VD711 Profile - Allrecipes.com (1225181)

cook's profile


Home Town: Plano, Texas, USA
Living In: Batavia, Illinois, USA
Member Since: Jul. 2002
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern
Hobbies: Walking, Wine Tasting
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Toffee Bars by Eagle Brand(R)
About this Cook
I'm a newlywed with two stepchildren ages 9 and 6 who thankfully are really good eaters (nothing like the picky monster I was as a child!). I enjoy cooking and baking for my family and have been on a kick with trying new recipes. I almost never make a recipe "as written" - normally I will research and read several recipes for a dish, then pick and choose the features I like from each recipe to create my own dish! I have been cooking since college and truly enjoy it. I am currently experimenting with "make and freeze" meals as I work full-time and have a long commute, so getting dinner on the table during the week require a lot of advance prep. I love using my slow cooker on the weekends - nothing better than the smell of beef stew or chicken tortilla soup filling up the house all afternoon!
My favorite things to cook
Chicken tortilla soup, spaghetti bolognese, beef stew with red wine, stir fry, chili, and baking - just about anything! Especially my signature frosted sugar cookies.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I did not grow up in a "cooking" household...but I do love the spread my mom puts out for Thanksgiving because it's been the same meal every year for 30 years! I am creating favorite meals with my husband and stepkids and I hope that one day my stepkids will ask for my recipes to make for their own families. My 6 yr old stepson is already showing an interest in helping me cook/bake.
My cooking triumphs
Any time I elicit "this is good" from my husband, step kids, or mother in law...that is a triumph! :)
My cooking tragedies
My stepson and I made banana bread together, but I was out of Pam so I hastily coated the baking pan with cooking oil. When it was time to extract the loaf, I inverted onto a plate...and the middle of the bread came sliding out leaving a big crusty ring in the pan! I quickly cut the innards into brownie-sized squares and passed it off as "banana cake"! :)
Recipe Reviews 60 reviews
Taco Seasoning I
We no longer buy packaged taco seasoning - this is excellent and made with ingredients I always have on hand. I use 1 batch of this recipe as written (subbing 1/8 tsp. of cayenne for the 1/4 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes) and stir in 1 TBSP of flour (I use whole wheat, works great). Add that mixture to 1 lb. browned/drained ground beef with 3/4 cup water and simmer for 10 minutes. Perfect!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 17, 2013
Baked Chicken Nuggets
I could not get the breading to crisp. I did 15 min at 400 and then broiled for 5 minutes, and used a baking rack over a cookie pan...a few of the pieces got a bit crispy but the breading was soft on most of the nuggets. That said, my hubby and stepkids still loved these, so I'd make them again. Even w/o crispy breading, the flavor is great. I cut the butter down to 4 TBSP and added a clove of minced garlic. I used Italian Herb breadcrumbs instead of seasoning them myself. Fast and easy! We used BBQ, ranch, and homemade honey mustard dipping sauces (although hubby says these are flavorful enough to not require any dip!). These are easy and since they require ingredients I always have on hand, I'm sure we'll have them again.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 11, 2010
Slow Cooker Bolognese
Hi - this is my recipe and I just wanted to note that I have switched from using 1 lb ground beef to 1 lb "meatloaf mix" (a ground beef/pork blend) and it really enhances the flavor of the sauce. Enjoy! :)

346 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 31, 2010
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