MelissaR Profile - (1959511)

cook's profile


Home Town:
Living In: Fresno, California, USA
Member Since: Feb. 2003
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Low Carb, Healthy
Hobbies: Boating, Reading Books, Genealogy
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About this Cook
I love food! I was raised in a family that loved food. About a year ago, I realized that my love of food was going to harm me significantly if I didn't get it in check. I was well on my way to being extremely overweight, developing health problems and just didn't feel good about myself. (That's an old picture you see.) I have lost weight, changed my eating habits and have control over food - it doesn't control me anymore. I still enjoy my sweets, but in moderation. One "cheat" day a week keeps me from feeling like I've given everything up. Now, I'm healthy and so is my husband. This is the kind of example I want to set for my future children.
My favorite things to cook
Anything I can cook in my wok is my favorite. I make a lot of chicken, so creativity is important. I think I have managed to find one new recipe for chicken every week for the last 4 months. I still love to bake cookies and cakes - I just don't eat it all anymore.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We started a Christmas Eve morning tradition a few years ago of making my great-grandmother's apple strudel to have for dessert on Christmas day. Her recipe is different than most strudels because it's from the old country - Czechoslovakia. The dough cannot be mixed with any tools - it's all hand-kneaded. The only tool we really use during the process is a rolling pin, but very little because the dough becomes rubbery if worked too much. It's hand stretched to be a 6 foot diameter on the kitchen table. We fill it with cinnamon, butter, apples, golden raisins, and walnuts. Rolling it up is a 4 person job, keeping all of the filling inside and not tearing the dough. We laugh because my great-grandmother made these every week BY HERSELF! What a strong Czech lady she was!
My cooking triumphs
Vegetables! Growing up, we always had vegetables, but they never tasted good to me. Most of the time, I think they were just overcooked or smothered in some kind of sauce. As an adult, I have found that when prepared just right (steamed with a little seasoning), I eat many vegetables and actually enjoy them. I hated asparagus and squash as a kid, but they are some of my favorites now.
My cooking tragedies
I'm not allowed to cook with bourbon anymore! When my husband and I first got married, I was trying a lot of new recipes. I tried to make a bourbon-marinated steak. We both ate a few bites and decided it was time to go out for dinner because it was so awful! We could taste the alcohol. I guess it didn't cook off and left us both with a bit of a headache. My husband cannot drink wine, so he always knows when I have added it to something I have cooked. He gets an instant headache. I keep trying, but I can't sneak it past him. So I finally started just drinking it while I cook and leaving it out of the food.
Recipe Reviews 3 reviews
Black Bean Salsa
Great guilt-free recipe! I used the Rotel tomatoes with chilis, lime juice fresh squeezed from 2 limes, minced garlic, and added the chopped cilantro in the mix. It's easy to start eating as you "taste" to get things right. Letting it sit in the fridge overnight made it even better!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jun. 19, 2009
Smothered Green Beans
This recipe is fast, easy and tastes great. I would recommend reducing the amount of liquid if you like green beans that are more crisp. I use an electric wok to keep everything crisp and extra hot. This has become a staple at our holiday meals.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 21, 2004
Angel Hair Pasta Chicken
This is a perfect dish when you are looking for something that is quick, light, easy and tastes great.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 6, 2003

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