George Van Aken Profile - (13567882)

cook's profile

George Van Aken

George Van Aken
Home Town: Mesa, Arizona, USA
Living In: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Member Since: Jul. 2009
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Southern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Dessert, Gourmet
Hobbies: Gardening, Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Photography, Reading Books, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting
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About this Cook
My name is George Maurice Van Aken and I was born in Mesa, Arizona on December 6, 1966. I was named after both of my fathers’ grandfathers. I never did meet either of them. I was married at the ridiculous age of eighteen and sired my first progeny when I was twenty-two. Sabrina Rose is as beautiful as her name. Our second child was born in 1991, another beautiful daughter, April Anne. The girls’ mother and I wondered why our parents divorced. We tried it in 1993. We both remarried and currently get along quite well. The girls’ stepfather treats them much as I would and they are none the worse for wear. They both get straight A’s and I have high hopes. I found my soul mate and married her just as soon as I found out that she was pregnant. She came with a wonderful extra that was two years old when we married. He calls me “Daddy” and without him I would be sonless. His name is Adrian Michael Andrews and he’s now thirteen years old. A better boy cannot be found! When Adrian was thre
My favorite things to cook
Food, all food, no food is safe from the heat of my kitchen! I love to cook new things. I really have no FAVORITE thing to cook. (If this was 'my favorite things to eat' then it would take quite a bit more verbiage!)
My favorite family cooking traditions
Anything Pennsylvania Dutch, my Mom's nearest kin are the hillbilly-est you can get, and we hail from Norway on my father's side, so anything that is bad for your cholesterol, fattening, or sounding unpalatable is what we grew up on. Goooood eats!
My cooking triumphs
I've recently learned to bake and decorate a decent cake! Well, good enough that buying one from the store is a letdown. Nothing beats home made butter-cream, or my personal favorite, cream cheese frosting! I'm also extremely glad to find out that I can make a smooth and delicious rolled fondant that does NOT taste like almonds. Woot, woot!
My cooking tragedies
Trying to speed up anything, for example; baby-back ribs. It's NOT going to happen. Yes, they taste heavenly, of course you've nailed the home made sauce this time, tender, well, aren't they supposed to fall off the bone? I’ve been cooking for many years and still do not consider myself an expert. Even when cooking something that I’m told is the best and get requests for that dish at future get-togethers, and as much as I think that I have a specialty dish, I’m unhappy with some aspect of it when I’m done and it’s served. I do enjoy the praise, (even if it’s just kindness), from the eaters, and I love it when they can’t get enough!
Recipe Reviews 8 reviews
Basic Crepes
You need this recipe! I make them so often I don't need to use the recipe. Simple changes make these wonderful for both sweet and savory crepes. Do NOT omit resting the batter in the fridge. Eaters will laude you kitchen "skills"! ;)

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 16, 2013
Old-Fashioned Pancakes
Do you miss Grandpa's "flapjacks"? Well, you've found the recipe! I know it SAYS pancakes, but that's not accurate. These are my Grandpa's flapjacks, (except for the cooking spray)! You can't go wrong with this recipe. Whoever eats these will request them often. I make them for our overnight guests and everyone loves them. I love a certain box mix for it's convenience and versatility. So sorry, I won't be using that mix for flapjacks ever again. Nor, I am certain, will you!

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 16, 2013
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Reminds me of hunting deep in the Allegheny forest. This was a deer camp staple that never failed to satisfy and warm you up when you returned half frozen from the woods! I multiply this recipe and use an electric roaster. This is perfect for large gatherings. A buffet favorite that will make you a star!

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 16, 2013
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Cooking Level: Expert
About me:
Cooking Level: Expert
About me: I have been cooking since I was able to prop… MORE

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