Hey there! My name is Julie and I'm from Massachusetts. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies! I find it very relaxing and enjoyable. I'm self-taught and I started experimenting in the kitchen about 5 years ago. I was living on my own for the first time and decided I either needed to learn how to cook or I'd be eating ramen noodles for the rest of my life! Low and behold I fell in love with turning raw ingredients into works of art and have been practicing my skills ever since. I cook about 2-3 main dishes a week. I try to include one new recipe each week and if my honey approves (which is pretty much always) I add it to our regular meal line-up. Allrecipes.com and the Allrecipes iPhone app have been invaluable tools in meal planning and creation. My honey calls me a 'kitchen magician' and it's always an awesome feeling when you're constantly asked by friends and family to share your recipes!
My favorite family cooking traditions
For Christmas eve every year my Grammee makes white Polish borscht. You start with a bowl of white broth and all the fixings are put on the table cut up into bite sized pieces; ham, kielbasa, hard-boiled egg, potatoes and horseradish . You can take whatever you want and put however much you want into the broth. It is my FAVORITE meal of the holiday season! I've always wanted to learn how to make it so that I can keep the tradition going when I start my own family.
My cooking triumphs
I asked my Grammee for the recipe, but she had been cooking it for so long that she forgot the exact amounts from the original recipe. I found a recipe online that was similar to what she described. I was nervous because I had never made a broth before. But that wasn't even the hardest part! I had to cut up EVERYTHING (with help from my honey thankfully!) I made a double batch with 2 dozen eggs, 2 ham steaks, 2 kielbasa and 5 pounds of potatoes. I think it took about 5 hours to make. It was definitly worth the effort because the results were fantastic! I gave some to my Mom, my landlord, my father-in-law, of course my Grammee with enough left over for me and my honey to eat borscht for a week! The best part? My Grammee said it was even better than the one she makes!
My cooking tragedies
Chicken fried steak is THE DEVIL! I don't know what it is, but every time I make it something goes horribly wrong and I'm left with only side dishes to serve. The first time I made it I was frying it in a pan and put a plate on top of the stove in order to transfer the meat once it was done. I set the burner to heat up and walked away. When I came back several more minutes I found the pan was NOT heating up. I looked and saw I had forgot to turn the burner on. Then BOOM! The plate on the stove shattered into a million pieces! Then I remembered...I did turn the burner on...the one that the plate was sitting on. We're still finding little black pieces of glass around the kitchen! I've made it twice and said to myself I was going to try one more time. If it's three strikes, I'm out! My third time was supposed to be a few days ago and I ended up just cooking a london broil in the slow cooker instead!