CantHelpMyself Profile - (1919626)

cook's profile


Home Town: N Of Chicago, Illinois, USA
Living In: Illinois, USA
Member Since: Dec. 2002
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean
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My boy Pete
About this Cook
I'd like to say my cooking level is expert but I'll just say above intermediate, lol. I became interested in cooking at age 12 as I did not like Mom's bland cooking. Of course I made some bad meals while learning! Even now in my 50's, I enjoy trying different recipes but usually change a bit to suit to my tastes or alter a cook method as to what I know works for me. I like experimenting with new recipes/ideas and reading other's reviews. I find great tips/tricks and input quite often. Since I'm measurement challenged, I find it near impossible to submit a recipe of my own or I would. My reviews are solely as an idea for others as to what worked better for me or due to what I had on hand - not to disrespect anyone's original recipes. I'm reviewing the submitted recipe with my own spin and if something doesn't turn out cuz I messed with it, I'm not about to leave a bad review. Felt that needed saying on my part as I see some ppl get kinda upset over others doing that.
My favorite things to cook
Most anything spicy with lots of flavor. Things I can easily change up to suit my own tastes. Hispanic, Comfort, Italian, Asian inspired, Greek and Southern or Cajun mostly. Lately I've gotten into baking breads and cookies. Still can't seem to master a pie crust - boo!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Don't have any.
My cooking triumphs
Italian Beef Sandwiches (apparently it's a Chicago/Midwest thing). My recipe has been requested by many friends after they've eaten them. Hard to do when you add a little this, a little that, so on and so forth during the cooking process. I've been told I should start a food truck to sell them. Of course along with fries and such. Maybe someday I'll give it a go if I could find the $$$.
My cooking tragedies
We're going back years here. One time, Spaghetti sauce - used dried tarragon by accident (thought it was oregano) and all I can say is ICK, licorice taste in spaghetti sauce was AWFUL. Unfortunately I had added to the meatballs too! That meal definately got tossed out. Another time, a meatloaf recipe called for some applesauce in ingredients. Don't do it! Had a good laugh about that one. Sounded good on paper but horrible on the plate, LOL.
Recipe Reviews 164 reviews
RedEye Bloody Mary
I make a virgin mix first and let it chill for a few hours. I used 2 - 46 oz containers vegetable cocktail (V-8 type). I somewhat eyeballed the rest of ingredients with a few adjustments due to what I had on hand. Did 1/2 of lemon juice amount. I have one of those Ninja Pros and blended some of the cocktail juice with cubes of frz lemon and lime juice and used Pepperoncini (minus it's juice). My additions (I read quite a few recipes) - 1/4 C tangerine juice, 2 T steak sauce + 1 tsp beef base. I ground up celery seed, sea salt and coriander in my spice grinder. Also used 1 T Tabasco versus standard hot sauce. I started with this recipe but with my few mods - fabulous! I use the mix to make one awesome drink at a time. Thanks for a great starting point Hawkeye and the idea of adding cilantro is just what I was looking for.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 27, 2015
Buttermilk Pie
I have mixed feelings although I did like it. BUT...I only used a scant cup of sugar (hence 4 stars) as 1-1/2 cups appeared overkill for myself. Mine tasted just fine on sweet level. I did use that True Lemon powder (1/2 t) instead of lemon juice. I also blind baked a pre-made crust by Pillsbury which is a deep dish type and entire filling fit right in. Also, I screwed up and dumped the buttermilk in the butter/sugar mix b4 the eggs and it was pretty grainy. So I put the mix in micro for 1 minute (1000 watt) and it became smooth and creamy. I have these silicone crust protectors called "tan not burn" and used it during entire baking. In the end...good pie although nothing I've tried before. Heck, we ate it! lol. It needs 'something' but not sure what. Also, I did start at 400 for 15 minutes and reduced to 350 for 30 minutes, shut oven off and left it alone for 10 more minutes. I've decided I like this room temp, not refrigerated. Didn't get a chance to freeze any because this pie flavor grows on you and 2 of us ate it all in 3 days. I will make again when I have excess buttermilk to use up and maybe add more lemon/nutmeg. Thanks for the great start!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 5, 2015
Buttermilk Bread II
Like Sarah Jo, I also cut recipe in 1/2 and used my K/A mixer too. I used room temp buttermilk and butter vs margarine. I only had Hodgson Mills yeast for wheat bread (a bit more yeast in pkg). I used 1 T honey vs sugar and proofed yeast with honey in warm water. I mixed room temp melted butter and the soda in the buttermilk w/out any salt. I add salt to the flour which I didn't need entire amount of - I still had 1/2 C I didn't use - so I suggest add flour until dough workable. Anyway, my dough struggled to rise using just the oven light so I turned it on for a minute, turned off & the dough finally rose nicely. I added about 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar but I didn't notice it in finished product so will skip it next time. I also created rolls using a 12 portion muffin pan. I partially baked the rolls as I froze all but 4. The 4 I finished baking off next day were fabulous. Not exactly 'airy' but not dense either. Moist with a nice chew and lovely flavor. Oh, I did add 1 T of minced fresh rosemary and some garlic powder. I think I could have eaten 6 of these at one sitting all on their own, lol. I'm going to make a second batch. Update: 2nd batch (1/2 recipe) I omitted my cheese addition and the rolls turned out lighter and were even better then my 1st stab at this. Thanks Ester for a simple bread or roll recipe you can tweak a little bit without consequences.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 5, 2015

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