val_squared Profile - (18597918)

cook's profile


Home Town:
Living In: Bay Area, California, USA
Member Since: Apr. 2006
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Dessert, Gourmet
Hobbies: Sewing, Needlepoint, Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
My mom never really taught me to cook, I just watched her a lot. I had a couple roommates and friends early on who were very adventurous, which helped encourage me to break out of the box with my cooking. In the last 5 years or so, I'd have to say that my cooking really took off to another level, ratcheting higher as I increased my herb and spice collection. Funny how that happens.
My favorite things to cook
Right now I'm home taking care of the offspring, so I have more time and energy to cook. I love making extra for leftovers and even freezing some for later. I love making complicated recipes that utilize my racks and racks of spices on the weekends, so I'm really starting to get into Middle Eastern and Indian cooking During the week, it's a little more simple. I adore one pot soups and stews. I am the soup queen. On those nights when no one wants to cook, we just wander over to the stuffed freezer and pull out a container of homemade soup, fajitas, enchiladas.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I'm afraid that my kid isn't old enough to help cook yet, but he's going to learn. I really enjoying feeding all sorts of world cuisine to my kid (since I doubt it will last). It's great watching him chow down on such things as curries and tagines, Thai, Indian, Laosian, Morrocan, Italian, and good home cooking.
Recipe Reviews 27 reviews
Red Wine Pork
I made this in my new pressure cooker since I wanted to try it out. I added a lot more carrots and garlic than called for and also added onion and celery. I sauteed the mushrooms in the bacon grease since I don't care for boiled mushrooms. I omitted the tomato paste as I didn't have any but I can see how it would add to the complexity of the flavor. The flavor of the cooking liquid didn't get into the meat very much at all but I might try marinating the roast next time. The veggies, on the other hand, were absolutely delicious. DOn't be afraid to use lots and lots of carrots since they are delightful - I added 5 large carrots and I think next time I'd add more!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 31, 2012
Rosemary Lemon Grilled Chicken
I used a stick of butter and a couple splashes of olive oil, juice and zest of 2 lemons and several ounces of orange juice. Like others, i used dried rosemary, a couple shakes of red pepper flakes, some dried garlic and onion. I also added about 1.5 t. each of kosher salt and sugar. It turned out tasty but I think I used too much zest as the reserved marinade was too bitter. Next time I will add more sugar to help balance the sour and bitter.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 7, 2012
Lamb Tagine
I used two lamb shanks and just stewed the meat and onions in the spices and some veggie stock for several hours. I then added 5-6 carrots, some sun-dried tomatoes, the lemon zest, the honey, some freeze dried apricots, raisins, and at the end, some frozen spinach. Served over rice, it was delicious.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 10, 2010

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