What Allrecipes Has Done For Me - Un Blog en Español Blog at Allrecipes.com - 274971

Un Blog en Español

What Allrecipes has done for me 
May 10, 2012 9:49 pm 
Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 3:37 pm
It has been nearly 7 years since I became a member of this comprehensive land of culinary awesomeness. Before then, I'd surf around, browse and print out recipes that I thought I'd make one day. I wasn't a member, so I didn't have a recipe box. Yeah, I printed over 300 hundred recipes (as if printer ink was cheap), bought several packets of page protectors and 3 binders to keep my recipe collection in. Now, tell me, what was I thinking?!! At the bottom of each page, I'd write tips from the top reviewers as to how to make the recipe even better. After going through that much work, do you think I would throw away those binders now that I have a recipe box and everything is computerized? Oh, heck, no! I still have those binders though I have not opened them for years. 
Before I went to college, an hour away from home, my mother tried to teach me how to cook. She is a great cook. We hardly ever went out to eat. I'm one of seven kids, eating out is not economically smart when you have a family of nine. I didn't pay much attention to what my mother taught me. I had her to make these dishes for me. Why would I have to learn to make them myself?! Well, I learned why soon after going to college and finding myself very short on cash. With no money to go eat out or at the school cafeteria, I had to go the economical way and buy a bag of rice at the grocery store. I refused to asked for money from my parents. I wanted to show how independent I was. So, I lived off my scholarship money the best I could. So, rice it was. After many attempts (sometimes the rice would come up too hard and sometimes too soggy) I got the hang out of making white rice!! I ate it by itself many times until I discovered that it tasted even better with shredded cheese on top. If the rice is really hot, the cheese would melt and create a really yummy topping to the otherwise bland and boring white rice. Well, that white rice with cheese was good enough for me. Years went by and even though I didn't eat that everyday (sometimes I'd fry an egg and replace the cheese with it) I managed to make it through college without knowing how to cook. A few years later I got married and moved from PR to Georgia. My mother in law didn't cook everyday but when she did, she made very flavorful authentic dishes. There was NO WAY I could feed my new husband white rice with cheese on top. I had to learn a thing or two. I would call my sister in PR and ask her how to make certain dishes. The calls got more frequent and longer. Next thing you know, I got a book in the mail. "La Cocina Criolla" is a huge bestseller back in PR. It's a collection of traditional Puerto Rican recipes. My sense of culinary adventure was starting to wake up inside me. However, my first husband was (maybe he still is) a very picky eater. I got by making 5 or 6 different dishes and then we would repeat them all over. It was fine with him. A few years went by and I found myself alone with my 2 year old son. I met my current husband, Wayne, at Fort Bragg. Wayne has traveled all over the world and comes from a multicultural family. Unlike my first husband, Wayne loves to try new dishes and likes variety. I can make anything I feel like making and I know he will eat it. He would even suggest things for me to cook. He'd say things like "back in Germany I had this such and such that tasted like such and it was SO good I wish I could have it again". Well, that's when I really started looking for recipes and ways to expand my repertoire. I instantly fell in love with the ease of navigation of the allrecipes website and with its many features. It was (IS) the easiest and most visually appealing recipe website out there. I simply did not have enough hours in the day to make all the recipes I wanted to try. I started to bring dishes to get-togethers even when I wasn't required to do so. I'd look for excuses to bake and share. I was soon known for my passion for cooking and baking and that's how the "rumor' spread. People started to say that I was an amazing cook!!! What?!! Me?!! Of course, the more I heard it the more I wanted to show off!! The truth is, I really enjoy cooking. Just before becoming an Allrecipes Brand Ambassador, an episode of What's Cooking was filmed at my home. That was almost a year ago. A few weeks after, I got a call from Allrecipes asking me if I'd be willing to go on live TV to promote the What's Cooking episode on a local morning show. I said yes and went live on Great Day St Louis last June. The segment was only 5 minutes long but I was nervous. It was LIVE! Somehow I managed to do well enough to be asked for my contact information by the show producer. They wanted to know if I'd be willing to come back!! I said yes but was sure that they were only being nice. To my surprise, I have been asked back 4 times since. I still get nervous, I still make mistakes, but I enjoy it. People now call me a "TV Star" (which I'm not) and a "Famous Chef" (which I'm also not). I was also lucky to be chosen by McCormick spices to film a video featuring their newest product McCormick Gourmet Mixes. I got to travel to Seattle and meet the Allrecipes staff. I also got to meet several of my fellow Brand Ambassadors in the process. I might even be lucky enough to return to Seattle this summer for a big celebration!! This last year has been crazy awesome! In the meantime, I keep sharing pictures of my daily cooking on my personal Facebook page and people think I should open my own restaurant (yeah, it takes way more than nice pictures to have a successful restaurant, but that's how impressed some people are). I have over 600 hundred pictures of dishes I've made, most from Allrecipes. I keep rating, reviewing and uploading pictures to the Allrecipes website and have become one of the top photo submitters. No, I won't be opening a restaurant and I won't end up having my own TV show. However, I can be a home cook that other home cooks look up to. I can provide some guidance and I can give some inspiration and motivation in the kitchen. I will be a lifetime Allrecipes member and I look forward to further evolve in my own little culinary world. 
Allstar at the home of the St Louis Cardinals - 2011 World Series Champions
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Allrecipes 15th Anniversary! - City Garden St Louis, MO
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AllStar at City Garden St Louis, MO
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May 11, 2012 8:32 am
Wow, that is a wonderful story about your culinary evolution. I hope you will make it to Seattle in July with so many other AR ASA. I can't wait to see and read about all the fun everyone has. I have already been enjoying the apron pictures.
May 11, 2012 6:13 pm
What a wonderful story! It's so cool you've been able to do so many cool things. Good Luck in the future!:)
May 11, 2012 8:47 pm
I love your story! And for whatever it's worth, I think you are an amazing cook---if for no other reason than you can promote what you do! Thanks for your blog!
May 25, 2012 7:55 am
Oh wow!! Thanks!! I didn't think anyone would read this so I'm very happy to see you guys did. You are all so kind. Thank you!! :o)
Aug. 8, 2012 6:53 pm
Nelly...do you have a facebook? I miss chatting w/ you..Its June.. enjoy viewing your recipes...ttys
Aug. 17, 2012 7:12 am
Way to go!you're seriously an inspiration
Aug. 20, 2012 12:58 pm
Nelly This is a great story to share. Isn't it wonderful how just keeping ourselves committed to live each day to the fullest evolves into opportunities that change our lives, and those of others. You are generous and inspiring. Thank you. Marjorie Spinningstrawintogold blog on AR
Sep. 26, 2012 9:45 pm
I use your advise on how to caramelize sugar for flan and it turns out great!! Thanks for helping me look like a better cook than I am! You are adorable.
Dec. 28, 2012 3:37 pm
I am puerto rican however where i live I cannot get the food! So I have to start learning to cook it myself! Alot of things I cannot spell can you help me??
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Home Town
Jardines Del Caribe, Ponce, Puerto Rico

Member Since
Sep. 2005

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Vegetarian, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
Hola!! I'm a 36 years old Nuclear Medicine Technologist, mom to the smartest and handsomest 16 year old boy (I love you Dan!) and wife to a retired military man. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico but the military brought me to Ft.Bragg, NC where I lived for 13 years. After my husband retired we moved to St. Louis, MO (in August 2009). I'm currently job hunting. I've met some great people in the area but I still miss my family in PR and my friends in NC. Planning meals, cooking and baking take a big chunk of my day and make it more bearable.
My favorite things to cook
A challenge! That's my favorite thing to cook. Making my own versions of popular restaurant foods, making international dishes, making food look pretty and yummilicious... I just LOVE to cook! :o)
My favorite family cooking traditions
Being from Puerto Rico, it would be a sin not to mention Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas), Pernil Asado (Roasted Pork), Tostones (Fried Plantains), and Pasteles (hmm...pasteles is kinda like a Puertorican tamale, made with green bananas or yuca root - or even a variation of roots). I do love Bistec Encebollado though and I think my mom makes the best in the world!! I did find a pretty good recipe for this dish at Goya.com
My cooking triumphs
A triumph for me consists of my husband, or my son, or anyone to tell me that they loved my dish. I love feedback in the kitchen and most of the feedback I get is very good I must say :o)
My cooking tragedies
I just got a new stove when I moved to my new house and I just can't figure out the right setting to cook pancakes!! Hahaha. I always burn one or two before I can get it right and then I FORGET what temperature setting I used!!! I can't remember anything in particular that was a huge disaster but I do mess something up every now and then. Hey, it's life!! Life's boring without mess-ups!!
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