CTCOOK1 Profile - Allrecipes.com (18001902)

cook's profile


Home Town: Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA
Living In: Windsor, Connecticut, USA
Member Since: Oct. 2004
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Kids, Quick & Easy
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About this Cook
I'm a stay at home mother to two beautiful girls ages 4 and 2. Before having my children, I was an elementary school teacher. My mother didn't cook at all when I was a kid. She just wasn't interested, so I grew up on frozen and packaged foods. I didn't even attempt to cook until my senior year of college. I was forced to try because I moved to a townhouse with a kitchen and I was off the cafeteria meal plan. At that time, even pasta and jarred sauce was a big challenge for me! According to my husband, I've come a long way (and he's tasted all my progress through the years), but I know that I still have a lot to learn. It's very important to me that my girls learn to cook at a very early age so that they don't find themselves in the same situation that I was. I love finding new recipes on this website that the girls and I can make together. Even my 2 year old gets in on the act. We make a big mess, but most of what we make is at least edible, and we have a lot of fun!
My favorite things to cook
I really enjoy any easy recipes that the girls can make with me. When I'm cooking solo, I like to try new Italian and Mexican dishes. I also use my crockpot quite a bit. Recently, I've experimented more with fresh herbs as well.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother, my daughters and I make Christmas cookies together. It's interesting to see how much more the kids can do each year to help than they could the previous year. I also really enjoy cooking together with my girls just making our regular weeknight dinners. They really like sitting down with my husband once he gets home to share the dinner we've made together with him. It isn't always easy to work into our schedule since my husband's hours aren't always consistent, but we've found that eating together as a family is extremely important to all of us.
My cooking triumphs
I recently started a dinner group with several friends of mine. We get together once a month or so. There is a theme for each meeting- last month was appetizers. Everyone makes a dish to share and brings copies of the recipe to exchange. We open a bottle of wine, taste test some new dishes and get a chance to catch up without all of our kids- they're all home with their dads! Many people have brought recipes they've found on Allrecipes.com. To me, this is definitely been one of my biggest cooking triumph. It allows me to keep learning and getting new recipe ideas from my friends while keeping us in close touch too.
My cooking tragedies
I am not meant to cook Thanksgiving turkeys. No matter how long I thaw them in the refrigerator, they are still frozen when I try to cook them. They always take hours longer than they should. One year, even the "fresh" turkey that I bought turned out to be partly frozen inside. How does that happen? My smoke detector, which in my own defense is extremely sensitive, goes off over and over and usually ends up unhooked until the meal is over. Next year, we are going out to eat!
Recipe Reviews 71 reviews
Chicken Dijon
My family really enjoyed this recipe. I cut my chicken into chunks and sauteed it with some mccormick chicken seasoning added to it. Once it was done, I removed it from the pan and left it on a covered, heated plate while I made the sauce. I doubled the sauce ingredients to serve this over pasta. I added the chicken back in at the end just to make sure it was still warm enough, but I skipped the baking part. I also added broccoli flowerets into this by tossing them into the pasta water for the last few minutes of cooking time. That added some nice color and additional flavor to the dish. My husband, six year old and four year old all cleaned their plates and they all had seconds too, so I will definitely make this again!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 4, 2007
Sloppy Joes II
It feels a little strange to give a sloppy joe recipe 5 stars, as they just don't strike me as 5 star food in most cases, but for sloppy joes, these were very good! My husband and 6 year old practically inhaled them. They weren't as well received by my four year old, but nothing with meat ever is. I used ground turkey instead of beef (on sale for $1.99 per pound!). I used 1/2 cup kethup and 1/4 cup of spicy BBQ sauce. I added a shredded carrot and a little more green pepper than called for since I'm always trying to sneak in some extra vegetables. I served these with french fries and veggies with dip and it was a quick, easy, inexpensive meal.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 3, 2007
Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder
This was very good soup. My 6 year old loved it. It makes quite a bit, but we enjoyed the leftovers the next night (and for lunch the following day). I added a can of creamed corn, which seemed to work well. Since I don't normally cook with velveeta, I just used shredded sharp cheddar which I already had on hand. I used a package of simply potatoes with diced onions instead of the potatoes and onion. I will cook them a little longer though next time. They weren't quite as done as I would have liked- my fault, as I was trying to hurry dinner along. I also added some diced ham to make it a more complete meal. We like having meat in our soup, but next time I might try grilled chicken, as the ham did make the soup a little saltier than I would have liked. Definitely a recipe I will keep and use again.

27 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 3, 2007

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