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 28 reviews
Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
Is no one else shocked at the amount of butter in these? Also, since most of the reviewers added more garlic and more wasabi, I'm not even going to bother using this recipe. The last time I made wasabi mashed potatoes, I just added some wasabi paste* to regular mashed potatoes and they were great. I just thought I'd look and see if anyone did anything markedly different. (*Which, btw, is simply made mixing powdered wasabi with a bit of water - if you're using REAL wasabi, you've obviously got cash burning a whole in your pocket.)

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 30, 2015
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.

1 user 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!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 20, 2015
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Cooking Level: Professional
About me: I received my culinary degree from Paul Smith's… MORE

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