CHELIM Profile - (18163501)

cook's profile


Home Town: Saint Helena, California, USA
Living In: Napa, California, USA
Member Since: Jul. 2005
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Vegetarian, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Reading Books, Wine Tasting
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My red headed best friend Megan, and me
About this Cook
I'm 32, married and living in beautiful Napa Valley where fantastic, gourmet food is in abundance. I've taken many cooking classes for home chefs and one of the most helpful things I learned was "fat is flavor". So when a recipe calls for butter or oil, don't skimp to save calories.
My favorite things to cook
I love finding new foods at restaurants and trying to replicate them at home, then put my own spin on them. I also love seeing what I can put together with only items I have immediately on hand in the kitchen. The "Ingredient Search" on this site is particularly helpful in this regard. This tactic also helps me stock a pantry and refrigerated staples such that I can always put together a meal without having planned for it.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom and I use to make chocolate chip cookies a lot. Good ol' Toll House has a fantastic recipe. You can never fail with it, but you MUST use real vanilla extract (not imitation) and fresh ingredients to insure the fluffiest, most undeniable cookies. I know it's bad for you, but sometimes more dough gets eaten than actual cookies baked! My sister and mother are vegetarian so I've also learned to love cooking risottos and pastas and burgers with mushrooms. They add so much flavor and big portabellas are the perfect option for vegetarians at the "burger BBQ". Some of the meateaters in the group even top their beef burger with a grilled portabella they are so good.
My cooking triumphs
Thanksgiving Turkey and all the fixin's. My father loves when I cook (not just thanksgiving either) and is usually talking about it for 2 weeks afterwords. My turkey secret? Brine it in dark beer. I learned this one from Emeril Legasse. I've tried different beers over the last 4 years, my current favorite is Tecate.
My cooking tragedies
Homemade flour tortillas. The first time I tried them they were just dough that got toasted on the outside. I've since invested in a tortilla press and given in to using shortening and even sometimes (aaaack!) lard in them. It's so fattening but makes all the difference in flavor.
Recipe Reviews 7 reviews
Party Chicken I
I made this because I had the ingredients on hand, minus the beef. I was pleasantly surprised. It was so easy (10 min. prep. then forget about it for 2 hours) and tasty. I followed the advice of another by cooking at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Mostly because I had household chores to do and this way I didn't have to sit over the oven and wait. I didn't have bacon in the house, but had Pancetta, and it was yummy, and cooked through with no problem (no pre-cooking). I served this over brown rice and received the ultimate compliment from my husband.... "Mom use to make chicken and rice like this". Comfort food for sure. I especially like that it's so easy to change out ingredients to your taste, like cream of mushroom instead of Chicken etc.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Aug. 31, 2008
Broccoli with Poppy Seed Butter and Parmesan Cheese
This was so easy and uber yummy! It's a quick way to add a vegetable to the meal, and who doesn't love something with butter and cheese! 6 minutes of steaming was perfect on my gas stove. The broccoli was al dente and not soggy. This will be a staple in my household.

11 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Aug. 31, 2008
Baked Bar-be-Que Chicken
This was pretty good. I used a pyrex baking dish and sprayed it with non-stick spray in anticipation of difficulty in cleaning as reported by a previous review. I used only chx drumsticks as that's all I had on hand, 6 of them to be exact so maybe less meat than a whole chicken. I did not scale back on the BBQ sauce as I love sauce! I just eyeballed it so I think I may have used more like 2 cups......There was actually a good deal of liquid in the dish after 60 min. (I turned the chicken over at 30 min) so I had no problem with clean up. I poured off most the liquid before brushing with the sauce then continued for another 30 min. as the recipe calls for. The meat was already pulling back from the bone after the 1st hour so I turned the oven down to 245 degrees for the 30 min. with sauce. I was afraid it would be too dry but since I was cooking for myself and left overs I went ahead with the recipe's cooking time to test it out. The meat was juicy and flavorful and not the least bit dry. I did end up pulling the skin off before eating so I think I'd just do away with it in the beginning next time. Other than that, I'd happily cook this for a crowd any night!

85 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 30, 2006

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