I have hated to cook my entire life. I prayed for years that I would like to cook because I have never had the desire or talent to be creative in the kitchen. I've spent years fixing meals (you could hardly call it cooking) that were mediocre and so-so. I'd try one recipe after another, never finding one that sparked any kind of enthusiasm, until I hooked up with this website. Being able to review recipes and what other people recommend has been inspiring - not to mention that 99% of everything I've tried from this site has been excellent! I'm a new person! I actually like to cook now, knowing that what I'm fixing has been tested and rated by tons of other people, and my family could not be more grateful! The investment of my time to cook is much more rewarding. I have confidence that what I'm preparing is going to be great!
My favorite things to cook
I like chicken and fish recipes the best, followed by salads, appetizers, desserts and brunch dishes. My all-time favorite chicken is the "Feta Stuffed Chicken", and for fish probably the "Broiled Tilapia Parmesan". For dessert it has to be "Antoinette's Strawberry Freeze" or the "Irish Creme Bundt Cake". In the salad category, I'm now frequently asked for "Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad" - it's fantastic, or the "Red Bean Salad with Feta and Peppers" - it's amazing! Appetizer hands down is the "Marinated Cheese" or "Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip II"! Brunch demands the "Baked French Toast" on a regular basis! I also love the recipe "Pesto" by Valerie - it's good on lots of things. I've discovered so many ingredients like feta, asiago, and fresh basil to name a few - I've even started a container garden of fresh herbs vegetables to accomodate my cooking!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am the only one left in my family that makes an old-world bread, a recipe brought by my grandmother from her home country when she migrated here. I make this a couple of times a year for my father and my husband - it's an acquired taste for sure and very labor-intensive - it takes an entire half-day to make it! But, they love it. It's called Caddie (pronounced Chadda). For my son I make another version of this heavy bread that is sweet, called Nazooga. Those are my only claims to fame in my family!
My cooking triumphs
I have actually started to prepare beautiful, gourmet meals for the first time in my life and that in itself is a triumph - that I'm even "cooking"! Thank you Allrecipes so much for this website - it has changed my life.
My cooking tragedies
Well, there are SOOO many...which to tell? Probably my most famous one is when I had a meatloaf recipe that called for bread crumbs. I didn't have any in my cupboard, but I did spy some graham cracker crumbs. "A crumb is a crumb, right?" I said to myself. It sounded logical. So, I substituted graham cracker crumbs for bread crumbs. I delightfully thought to myself "Everyone will want to know what I did to make this meatloaf taste so good - it will be my little secret!". Needless to say when the meatloaf was finished cooking, my husband (dear, patient man) cautiously asked me "Hon - what did you put in this meatloaf?". I spun around to see what he was talking about, sure that he was about to praise my culinary talents at last, until I saw this poor meatloaf! It had the consistency of pate! It was a gelatenous, dense, disgusting sight - it didn't even resemble meatloaf! When he sliced a piece it stood all by itself without falling over! It ended up in the trash!