jrbaker Profile - Allrecipes.com (1305468)


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Member Since: May 2001
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Italian, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Gardening, Photography, Reading Books, Painting/Drawing, Charity Work
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Nov. 10, 2013 1:29 pm 
Updated: Nov. 11, 2013 6:32 am
Originally published at http://houseoffrolicandmirth.blogspot.com/2013/11/kahlua-cake-pops-video-and-great.html  The ideal holiday party has three main components:  great friends, a menu where everyone is asking for the recipes, and a festive atmosphere.  In my previous behind-the-scenes… MORE
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From The Blog:  House of Frolic and Mirth
Karen's Rolled Sugar Cookies
Tortellini Minestrone Soup
Spinach, Sausage (instead of bacon) and Mushroom Salad
Amazing Muffin Cups
Avocado Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
Avocado Banana Walnut Muffins
Chef John's Corned Beef Hash
Grandma Mottle's Blarney Stones
About this Cook
I LOVE ALLRECIPES! Cooking is one of my passions, and the way I express appreciation and love for my family & friends. They all know me as "the cook" in our circle--if anyone needs a recipe, I'm the one they ask. I've traveled all over the country and love sampling regional foods. We tend to stay away from chain restaurants in favor of local ones, and enjoy the delicious variety each part of the country offers. Food photography is another favorite hobby of mine. I'm married to a wonderful guy and we have 2 beautiful girls who like being in the kitchen with their Mama. Please find more of me and what I'm about on my blog: http://houseoffrolicandmirth.blogspot.com/
My favorite things to cook
My absolute favorite recipes are clones from restaurants--it's so much fun to have people ask "did you really make this?" I also enjoy pastas, vegetable dishes, and creating lower fat, healthier recipes from those that aren't so healthy. Packing my two girls' lunchboxes every day is also a fun challenge--we like healthy and fun meals that focus on nutrition.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every year for my husband's birthday, I bake his favorite cheesecake, and my daughters get their favorite birthday cake or cupcakes (it changes every year). We almost always have their parties at home. At Christmas, I love baking biscotti for gifts and myself; ).
My cooking triumphs
Each Christmas I host dinner for my family, and it's the one time during the year that I get to cook everything for them! I plan the menu for weeks-having a successful meal is the highlight of my year. Also, almost every New Year's Eve, I host a dinner for friends, and they get so excited about being invited--it's great to know that I can cook something they enjoy so much. Lastly, I have coworkers and a boss who LOVE to sample my latest creations! (They'll eat anything......)
My cooking tragedies
I can't make a good gravy. And I'm Southern! Also, I once froze bagged salad that was buy one get one free. I was only 20, and not very savvy about lettuce storage! I learned very quickly that you can't freeze lettuce.......
Recipe Reviews 271 reviews
Gluten Free Rotini with a Charred Green Onion Pesto, Toasted Cashews and Cranberries
We LOVED the pesto, I wish I'd made more. This was very good and I added grilled chicken to complete the meal. If you love green onions and cashews, make the pesto soon--you won't be sorry! The gluten free rotini was a nice change, and would be perfect to serve to friends who can't tolerate gluten.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jun. 16, 2014
Karen's Rolled Sugar Cookies
These worked great for me. It's important to chill the dough in a flat disc, and then when you're ready to roll and cut the cookies, allow it to rest at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes after removing from the fridge. This prevents the dough from being too crumbly while rolling. Using Reynold's parchment paper to roll them out meant no sticking, and almost no cleanup. I loved the taste, they aren't too sweet which means you can add icing and candy and not get a crazy sugar rush! My girls loved them too!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 18, 2014
Tortellini Minestrone Soup
This is DELICIOUS! Restaurant-quality. I was afraid of the ketchup, but the red wine adds so much body to the flavor that it just works. My family devoured it, and I'll definitely make it again.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 14, 2014
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