PainterCook Profile - (1438538)

cook's profile


Home Town: New York, USA
Living In: Toscana, Italy
Member Since: Nov. 2003
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Slow Cooking, Italian, Mediterranean, Healthy
Hobbies: Gardening, Biking, Walking, Reading Books, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting
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Me on My 25th Birthday from the Southern Italian Island of Lipari
About this Cook
I'm a artist, writer and designer who moved to Italy to study art. I fell in love with an Italian and the Italian way of life, so I decided to stay. I love doing anything creative, including cooking. I also love finding new, interesting ingredients and tricks in the kitchen. Buon appetito!
My favorite things to cook
I'm a fruit and veggie fanatic. I especially love green things. I love making warm and cold salads using ancient grains like farro / spelt and barley. I'm crazy about good olive oil, as I think it's the best solution to overall health in the marketplace. We often use our gigantic fireplace to grill over wood. I have a lot of time, so I don't mind recipes that require a lot of work or a long time to cook.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The only things I ever saw my mother prepare were steamed broccoli and eggs. My dad is the cook in the house, and I've always enjoyed that. I've had a lot of experiences with foods from different cultures. I love finding great, authentic recipes that I can make at home.
My cooking triumphs
Helping to prepare and jar 810 kilos, more than 1780 pounds, of the best tomatoes and tomato sauce I've ever had in a non-stop period of 24 hours last summer. Also, I went mushroom picking with an expert in Sweden in the biggest mushroom season anyone had seen in years. We collected over 40 varieties, about half of which were edible, and made everything we could possibly think of out of mushrooms.
My cooking tragedies
My thanksgiving turkey! The oven decided to stop working on Thanksgiving, half an hour into my turkey cooking. The bottom refused to heat up at all. I spent the next four hours with the top of the oven at 500 degrees, and I rotated my turkey by hand until it was done. Somehow, it still came out deliciously. That was a real nightmare!
Recipe Reviews 10 reviews
Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers
Great! This was my first attempt at making jalapeno poppers, and they turned out just wonderfully. I'm generally not into this kind of fried snack food, but I wanted my Italian boyfriend to try them for the first time. Due to our international status, I was forced to use a number of substitutions. I used pancetta instead of bacon, which I fried a bit and then coarsely minced. Instead of cheddar I used a mix of a mild, fresh pecorino and provolone piccante. I can't get jalapenos in my area either, but I did find some long, red chili peppers which worked perfectly. The real kicker that makes this recipe work so well is the breading. It's perfect -- worth following to a "t". Great recipe. I will be keeping this in my collection. Thanks!

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 7, 2009
Peanut Butter Noodles
I love this recipe. One of my favorite dishes is cold sesame noodles. This recipe might be made with peanut butter, but it's the best home version I've found. Because I've been living abroad for the past several years, I've had to learn to recreate such culinary memories at home - and this particular dish was the hardest to get just right. I've spent the last two months making this sauce at least three or four times a week, using recipes from all over the internet - including those of celebrity chefs (and if you're interested, Tyler Florence's recipe for sesame noodles is also really worth trying). But for ease of preparation and great taste, this recipe is just my favorite. If you want to play around with it, you can try adding sesame oil or a little vinegar to cut the sweetness - but I think it's best as it is. Scallions cut on the bias, julienned cucumbers, julienned carrots, chopped peanuts, or toasted sesame seeds all make fantastic additions. This is also a perfect sauce for cracked pepper grilled chicken. This sauce is savory, sweet, spicy, smooth, sticky, kid friendly, fast, cheap, and delicious. Try it!

499 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jun. 12, 2006
Chicken Nuggets
This is the first time I'm rating something with one star, ever. I'm very sorry to say that these were the worst chicken nuggets I've ever eaten. They couldn't crisp up (I use a fry thermometer so I know it wasn't the temperature), the batter was disappointingly thin, and they were virtually flavorless. I can't believe something fried could be such a disaster. I reread the recipe over and over again to see if I missed something or did something wrong - I followed this recipe to a "t". I'm guessing it's the water that didn't work out. I'm going to stick with flour/eggs/breadcrumbs from now on.

66 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 18, 2006
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