earthygirl Profile - (15900227)


Home Town: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Member Since: Jan. 2012
Cooking Level: Professional
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Nouvelle, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Gourmet
Hobbies: Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing
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About this Cook
The past several years, I've been a stay-at-home mom / part time astrologer & jewellery designer and aspiring writer, but before I had my 2 boys, I was a pastry chef (though I was never the boss - happy to be #2: no politics!). I have been a "serious" cook most of my life, basically as soon as I was allowed to cook on my own! :)
My favorite things to cook
Having been a pastry chef, I obviously have a knack for desserts, but, truth be told, at home, I don't really cook desserts much anymore. I love inventing new variations of sauces (just as I used to love dreaming up new flavours of crème brûlée and ice cream). Once I know how to cook something, I pretty much ignore the recipe & go my own way... ;o)
My favorite family cooking traditions
Dessert! Seriously - my mom baked a lot when I was a kid, so it's no surprise that I eventually ended up doing that professionally.
My cooking triumphs
That's a tough one... I've cooked in quite a few 4* restaurants & hotels and for a lot of celebrities, but I think one of the things that stands out as a personal 'triumph' was the time that I was working at a certain very famous hotel in the Rockies: I was not at the top of the ranks there, but a guest, who was VIP enough to be allowed back in the kitchen, asked for me personally, after my old Chef told her where I had relocated (from Toronto). She wanted me to make my "famous" crème brûlée (as I made everyday at Centro). I was floored, but a couple of the other cooks weren't as happy. (Hotels can be like that.)
My cooking tragedies
This may sound egotistical (I assure you, it isn't), but I can't really think of any -- except maybe the time, as a teenager, I made my first shrimp souflée. It took me longer than I had expected and my dad got so impatient that he left & went out for a burger! (More for my mom & I, lol.)
Recipe Reviews 25 reviews
Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
I used chicken broth instead of the water; organic condensed cream of mushroom soup instead of the cream of chicken soup and I added a couple of tablespoons of organic powdered chicken boullion (along with a bit of sage and thyme, since I used mushroom soup, instead of chicken). Next time, I will add a couple of cloves of garlic, too. Oh, and 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese was not nearly enough to cover a 9" x 13" dish -- I doubled that. I agree that spaghetti, as another reviewer mentioned, is not the best choice for holding the sauce, but Tetrazzini is supposed to be spaghetti, so you'd have to change the name, I would think, if you used a different pasta.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 1, 2015
Cabbage Roll Casserole
This was delicious. Since I didn't have quite as much meat (I used ground chicken) as the recipe called for, and I had cooked basmati rice to use up, I briefly sautéed the chopped cabbage and then added a bit of water to steam and mostly cook it, then I set is aside, while I cooked the meat and onions. Then, I added as much cabbage as I thought was appropriate,* along with the tomato sauce and simmered it for a while longer. Then I added the rice and adjusted the seasoning, allowing the rice to take on some of the flavours of the mixture. I didn't bother baking this in the oven; the dutch oven on the stovetop worked beautifully. Next time I make this, I plan to add some chopped bacon, for more depth of flavour. (Just don't tell my Ukrainian MIL, lol.) *Leftover cabbage is always nice to have on hand, anyway!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 20, 2015
Quinoa Side Dish
I did not care for this recipe. My husband ate his but didn't want it for lunch the next day (that never happens). I don't usually toast it before I cook it; not sure if I want to try that again. :-( It seemed lacking in flavour, except that it was a bit bitter, even though I thoroughly rinsed the quinoa before cooking it. I am not sure I want to use the red variety again, at this point...

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 29, 2014
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Cooking Level: Professional
About me: I received my culinary degree from Paul Smith's… MORE

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