CuppaTeaGirl Profile - (13423214)

cook's profile


Home Town: Wayne, New Jersey, USA
Living In: Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: Aug. 2009
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Walking, Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
Hi, all! After about a year of checking the recipes on this site each and every day, I FINALLY decided to join up! I started cooking when I got my own place a few years ago, and I've made great progress in the culinary arts since I started using recipes from this site. I work for a large publishing company in NYC, so I'm looking for tasty, relatively quick dinner recipes for during the week, and since baking is really my thing (been doing that since my grandma handed me a wooden spoon at five years old!), I always keep an eye out for scrumptious cookie, cake, and quick bread recipes. Looking forward to finding and sharing great tastes!
My favorite things to cook
I make a mean braised balsamic chicken, and I can't get enough penne with vodka sauce. I also really love using the "best steak marinade in existence" that I found on this site; it never fails to impress. As far as baking goes, I love making large, chewy choco chip cookies, as well as pumpkin muffins in the fall.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I'm a Euro-mutt in terms of ethnic/cultural heritage, but my favorite traditions are from the Slavic side of my family. For Christmas Eve, the family gathers together for endless plates of pierogies (potato, potato and cheese, sauerkraut, and prune), pagach, stuffed flounder, fried cod, and wild mushroom soup. For Easter, my mother and I spend three days preparing food to be blessed in the Easter baskets on Holy Saturday and then eaten for Easter Sunday breakfast. Traditional Slavic baskets include babka, roast ham, Ukrainian egg cheese, dyed eggs, horseradish, poppy seed roll, kielbasa, and hand-made butter crosses.
My cooking triumphs
My friends regularly mention, nay, DEMAND that I make them my oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies. I used a brown-sugar based choco chip cookie dough recipe, which I then encase around double-stuffed oreos. The result? The best sugar high you've ever experienced, though you can only really eat one cookie a day. I am also famous amongst friends and family for my Italian florentine cookies (I got the recipe from Giada on Food Network). These crispy, nutty, sweet, and extremely delicate cookies sandwich melted dark chocolate, and although you can find them in stores/bakeries, they are ten times better when they are homemade. They are extremely tedious and time-consuming to make--they burn easily and break easily--but, if you have the patience and kitchen space, they are worth the effort...though, you might want to limit yourself to making them only at Christmas, like I do. :-D
My cooking tragedies
I followed a recipe from a Turkish cookbook that my boyf brought back for me from Turkey. The recipe was for a "lamb yogurt casserole," which consisted of lamb browned in a pan and then placed in a casserole dish, covered in a yogurt/egg mix, and then put in the oven to bake until the yogurt top hardened and slightly browned. I'm pretty sure I followed the recipe correctly (despite the not-so-hot English translation instructions), but I just don't think the recipe itself was a good idea. The lamb cubes tasted fine, but the yogurt mix around them was so disgusting--both in taste and appearance--that we could barely eat it. Live and learn--stay away from yogurt/oven combinations!
Recipe Reviews 65 reviews
Yogurt Whole Wheat Quick Bread
Nice quick bread for breakfast, though not my favorite. I found the taste very light and slightly bland, so it definitely needs some jam spread on it. It's a great way to use up leftover yogurt, though, so I would make it again for that reason. Otherwise, I'll stick with the Colonial Brown Bread recipe found on this site.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 2, 2012
Chicken Enchiladas II
This was soooo yummy. I used whole wheat/low fat ingredients where necessary (still came out fantastic!), and I also used "Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken" (recipe on this site) for the filling. Everything cooked up bubbly, creamy, and delicious. And, relatively guilt-free thanks to my smart substitutions. However, next time, I think I would leave out the cream mixture from the filling--while it was tasty, I felt it detracted from the already yummy chicken I was using. But, if you're using plain old rotisserie or baked chicken as your filling, definitely keep the cream mixture in the filling for some taste, and maybe add some taco seasoning for a little kick. Otherwise, the overwhelming taste will be "cream" and not "Mexican spice." Will definitely make this again, and soon!

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 29, 2012
Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
This dish was good, but not as tasty as I was hoping for. I followed the directions exactly, and I used the shredded chicken to make "Chicken Enchiladas II" (recipe on this site). The overall result was good, but here is what I would do next time for ever better taste: 1) Add more lime--maybe another full lime, juiced. 2) Add a bit more taco seasoning 3) In the last half hour, I would shred the chicken, and then put the shredded chicken back in the slower cooker for the last 30-45 minutes to absorb the flavor.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 29, 2012
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Cooking Level: Intermediate
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