NCwriter Profile - (1295474)

cook's profile


Living In: Garner, North Carolina, USA
Member Since: Aug. 2002
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Low Carb, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Gardening, Camping, Boating, Walking, Fishing, Photography, Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
I am a business and marketing writer, and I own my own company managing writers, editors, and graphic designers. My husband owns his own company as well, so we work at home together and set our own schedules. We live a charmed life!
My favorite things to cook
Fried chicken (I make the best fried chicken in the world, if I do say so myself); Lasagna; Homemade soups (vegetable, chicken and rice, potato, split pea); Carrot cake, German chocolate cake, and Lizzie cake (I posted the recipe here), all from scratch; old-fashioned baked macaroni and cheese; meat loaf; potato salad; grilled pork and beef ribs.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The cooks in my family are adventurous. We like trying new things, new recipes, and making up our own creations. I come from a long line of people who love food, and I married an Italian with the same background. We have our own approaches and our own techniques, but we are not afraid to try something new. Also, I rarely use a mix for anything unless I'm in a big hurry; I prefer making things from scratch. And I love using my hands to make things--getting my hands in the bowl to mix up a meatloaf is therapeutic.
My cooking triumphs
I have finally been having steady success baking my own bread from scratch. I've had years of hit-or-miss episodes and almost gave up, but after researching and reading in depth about flours, gluten, temperature, kneading, and bread-making techniques, I learned a lot about keeping things simple and not being overconfident. I've been able to make Italian bread, French bread, and sourdough bread. My next challenge is going to be rye.
My cooking tragedies
Making tiny individual 2-layer carrot cakes from scratch for my brother's wedding reception. (Two jelly-roll pan layers, frost the tops of each, put one atop the other, then cut the cakes out with a biscuit cutter.) I'd made them many times before and was very confident--but the kitchen was crowded and busy. When I went to slide the second layer on top of the first, someone hit my elbow and the layer slid right off onto the floor--frosting side down! Thank goodness I was making a double recipe anyway, so it wasn't a total disaster; I took the fourth cake layer and cut it in half. We just didn't have as many cakes as I had planned. But nobody noticed because it was such a happy day.
Recipe Reviews 19 reviews
My Mother-in-Law's Plum Bread
MAN, is this good!!!! I had a can of plums to use up, so I found this recipe. I was afraid that using canned instead of fresh would make it too mushy, but it was perfect! I didn't toss the plums in flour, obviously, and I didn't assemble everything as the recipe says, but didn't change anything else. I mixed the flour and sugar in one bowl and whipped all the other ingredients in another bowl with a whisk. Added the wet to the dry, then gently stirred in the plums. Oh, and I added about 1/3 cup chopped pecans. This is SO good fresh out of the oven slathered in butter!! As one reviewer already noted, it really sticks to the pan. Be sure to grease and flour the pan, especially the bottom. Mine was a mess to get out, but I wasn't serving it to company so it didn't matter. It didn't sit around for very long anyway because it was so delicious. Looking forward to trying it with peaches. Great recipe!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 29, 2013
Dump Bars
WOW. These aren't fudgy, chewy brownies, but the cook who posted it never said they would be! So if you rated the recipe low because it wasn't what you expected, you need to go read the description again. It is indeed an awesome brownie--rich, moist, and delicious. Only change I made was to use half butter, half oil, and to add some chopped pecans to the batter. They were absolutely delicious. I especially like the slightly crunchy top crust. Instant hit at my house!

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 29, 2011
Surprise Banana Cake
Delicious! I had only three bananas but it was still great. I added a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, but didn't make any other changes to the ingredients. Baked it in two round layers and mixed up a maple cream cheese frosting for it (butter, cream cheese, vanilla, maple syrup, confectioners' sugar), then sprinkled chopped walnuts on top. Yum!!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 12, 2010
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