Julie N Profile - Allrecipes.com (18284441)

cook's profile

Julie N

Julie N
Home Town: Skokie, Illinois, USA
Living In: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Member Since: Nov. 2005
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Healthy, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
I'm a professional musical theatre actor in Chicago. By day I'm an Executive Assistant for an electronics distribution company.
My favorite things to cook
Low-cal and tasty dinners in the Crock Pot.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My Mom's famous brisket at my Jewish family's gatherings.
My cooking triumphs
My 1st Thanksgiving!
My cooking tragedies
Baking Amish bread. I just couldn't get that passed-on recipe right!
Recipe Reviews 9 reviews
Irish Lamb Stew
Only 4 stars because I felt the stew was a little too thin and watery -- I missed that thickness I usually associate with stew. I whisked some warm water with flour, and also a touch of heavy cream. After adding this the stew thickened up and turned a nice beige color that I'm used to in Irish Stews. I also did this in a slow cooker; started for 1 hour on high, then turned it down to low for 5 more hours. After the first 3 hours I added the veggies (also included celery) and I wished I had waited another hour because 2 hours would have been perfect for the veg. I did without the bacon to bring down the calorie/fat count. I also added a lot more thyme, salt and pepper, in addition to some garlic powder, and substituted chicken broth for the beef broth and beer for wine. The basic recipe was very good, and with a bit of tweaking it turned out just like the Irish Stew at my local Irish Pub.

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 1, 2008
Turkey Brine
There is really no way to mess up a brine, in my opinion, as long as you have the fundamental ingredients of water and salt. All the extras just add to the flavor and that's why I gave this recipes 5 stars. I used the combo of spices and my bird turned out so juicy and flavorful. I didn't have vegetable broth (and didn't really want to spend the money on a gallon of it) so I used 4 oz. of apple cider and 12 oz. of cold water. I didn't exactly follow the directions to a tee because I was too lazy to boil everything and then bring it to room temperature -- I simply mixed everything together cold and started brining right away -- and it still turned out great. I also added a handful of peppercorns. Brining is definitely the way to go. I used a 13 lb. bird and a turkey brining bag that I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I was able to fit my bird in the bag standing on end inside a tall stock pot. I gathered the top of the bag with a rubber band to make sure the brine completely covered the top of the turkey. I didn't have to bother with flipping the turkey 1/2 way through because it was completely saturated from head (or, rather, neck?) to toe. My dad (who has been the turkey chef in the family, up until now) applauded me for the juiciest turkey breast he has ever tasted. The juices were literally dripping down the breast as he carved it. I am now a brining devotee and would never go without brining again!

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 30, 2008
Aunt Millie's Broccoli Casserole
This was a great side dish for my Thanksgiving feast. I also tweaked the recipe according to the many comments I read -- just a pinch of salt and pepper. I also planned to use cream of celery, but when I got to the grocery store I noticed a can of Campbell's broccoli cheese soup right next to it, and I thought "why not? how bad can it be?" Well it was FANTASTIC. I hardly had to use any additional cheese because the flavor of the soup was so cheesy already. Just about 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar, and a little milk to thin out the soup. I also used Reduced Fat Ritz crackers. It was fantastic! I found myself devouring this first, even before the turkey. This dish was the first one to go -- NO leftovers--which made me a little sad, but I will definitely be making this again soon. So simple and a total crowd pleaser!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 30, 2008

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