KISMET37 Profile - (1570068)


Home Town: Middletown, New York, USA
Living In: Oakland, California, USA
Member Since: Mar. 2003
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
I've been cooking since I was about 12 years old and have always loved experimenting with new recipes. I would read cookbooks while I ate and start planning to try something different. 30 years have passed and not much has changed except that I don't really have that much time to cook anymore. When I do cook, I still like to try a lot of new things and get 95% of my new recipes from this site.
My favorite things to cook
Nowadays, my favorite things to cook are anything quick and easy that my family will eat. My daughters are not too picky but they don't always like the same things. Personally, I'm a Pesco-Vegetarian (I eat fish but no other animal protein), so we end up cooking a lot of fish since everyone will eat it. Too bad it's so expensive!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I used to make about 20 batches of different cookies for Christmas Eve. I'd start about a week before and not leave my kitchen all that week. The whole kitchen would get covered with flour and sugar, but I'd just give a quick sweep at the end of the day and start again the next day until I had enough to bring to church and then to family Christmas Eve where we'd open the presents. Then we'd leave the remainder out for "Santa" who was bringing special presents in the morning. My girls are almost grown now and I'm no longer a stay-at-home Mom, so I don't have this tradition anymore. Maybe someday I'll be a retired Grandma and can bring it back! I still make the Thanksgiving turkey each year though with homemade bread stuffing and gravy. Ironically, I don't eat it, although I admit that I taste some of the stuffing.
My cooking triumphs
Anything I've made completely from scratch that turned out great has been a triumph. I used to always make spaghetti sauce and soup from scratch and they were always wonderful. They're not too labor-intensive, so I still make them sometimes. There is nothing in the world so good as lasagna made with homemade sauce.
My cooking tragedies
When I was about 19, I made homemade spaetzle for my future in-laws. I had a very cheap non-stick pot and some of the coating (I guess) boiled into the spaetzle. They were grey inside and had this horrible metallic taste, but I made the mistake of not tasting one first and actually served them. It was a very embarrassing moment at the table when everyone bit into one and no one wanted to say anything to spare my feelings, but I knew they were bad and possibly even dangerous to eat. I threw out the pot that day and still shy away from using non-stick except for certain things. I learned my lesson that day that it doesn't pay to buy low quality tools for the kitchen.
Recipe Reviews 76 reviews
Zucchini Fritters with Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato
I prepared this exactly as written and wouldn't change a thing. It's a little time-consuming as I was frying fritters for a long time. I got about 20 out of the recipe (so 2 per serving). However, the time investment was worthwhile. Straight out of the pan, these fritters are light-textured with a crisp outside and a creamy interior -- pure comfort food. I don't expect the crispness to last, but I'll see what reheating in the oven does for them. Regardless, the combination of seasonings is very good and gives these are great flavor. I'll definitely make again but would love to have a griddle on hand for my next attempt.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 16, 2014
Slow Cooker Zucchini Soup
Meh. This soup just didn't excite me. It wasn't bad, but I found myself looking for excuses to eat something else. I always rate recipes as written, but I might add beans or pasta to this if I ever make it again as I felt like a flavor or texture was missing for me.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 29, 2014
Spanish Flan
This was my first attempt to make flan, and it could not have been easier or turned out more perfect. I followed the instructions almost exactly but did take advice from other reviews. Here are the tips that worked for me: 1) I prepared my caramel in the microwave using the "wet" method by adding a 1/2 cup of water to the sugar in a pyrex measuring cup. It was ready in about 8 minutes on high, but did need to watched carefully. I started with 5 minutes and went up by 1-minute increments from there. I noticed that the caramel continued to darken after being removed from the microwave, literally while I was pouring it into my pan. I think another few seconds would have ruined it. 2) I poured and swirled my caramel in the pan immediately after removing from the microwave. This is crucial as it did harden very quickly. If there's any real skill involved in preparing this recipe correctly, this is it. 3) I prepared my custard in a blender so it was super smooth, and baked in a water bath rising halfway up the sides of my pan. 1 hour was not long enough for me as the custard was still completely liquid in the center. I ended up baking 20 minutes longer until the center was set but very jiggly. The results were amazing. I brought the flan to a party and other guests raved. The custard was silken and the caramel was molten and luscious. I wouldn't bother to try any other recipes. This is it.

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 8, 2013

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