ITSLAURAF623 Profile - (1511675)

cook's profile


Home Town:
Living In: Lindenhurst, New York, USA
Member Since: Jun. 2003
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Slow Cooking, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
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About this Cook
I'm a mom of 2 and work full time as an office manager for a brace and prosthetic company. I was raised with the strong influence of my Italian heritage and have a passion for cooking and baking. My upbringing and family really had a big influence on my cooking style and taught me how to cook and live my life with passion and zeal.
My favorite things to cook
Anything Italian and to bake. I find it to be a great way for me to escape from the day to day and de-stress, although I wish I had someone behind me to clean up after the mess in my kitchen while I'm preparing. I learned sugar art and how to decorate cakes with fondant. Over the past 3 or so years I've made a number of beautiful cakes for family and friends.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Baking 45-50 pounds of cookies with my family at Christmastime. We wrap them up and put them on dishes with cellophane and a decorative ribbon as gifts. I always make sure that I include a card that has a description of the cookies. I've been asked by friends if I would ever sell my cookies and cakes, but being that I do all of the prep work and baking myself (my mom is a great helper with the clean up - I'm a messy cook) I think it would take the fun out of it.
My cooking triumphs
Baking my fondant covered cakes for sure and a few recipes I've come up with, one of which is a recipe for fish (my husband's a fisherman) with bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, oil and grated cheese that's so delicious served over a bed of pasta with oil. My husband (and I) love it, as do just about anyone who eats it.
My cooking tragedies
I recall one of the first homemade cakes I made almost 25 years ago that literally crumbled after it was complete. I also baked an apple pie just about that many years ago and added WAY too much salt. I'll never forget the look on the person's face who took the first bite, too funny.
Recipe Reviews 7 reviews
Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef
Being I come from an old school Italian family, I NEVER thought I'd use and LOVE a recipe for meat sauce that i found online. The seasoning is perfect, no reason to alter it. This was the second time I made it. The first time I added 1 1/2 lbs of chopped meat and followed the recipe exactly except for not adding the peppers. It was delicious, but not wet enough. This time, I added a little over a lb. of chopped meat AND 4 sausage patties crumbled up while I was browning them. I used two 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes, one 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes and one can of tomato paste. I added about 1/3 cup of grated cheese, and was heavy handed on the spices. Served it over 1 lb of pasta with a dollop of ricotta and extra grated cheeseon each plate. I would suggest saving pasta water when draining it ( I stopped pouring out the pasta and left about 1" of pasta that wasn't drained at the bottom of the pot). That made it wet enough. I might add a little wine to it next time when cooking, but it's not totally necessary. Its so good, my family was eating the sauce alone with buttered bread! Enjoy!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 29, 2012
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
If I could give this recipe ten stars I would. The only change I made was to add 1/4 cup of white sugar to sweeten them slightly. Also, these are meant to be frosted, I wouldn't serve them without it. One recipe makes about 20 - 2 1/2 oz cookies. I made about 120 cookies in all in the two times I made them as party favors and for Easter and everyone raved about them. I weighed the dough and placed it directly on a sheet of parchment paper then gently rolled them and cut them with the cookie cutter and pulled away the excess, then when I was done with all of them, just slid the parchment paper onto the cookie sheet, fool proof! I baked them until they were just finished and the edges were getting to very light golden brown. They were soft to the bite and perfect. I would suggest using the "sugar cookie icing" recipe found in here, perfection! Good luck!

8 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 14, 2012
Carrot Cake
This is not your traditional carrot cake but hands down absolutely delicious. I doubled the recipe and made 4 round cakes, 2 - 8" and 2 - 10" as well as three full jumbo muffins. I didn't have 2 cups of walnuts and added just one, and added just about 2 full 20 oz. cans of crushed pineapple with the liquid, (which didn't effect the outcome at all). I sprayed Pam and dusted the pans before baking for about twenty minutes to a beautiful deep golden brown. I would suggest definitely checking them with a toothpick as looks can be deceiving and no one wants a dry cake. The frosting recipe filled the two layer cakes and just about covered the 8" two tiered cake, covered the 10" layer cake and I had a little left over to pipe a border (I posted a pic of the ten inch layer cake completed). Next time I would make a half recipe more to have more left over for piping. This tastes DELICIOUS chilled, much better than close to room temperature. I made these for birthdays so I had a slice last night and a taste this morning and it definitely is better served cold. I would mess with this much, maybe next time add a little allspice, that's it. Enjoy!

7 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 13, 2012

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