winelight Profile - (188705253)

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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: Hiking/Camping, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing, 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 28 reviews
Pasta Primavera in Light Pink Cream Sauce
I've been trying to replicate a delicious light pink sauce primavera with roasted vegetables I'd had in NYC. I would always order it and it was divine. This comes close. I julienned the veggies - how the restaurant served it - and used only carrots, a yellow squash, two green zucchini, a sweet onion and sliced up some baby bella shrooms. Plopped them on a baking sheet, added maybe two tbls of olive oil, a decent sprinkling of the herbs, salt and fresh ground pepper. Roasted at 400 for 25 mins, stirring twice. My mistake - using a cheap, store-brand parmesan that I'd freshly grated for the sauce. Big mistake as the sharp, cheap flavor was just awful and pretty much ruined what could've been a deliciously delicate, yet complex finished dish. Next time, I'll use better parmesan and actually leave it out of the sauce altogether, putting it on to taste when serving. I'll also probably double the sauce, as the veggies soaked up a lot of it. Oh, and I may also use less butter and light cream next time. Liked this recipe a lot, sorry for the changes. It's a great start for the recipe I'm looking to replicate.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 19, 2015
Sweet Corn Bread
Third time making this. Outstanding taste, moist, tender texture. I made it last time with unsweetened coconut milk and no sour cream due to a guests dairy issue and found it to have been a bit dry, but still good. Make as is and you won't regret it! Followed the recipe exactly tonight and we loved it!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 15, 2015
Pineapple Grilled Pork Chops
This was delicious! Easy, no need to change a thing. I even accidentally put a bit of powdered ginger in, thinking it was an ingredient, but it still came out perfectly delicious. I marinated for about 48 hours, as I had some time to mix up the marinade, popped three small, boneless chops in, squished it up and so gave it an early start. *If you want to use the marinade as a sauce, glaze or gravy, BE SURE to boil it for a few minutes to destroy any bacteria from the raw pork!* I made a yummy gravy by whisking about a TBLS and a half of flour a little at a time until it was smooth, thickened and bubbly. Served the chops with slices of grilled pineapple rings, sauteed crispy shallots, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. Different and delicious. Will definitely make again! Thank you!

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 7, 2015

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