Valerie Anna Profile - (1591911)

cook's profile

Valerie Anna

Valerie Anna
Home Town:
Living In: San Diego, California, USA
Member Since: Aug. 2003
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, Sewing, Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Walking, Fishing, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting
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About this Cook
I love to cook. If I had the opportunity, I would love to go back to school and study the culinary arts, but until then I'm the professional chef of my own kitchen. I cook pratically all of the meals at home to the comfort and enjoyment of my husband, two children and all of my pets (I have 2 dogs, a cat, an aquarium and a vermicomposter - yes I consider my worms pets too!). When I'm in the kitchen you'll always find my dogs laying around nearby hoping to catch anything that falls on the floor. Gotta watch out though...hehe...I've tripped over them several times.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook anything and everything. I started out my love of cooking primarily making desserts. I loved the smiles of people when they'd bite into something sweet and sinful. Aside from desserts, I love cooking ethnic dishes and trying new flavors.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The only cooking tradition I grew up with was making homemade ice cream every summer growing up. My dad would throw together the ingrediants for vanilla ice cream, pasteurize the stuff in a sauce pan over the stove, pour everything into his old fashioned hand crank ice cream churner and we'd all take turns cranking away. That original ice cream maker has been gone for a while, but one Christmas, I tracked another one down just like it and gave it to my father as a gift. He loved it. That summer we made ice cream. I got to have the first bowl because everyone else was too lazy to help....hehe. Good times.
My cooking triumphs
It was my first Thanksgiving after getting married. I decided that I would be the primary chef that year and invite all the families over for Thanksgiving supper. I took the Wednesday off before and started preparing all those things that I could. The very next day I got up at five in the morning and slaved all day in the kitchen, up to an hour before guest arrival time, making all kinds of gourmet sides I'd found here on Allrecipes (Cranberry Orange Relish with Orange Flavored Liqueur, Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic, Lemon Pepper Green Beans,Vegetarian Gravy,Baked Stuffed Pumpkin,Double Quick Dinner Rolls,Cream of Pumpkin Soup), all kinds of things that weren't the family's traditional foods aside from the infamous turkey and ham. I think it's safe to say that everyone's jaw just dropped when they saw what I had prepared considering it was the first huge meal I'd ever done. *grin*
My cooking tragedies
I was bored at home one lazy afternoon during summer vacation when I was a child (I was probably 10 years old). I decided that I wanted to bake something for my family so I started flipping through my mom's recipe books for desserts. I focused on a recipe for an orange meringue pie and decided I'd try that one after seeing that all of the necessary ingrediants were readily available. I worked hard preparing everything; rolling the dough from scratch and preparing the filling and meringue, but after all was said and done, the filling wouldn't set and the meringue wouldn't fluff. *sigh* Oh well. It still tasted pretty good. I need to try that recipe again sometime.
Recipe Reviews 94 reviews
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Superb and delicious! Was a super easy and quick meal to make. Would totally make over and over again! :)

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jun. 27, 2011
Special Buttercream Frosting
This buttercream frosting is awesome, with some of my own changes. As is the recipe works fine, but I prefer my buttercream frosting to actually use real butter, so that's what I did. I substituted real, salted butter for the shortening and omitted the extra call for salt, although the adding it wouldn't have hurt. I also used non-fat milk, but that was only because I didn't have any heavy cream in the fridge. The key to making this, or any frosting, is to first cream your butter and then add the confectioners sugar slowly. If you add it all it once, you'll end up with a big clumpy mess. Adding the sugar slowly allows time for everything to come together. Very smooth frosting and very tasty. This is my go-to buttercream frosting recipe from now on!!!!!

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 11, 2010
Frosted Cranberries
I've bitten into a plain cranberry before. Let's just say it was not pleasant. But these! These were amazing! The sweetness of the sugar helps balance out the bitterness and tart of the cranberry. I love it! I took the suggestion of some other people. I replaced the egg with a tablespoon light corn syrup. Also, instead of using regular granulated sugar I used ultrafine sugar (i.e castor sugar, berry sugar). If you don't have ultrafine sugar, pulsing regular granuated sugar in your food processor would work!

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 15, 2009
Cooks I Like view all 1 cooks I like
Cooking Level: Intermediate
About me: I am a Southern California wife and mother of… MORE

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