melis Profile - (18937040)

cook's profile


Home Town: Stratford, Iowa, USA
Living In: Rio Rancho, New Mexico, USA
Member Since: Jan. 2006
Cooking Level: Professional
Cooking Interests: Baking, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Italian, Southern, Low Carb, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Walking, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting
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About this Cook
I'm a mother of two and live in rural Iowa, I started cooking with my mother when I was very young and it has been my job as well for many years. I am a home cook with a few fancy touches when necessary. I can feed a small army with little effort, or sometimes for two with 3 days of prep. My kids and my partner are my biggest fans, as well as those I've cooked for and served over the years
My favorite things to cook
Baking is my favorite thing to do in the kitchen, desserts, cakes, cookies, bars and cheesecake, We all love cheesecake
My favorite family cooking traditions
We have a birthday dinner in our family. My mom started it and I continue it with my children. The birthday person gets to choose the menu for supper/dinner including dessert. I looked forward to it when I was a child and I look forward to doing it for my family now. This past birthday I was getting ready to plan my own dinner when my partner, Nativson volunteered his services. I took him up on it and made my dessert that morning while cooking breakfast so this was my first real birthday dinner since having kids of my own
My cooking triumphs
I'm learning to make some traditional Native American food. My partner is from New Mexico and he's Native American{Indian}, so that is currently my triumph, my past ones include mastering a Swedish dish called Ostakaka, creating my very own lasagne that is really good and has been a sell out in every restaurant I've cooked in. Baking my very firsr angel food, from scratch, the first time I made gravy and it was as good as my mother's.....PIE, I love pie and didn't know I could make one as good as mom's until about 4 years ago. We all love pie!
My cooking tragedies
I haven't had any that I would consider tragedies, although I made the above-mentioned lasagne for my now ex mother-in-law and my ex husband's entire family and everyone loved it, she glared at me all through the meal....afterwards my ex confesses that his mother had been trying for years to make a good lasagne, it was the standing family joke in fact and I made 2 pans that disappeared before her eyes. My ex father-in-law didn't even realize it had cottage cheese in it, he hates lasagne made with cottage cheese,he even suggested I give her the recipe, so that was kind of tragic, wasn't it?? hehehe
Recipe Reviews 36 reviews
Layered Eggplant Hamburger Casserole
I gave this 4 stars because I made changes. This is a great dish, true comfort food. We love eggplant so to start with I cut the slices thicker, at 1/4 inch they bake to mush, mine were 1/2 inch or a bit more. I also used my own marinara sauce and used a mix of ground beef and sweet Italian sausage. I skipped the onion slices in between the layers completely, they serve no real purpose and add nothing to the casserole. I used bread crumbs on top mixed with a hefty amount of good grated parmesan, in between the layers I added a nice layer of mozzarella and provolone cheese and no bread crumbs. I baked this for 45 minutes covered at 350, then uncovered for 20 at 400. 80-90 minutes in the oven as the recipe calls for is too long. It is unnecessary to salt and allow eggplant to sit to get rid of the bitter, especially when using a cooking method such as this.

22 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 1, 2012
Sweet Potato Pie I
Nice basic idea, however sweet potato pie has NO cinnamon, so that was omitted and only nutmeg and mace were used as is traditional. I also use no real measurement for heavy cream or half and half instead of milk, you only add what you need and depending on the moisture content of the potatoes it is different every time. Milk isn't rich enough. I also bake much like a pumpkin, raising the heat to 425 or so for about 10-15 minutes then lowering for the rest of the baking time. It's a good basic idea and with a few tweaks became incredible!

26 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 14, 2009
J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits
Great recipe, thanx!!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 14, 2009

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