My name is Janel. I live in Massachusetts, 30 minutes north of Boston. I am one of 5 children & grew up in a house of 7. All our meals consisted of meat, instant potatoes or instant bread stuffing, and canned vegetables. I always promised myself I would not be that type of cook, and strive to prepare meals as fresh as possible. It's difficult at times since I truly like the taste of junk like Kraft Mac N' Cheese & Hamburger Helper. I moved out of my mothers house two years ago, and made a promise to myself to be a better cook than that for myself and for my future children. I make an effort to use fresh ingredients. I consider myself a kind carnivore; I research the meat I buy and try to buy non hormone injected meat. I love the summer time in New England, because of the fresh vegetables offered for sale on various farms.
My favorite things to cook
Turkey Chili- This was un expected hit at work. It's in my recipe box. Make it, it's unbelievably flavor-able.
Meatloaf - I make a mean meatloaf. I use ground turkey & my secret recipe brown sugar.
Chicken Wings - My chicken wings are sort of a big deal. They are requested at every party I'm invited to.
Green beans - My girlfriend (and my former boyfriend) love them. I sauté them with margarine & italian panko bread crumbs.
Mashed Potatoes - yukon gold potatoes, butter, milk, sour cream, cream cheese blended with an electric hand blender. yummy!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Peeling potatoes & apples the day before Thanksgiving with my aunts & my grandmother.
My cooking triumphs
The chili. I couldn't believe I made something that tasty. It was the best chili I have ever tasted in my life. Check out the recipe in my recipe box.
My cooking tragedies
It's a funny story.
There I was cooking for a semi-large party in a kitchen I had never cooked in before ...
I was making my famous chicken wings. I wanted them to cook in an hour, when typically they need two hours to cook. I need to put tinfoil over the pan in effort to make this happen.
I didn't find any tinfoil in the kitchen, but found saran wrap. I figured saran wrap would work just as well as tinfoil.
A half hour went by, and when I went to check on the chicken I didn't see the saran wrap.
I asked out loud, "Who took the Saran Wrap off my chicken?"
Our hostess looked at me and asked "You put Saran Wrap in the oven?"
Me: "Yes, and someone took it off."
Hostess: "You put Saran Wrap in the oven?"
Me (frustrated) "Yes!"
Hostess: "Saran Wrap is plastic, it melts!"
Needless to say, my chicken was covered in melted plastic. It was hilarious & embarrassing at the same time.
HOWEVER, the guests still ate it. Pulling the plastic off as they found it.