kaeotica Profile - Allrecipes.com (18933749)

cook's profile


Home Town:
Living In: Glen Burnie, Maryland, USA
Member Since: Jan. 2006
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Walking, Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
I started cooking as a teenager to take some stress off of my parents and to create delicious alternatives to our traditional, often unhealthy meals. It took off and became a great passion from there! Now my kitchen is stocked with the latest cooking gadgets, my pantry is stuffed with gourmet goodies and hearty staples, and my fridge always has something tasty waiting to be cooked up!
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook my mom's rice and beans (Puerto Rican style!) when I'm feeling homesick for my family. I suppose that's why traditional American comfort food is a second favorite of mine to cook; it's hearty, heart-warming, and always a social event.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every dinner meal growing up was always served with rice and beans on the side, cooked in a myriad of different ways with different beans and spices. That's one of the main things I miss about living with my parents, who are several states away. We also always made holidays social cooking events, with everyone crammed into my mother's tiny kitchen trying to sneak pieces of meat or sips of unfinished gravies. My family spent every holiday together, even if it was one which we didn't necessarily celebrate in the "traditional" sense--it didn't matter; it was another excuse to be together and eat delicious food!
My cooking triumphs
The first time I made a souffle that didn't flop on me, I was so excited that I didn't even want to eat it! My first time cooking a big meal alone for my family was also very special. I can't even remember what I made but it must've been very simple. Even still, I had up until that point only been helping in the kitchen chopping, stirring, and doing basic prep work before my mother got home from work. My first meal 100% alone was a shock to me as much as it was to my family, but we all enjoyed it and I've since learned that there are no tougher critics than your relatives--if you can please them, you can please anyone!
My cooking tragedies
My first time cooking a NY strip steak was an utter failure and waste of meat. I might as well have been making jerky! I've since mastered medium-rare steak au poivre, one of my absolute favorite meals. I still cannot manage to make a decent gravy, however! Pan sauce, no problem! Gravy from a roast's drippings? Break out the can opener because it ain't happenin'.
Recipe Reviews 11 reviews
Tater Tot Casserole I
This recipe can go from good to wonderful with a few changes: 4 eggs total (as others suggested) More cheese Pre-baking the tater tots AND some seasoning! I love paprika, garlic powder, Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute and salt & Pepper. The seasoning really takes this to a new level. I've also mixed in about 2 tbs of hot sauce to the milk before for a crowd that likes spicy things and it was a hit.

12 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 30, 2011
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
I know the secret to the most finger-licking good grilled cheese you'll ever have. I make it the same way as suggested here--real cheddar, nice quality white bread...but the flavor starts with mayonaisse...hear me out on this one!! I hate mayonaisse with a passion and even substitute honey mustard in my tuna salads! However, putting a very light coat of mayo on the outside of your grilled cheese sandwich makes it grill up beautifully and gives it such a nice flavor that I now keep mayo in the house just for this purpose. For cooking, I use a non-stick spray or the lightest coat of butter instead of the 3 tblps suggested. It's not the most figure friendly sandwich, of course, but nothing beats grilled cheese made this way with a little Frank's red hot as a dipping sauce on a rainy day. Give it a try whether you like mayo or hate it--you might be surprised!

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 5, 2008
Baked Teriyaki Chicken
This one was so good, my boyfriend kept sneaking into the kitchen to swipe a little sauce while it was cooking! I cooked the chicken as directed and was very pleased with the results. I doubled the sauce and, as others suggested, substituted the sugar for 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white, and also used 2 very large cloves of garlic. I also added the tiniest pinch of red pepper flakes--it didn't make the sauce spicy but did add a lovely warmth in the background! I served the chicken sliced over rice with more of the sauce and garnished with sliced scallions. Too good! I can't wait to make this again! UPDATE: I made this a second time--again, recipe doubled--but used low sodium soy. I didn't notice any difference at all in the taste! I also took another suggestion and lined my pan with non-stick aluminum which made clean up far too easy! This is still a favorite in our house!

12 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 9, 2008

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