Kitchen Ramblings and Other Things My Mother Taught Me...With a Twist Blog at (5/2011)

Kitchen Ramblings and Other Things My Mother Taught Me...With a Twist

May 22, 2011 8:53 pm 
Updated: May 23, 2011 1:07 pm
I’m sure there are places I could go to get fresh strawberries in the desert, but since I’m new in town, I don’t know where that might be…yet.  So in order to make a few things to acknowledge National Strawberry Month, I “cheated” and picked them at the store.  Luckily, the blueberries and… MORE
Sweet and Silky Strawberry Sorbet
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Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream and Shortbread Crust
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Strawberry Shortcake
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Sweet Biscuits
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May 21, 2011 11:49 am 
Updated: May 22, 2011 12:12 pm
How many times have we seen those words in a recipe review, or have we typed them ourselves?  I have to chuckle every time I see it.  With the exception of baking, and then only sometimes, a recipe is simply a guideline.  Recipes do not necessarily have to be specific, prescribed ingredients,… MORE
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May 16, 2011 3:31 pm 
Updated: May 24, 2011 1:09 pm
First of all, let me say that I look SOOOO awesome in my school issued uniform...NOT.  The skull cap (under which my hair does not fit) really clashes with the cravat and those checked pants do absolutely nothing for my girlish figure.  Ok Ok, a nearing middle aged girl, but a… MORE
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Tags:  Lifestyle, How-To
May 6, 2011 10:24 am 
Updated: Jun. 7, 2011 8:13 pm
Its done.  The move to Las Vegas is mostly complete.  The sale on my house in Seattle closed last week and the new owners are loving living there.  Culinary school starts in 10 days and I've managed to find a fairly decent mix of grocery stores to meet my shopping… MORE
Crispy Polenta with Sausage and Peppers
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Cookin Up A Storm

Home Town
Fergus Falls, Minnesota, USA
Living In
Santa Cruz, California, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2010

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Gardening, Walking, Photography, Music, Wine Tasting

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About Me
I am a mid-life career changer who has enjoyed cooking (and eating) good food all her life. My Mom went to work when I was in the 5th grade and most days when I got home from school, she'd have left instructions for me to get dinner started. Cooking never felt like a "chore" back then and it certainly rarely feels like one now. During my 20 plus year career in IT, I traveled all over the US for work. And for fun, I traveled internationally. I have a fairly broad knowledge of food, but when cooking, I tend to stick to comfort foods and pretty much anything Italian. I have a big collection of Asian or eastern foods in my arsenal and I absolutely love their flavors. I am a professional chef who runs her own personal chef service.
My favorite things to cook
Comfort foods, soups, chilies, baked goods, candies at christmas, anything Italian, pizzas, homemade dressing for big salads when good veggies are at their peak, potstickers. Anything I can bake that's bad for you like doughnuts, coconut cakes with whipped cream frosting or fresh artisan breads slathered with butter. When I cook for clients, I am forced to move out of my comfort zone and I love trying new things. I especially love coming up with streamlined ways to make seemingly complicated food easy and accessible for everyone.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Mom's Potato Doughnuts - she's frying them as she was going into labor with my younger brother and then wasn't home to monitor how many I was eating over the next several days. I rarely stray from the Thanksgiving basics I grew up with. I do switch up the veggie dishes each year, but the basics remain pretty constant. My own tradition (not one I grew up with) is making Turkey Wild Rice soup from the leftovers. No better way to extend the taste of the holiday for me. Making Chili on a cold winter weekend, in honor of my Dad who made a batch nearly every weekend in winter as I was growing up. I don't use his recipe (too much Chili Powder and Dark Kidney Beans for my taste), but I do think of him when I make it.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering Gnocchi - so light and puffy, they are like clouds. A killer Vodka Sauce - never ever have I tasted one better. It took me a lot of tries to get it right. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes - from the book of the same name. Fresh bread...anytime. I always keep a few batches (Wheat, White, Semolina) in the fridge. Heat up the oven, shape the loaves, bake...yum. Homemade Caramels at Christmas time. I make both Vanilla and Chocolate Caramels and they are to die for. I give the Vanilla ones away as fast as possible, as I cannot stop myself from eating them.
My cooking tragedies
So many to list, such little space to write in.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States