh-so-cute treats.

Fresh Spring Recipes
Fresh Spring Recipes

The best ways to enjoy what’s in season right now.

Subscribe Today!
Subscribe Today!

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and helpful cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for just $9.99!

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States