kitchen.shy Profile - (188705253)

cook's profile


Home Town: Minnesota, USA
Living In: Connecticut, USA
Member Since: Mar. 2013
Cooking Level: Beginning
Cooking Interests: Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean
Hobbies: Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting
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About this Cook
After having lived in a shoebox apartment in NYC with a square foot of kitchen counter space and no way to cook anything, I moved to a large condo in a small New England town and had a huge kitchen all to myself. I decided to learn how to cook after becoming engrossed in Food Network and watching all the amazing things the chefs did that looked so easy. I'm still trying to get really good at this and gain confidence, but I'm much better than five years ago, when I literally didn't know how to make rice! My favorite way to cook is to find a delicious recipe, gather all the ingredients, put on some great music, pour myself a vodka on the rocks, take my time and see what happens!
My favorite things to cook
I'm still happy to stick with the classics for now. Italian sauces, soups, basic roasting, meats, etc. I also seem to gravitate towards some international dishes - Puerto Rican, Spanish, Greek and am trying new ones all the time. I also have to admit that I find something wildly sexy about cooking with shallots! ;)
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom & Grandma were amazing cooks and made a lot of German dishes and desserts. I also have a fairly bland, inexperienced palate due to growing up in the Midwest, where all pasta is called "spaghetti" and all salads come with ranch dressing. But I'm definitely trying to expand my taste buds' horizons.
My cooking triumphs
I made two Puerto Rican dishes within the last six months that I'm exeptionally proud of - a mouthwatering pernil at Christmas and a fantastic arroz con pollo. Both came out beautifully and I'm not even Puerto Rican.
My cooking tragedies
Ugh. My first attempt at baking. It was a homemade chocolate-banana cake. What a disaster. The recipe said "add semi-sweet chocolate" - so that's what I did...whole pieces of it right into the mixer. Ca-thunk, ca-thunk! When I realized it wasn't going to mix itself into the batter and that I was supposed to MELT it first, I simply scooped out the batter, chocolate and all, into another bowl and microwaved it. Worst. Idea. Ever. The poor cake came out chewy and hard. And it was supposed to be a birthday surprise for someone! I still have nightmares about it.
Recipe Reviews 18 reviews
Cranberry Orange Loaf
Soooo, soooo good! I'm not a baker by any means, but this came out moist, tender and melt-in-your-mouth flavorful. The only problem for me was that I'd recently had a piece of this bread from a neighbor and longed for more of the sweet, whole, juicy cranberries than she put in. So, inspired, I decided to have a go at making my own loaf. Except that after reading a review of someone who had included a WHOLE bag of fresh cranberries, I decided this was something I'd like, too. HUGE MISTAKE. The bread, although light, fluffy and so pretty, came out waaaaay too sour/tart with all those cranberries! I was actually puckering while eating a piece. :) Being a novice baker, I didn't realize I should probably add some more sugar to offset the tartness. :/ So if you like cranberries, I'd suggest chopping up half, leaving the other half whole and adding MAYBE another 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup ONLY. No more unless you use extra sugar! No matter how tempting it is with only a few berries left in the bag! The tartness mellowed out some and the loaf is great toasted with butter. But next time, I'll go easy on the cranberries! Other than my goof, it was a really, really yummy bread. Definitely will make again! :)

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Reviewed On: Nov. 16, 2014
Beef Stew VI
I have to honestly only give this recipe 4 stars after reading all the great reviews that followed reviewer "Chuck" ~ I decided to go with his suggestions, mostly. Placed the beef in a bag with seasoned flour and I did "shake it up, baby". Took a long time to brown the four batches of meat to a nice crust/color. I used one cup of a Cabernet wine for the water and deglazed the pan & crusty stuff with that, scraping up the burned & browned bits. I used a knife to cut/crush up the Knorr beef boullion cubes, melted in the remaining 3 cups of hot water. No rosemary on hand, so I did 1 big shake of Italian herbs instead. I brought meat & liquid to a boil and let simmer for an hour, covered. Smelled GREAT! Added 3 stalks celery, half a bag of baby carrots chopped, 2 garlic cloves, 1 large yellow onion & leftover gold potatoes I had on hand, 3 lbs, 2 shakes Worcestershire. Added another 2 beef cubes in 2C hot water, as it didn't seem to have enough liquid, but added only 1C initially. Was very "soupy" after 30 mins, so I took the leftover beef dredging flour, whisked it into the boullion water in batches, added that & cooked another 30 mins, cover off. Liquid turned a light tan & thicker, more like a stew consistency than soup, which is what I was going for. DELICIOUS!! Beefy, savory, a tad too salty due to the xtra cubes, but somehow still delicate, layered and complex in flavors. Just monitor to your tastes, TASTE AS YOU GO for seasoning and voila! SOOOO GOOD! Will make again!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 16, 2014
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Sadly, these came out gummy and glue-ey for me. And the slow cooker just made it worse, I think. :( But I'm open to realizing it might have been my error, as well. But aside from the texture, the taste was yummy.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Aug. 20, 2014

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