baristacat Profile - (13645372)

cook's profile


Home Town: Princeton, Illinois, USA
Living In: Elgin, Illinois, USA
Member Since: Mar. 2009
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Needlepoint, Boating, Fishing, Photography, Reading Books, Painting/Drawing
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Beef & Noodles - A family tradition
About this Cook
I live in Elgin, Illinois in an old 1924 vintage Historic home plaqued by the Elgin Heritage Commission that has original charm like beautiful oak hardwood floors throughout (original), oak woodwork, beautiful hinge windows that open the house up to the outside like a book, huge enclosed front porch, claw-footed tub to spend hours soaking with a good book and a glass of Shiraz...and a big enough dining room to hold my gorgeous barnwood harvest table my dad made. Holds 10 and I love cooking for all of them.
My favorite things to cook
Italian food to me is a fine art like an aged wine, and I want to learn more about traditional Italian fare. I also love to cook simple down-home American classics (especially Southern recipes), I love baking, Mexican food...really I love it all!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Doing everything from scratch. We were never a box-meal type of family (except those exhausting nights where we'd make Tuna Noodle Casserole with Kraft Macaroni & Cheese), and although my husband may think I'm just being difficult, really I'm just doing it right. Any real meal is worth making from scratch.
My cooking triumphs
I'm a very decent cook, and can tackle any recipe thrown at me (the most difficult CAN take me to a second try, but ultimately, I'll get it), but for some reason, my whole life I could never make gravy. I decided I'd try out my new Pampered Chef roaster by roasting an herb-rubbed chicken and pair it with, of course, mashed potatoes and gravy. This made my husband nervous because my gravy was always either just flour water or way too chunky or just full of fat. So somehow I whipped up a delicious helping of chicken gravy, and it came to fruition somewhat like magic! My husband was quite pleased with me.
My cooking tragedies
Roasted Garlic Aioli. Excited to create a delicious meal for a couple of friends, I whipped up a batch of roasted garlic aioli to serve with some delicious steak fries (that turned out wonderfully, cooked on the grill). I was horribly excited about this sauce as I smelled the entire house up with the head of garlic in the oven, but when I turned it up in the blender and poured it into a ramekin, my nose turned up immediately. Upon tasting I realized I either did something horribly wrong, or that's just what an aioli is supposed to taste like and I really don't like it. Regardless, I sadly dumped the blender's contents into the sink and washed it away, never to hear from it again. I was just grateful no one was around to witness it!
Recipe Reviews 3 reviews
Coconut Shrimp I
this is absolutely delicious. i wouldn't honestly change a thing! i made this a long time ago for my family (a huge seafood fan), and they were all very impressed! it's fairly easy, too! just really monitor the heat while you're frying them up, cuz it can get away from you pretty easily. delicious though, will definitely make again!!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 11, 2010
Alfredo Sauce
this was rather delicious and extremely easy. it works really well as a way to rid your fridge of some leftover dairy too. i did use a bit more fresh parmesan cheese than suggested, and sauteed quite a bit of garlic in the butter as it melted. it did come out slightly chunky, but that really didn't bother me. it's difficult to find a decent alfredo recipe i have found, and this one definitely COULD, with a little tweaking, rival olive garden! yum yum!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 11, 2010
Coconut Cream Pie IV
i baked this pie exactly as it instructs but it turned out more like coconut soup. and where is the cream of tartar in the meringue? i feel as though if i wouldn't have even baked it, it would be fine...if i would've just topped it with whipped cream flavored with some coconut or something. we ate it out of bowls with spoons and the flavor was good, but why didn't it set up? i don't think it was me.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jun. 24, 2009

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