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 143 reviews
Ham Cake-ettes
Great idea. I totally tweaked this recipe for my own liking. I didn't have L/O mashed potatoes so I baked and used tater tots (chopped up) in replacement for that. I also used my own spice profile and shaped ham mix into golf ball size. Then I dipped those in egg/milk mix and rolled in panko type bread crumbs. I then froze them on a baking sheet & piled into a zip bag. I also made a pineapple sweet/sour type glaze and tossed the previously frozen ~ then deep fried ham balls in that. Awesome and thanks for the base idea Avon. Get creative I say.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 23, 2014
Berdean's Cube Steak
I tried this recipe as written first time. It was good but..I didn't like how the coating became soft/gummy after simmering. So now, I season up the cube steaks & sear on both sides in a bit of bacon drippings. Then I add beef broth (with 1 T cornstarch mixed in)and thin sliced onions. Cover & bake 2 hours at 325. Works great! Tender and tasty. Inexpensive dinner I did not consider for years as I disliked cube steaks I used to just flour/fry and try to eat. Nice idea although I do this a bit differently then written. Great start though, thanks.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 24, 2014
Cream of Celery Soup
4.5 Stars ~ only due to 'margarine' and I normally do a roux as the base first - not recipe directions. Easily adaptable though. I scaled this way down using 2 cups each of stock and milk. 1/2 C was buttermilk I needed to use up, just saying. I made this for tuna casserole as I'm weary of Crm of Mushroom soup :) I had 1/2 lb of chopped up celery I froze waiting to make this. Got that out and churned it around in my manual chopper bowl where you turn the blades with a handle on top. Due to the celery being seriously minced, I didn't strain. Also, I added 1 t. dill weed and a bit of lemon juice as I was using with tuna. Most any cream soups I grate in some fresh nutmeg as well. I sauteed the celery and onion in 1/4 C butter. I did add 3 lrge cloves of roasted garlic I pasted down. So, added 1/4 C flour, cooked it for a minute or so then slowly whisked in the stock 1st. Then added the milk, 1/4 C at a time. Oh right, I spaced out the carrots but I didn't miss them. I did simmer soup longer, whisking around occasionally. Soup turned out nice and tasted really good in my tuna casserole. I would eat it as a stand alone soup also and I could probably find other uses as well. Thumbs up! Easy to make and/or change a bit for your own preferences. Thanks!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Mar. 6, 2014

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