Nikki in Gilbert, AZ Profile - (15776569)

Nikki in Gilbert, AZ

Nikki in Gilbert, AZ
Home Town: San Jose, California, USA
Living In: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
Member Since: Nov. 2011
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Sewing, Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Charity Work
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About this Cook
I'm 68 years young (updated 2014) & have been cooking for family & friends since I was 11. Lots of basics learned very young and Nana Monzano & my fabulous cook of a Mother-in-law taught me TONs more! I love to cook for friends & family, however have some very real physical challenges to being able to. VERY hard passing on the cooking & hosting of large family gatherings, but my girls learned very well. I've been severely physically challenged since a drunk driver hit me head-on 20 years ago. So, I have to plan ahead when I cook, doing prep work, & whatever, in little steps through-out the day. Peel veggies for pot-roast at 8:00 am, sit or lie down for 15-30 minutes, braise roast & deglaze pan at 10:30 am, etc. Doing small amounts of the whole, works really well. I do my housekeeping the same way. I was widowed for the 2nd time in 2008, so I live alone. Have a really great kitchen, & a little scooter chair (adjustable height) which enables me to sit during times when needed
My favorite things to cook
I cook a lot of comfort foods, but I really enjoy cooking my Mexican dishes best. I've "invented" a few Mexican dishes, as well as a few "American" ones. I've been fortunate to have been exposed to several ethnicities while growing up, which is why I am so versatile in my cooking abilities. My strongest is Italian, thanks to Nana Monzano, but my favorite dishes are Mexican.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays, particularly Christmas & Thanksgiving! Partly for the foods usually served, but mostly for FAMILY!!! As I've accrued Sons & Daughter in-laws, my list of "gotta have's" on Thanksgiving grows bigger every year. I have 5 kids, 4 married, 2 "Heart-Sons, & 1 Heart-Daughter ( my in-law kids, but love them like my own), & 12 Grandcildren! I have had two Wonderful Husbands, (both with Jesus) and have had such a blessed life!! God has truly been good to me!
My cooking triumphs
Like I said earlier, I have "invented" a few recipe's, and hope to share them as soon as I find my old notebook. I'm quite proud of my " Chile Cheese Zuchinni" which always garners lots of compliments as well as recipe requests.
My cooking tragedies
Leaving lid off blender, when making basil pesto, leaving bread on stove after 1st rise & rushing young child to emergency room, & subsequent emergency surgery. Arrived back home 36 hrs. Later & couldn't even find stove!!! Too many to name! LOL!
Recipe Reviews 17 reviews
Best Ever Bruschetta!
I had occasion to spend some months in Florence, Italy at my Daughter's home last year, & loved the times I spent with her Italian cook! She gave me a "boatload" of recipes as well as showing me how to make them easily. Even tho they have "super-markets" there, most natives use an area under one roof, with butchers, breadmakers, cheese makers, the works, in fairly large cubicals, nested with-in. Almost like a little town within the big town. It seemed like it was at least a full square block containing little streets. It was fascinating, & she goes daily, except Sunday. She makes her bruschetta almost, sorta, the same. She uses fresh basil, ("why would anyone use dried?"). Marinara sauce (once in a while) no honey, but the biggest difference is she always mixed in Basalmic vinegar. A REALLY good wooden cask aged one. And oh is there a difference! She used Romano cheese and asiago something or other cheese. She says parmesan is too strong for this, & one "needs a melt-able, shredded cheese." She sometimes served cold with or without cheese. She taught me that it was pronounced "Brusketta". Oh, but she didn't use "English muffins" but did use sliced (toasted) Italian breads as well as sliced, toasted chiabatta bread, in addition to the long, thinly sliced baguette. HTH!!!

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Reviewed On: Jun. 29, 2014
Round Steak and Gravy II
What a terrific flavor this has!!! This is almost dead on the same way my Mom &I used to make "Swiss Steak" although most folks make that with a tomato base. I use a thin cut of " round", but I have the butcher run it through the tenderizer. If he can't, I tenderize it myself. Then, I flour & spice it, before I sear it. The flour helps to thicken the gravy, & searing it brings out the " cooked meat " flavor. Deglaze the pan, & pour that in too. Then, I add the soup & water, & one package of Lipton (Registered Trademark) onion soup & continue with Capco's directions. Thank you Capco for sharing this recipe. So nice to see this recipe already printed, because it was a favorite of my family, & I'm working on a "Family Favorites" cookbook, so my girls will have them in one place instead of loose in this cookbook or that. HTH!!!

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Reviewed On: Jun. 17, 2014
California Peach Cobbler
I made this also, but, unlike Baking Nana, didn't even realize ( Duh ! ) that it didn't have baking powder OR soda. Oh well, it turned out great, but like BakingNana said, was a little on the sweet side. AND, me with a sweet tooth. Think I'll try to cut the sugar down a half or third of a cup. Otherwise, had a great flavor. Better than my "old" cobbler recipe. I plan to try it again, with a little less sugar. I'll post again, either way. HTH !!!

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Reviewed On: Jun. 15, 2014
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