MariaTheSoaper Profile - (18645565)

cook's profile


Home Town: Seoul, Cheju-Do, South Korea
Living In: Seattle, Washington, USA
Member Since: Nov. 2005
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Knitting, Sewing, Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Fishing, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting, Charity Work
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About this Cook
My cooking reflects my travels to Europe, Mexico and my birth place in Seoul South Korea. I enjoy learning new cuisines and trying those out with the local ingredients I have at home here in Washington. I will say Spain has a special place in my heart and I call it "home" at least once a year. I've taken cooking classes at a local "culinary school" in Seattle and plan to enroll at the Kitchen Academy in 2009 for more professional training as my ultimate goal is to open a cafe on the Costa del Sol in Spain in the next 5 yrs. I really want my son to experience the world and live in another country to gain better perspective of the world and how we all fit in it.. outside of the USA.. I feel sometimes we as Americans are too closed off from the rest of the world.
My favorite things to cook
I enjoy experimenting with new flavors and trying out the latest food trends, but Spanish, Mexican and Korean cuisines are at the top of my list. Italian is great, because the old addage "simple is best" applies and its what I believe in when I cook. You don't need to add a whole lot to make a great meal, you'd be amazed at what just a few flavors can do to anything you make. I also love to bake, as this really requires the detail and precision cooking doesn't most of the time. Its more controlled and sometimes I like that.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In the summertime, I make paella (using an authentic paella pan from Madrid) on Sundays with sangria for my family and friends. Sometimes I'll even make tortillas de patatas, just like how my Spanish friend Vanessa showed me years ago with fresh crusty baguette bread and Spanish style chorizo I found at a lil butcher shop at Pike Place Market. By doing this, I feel less "homesick for Spain"..
My cooking triumphs
I will say my biggest "cooking triumph" was the first time I tried to make a violet flower shaped 3D multiple tier mother's day cake I saw in a Martha Stewart's "Special Occasions" cookbook. It was a 3 day process using meringue layers, sweet simple cake and lots of decorative icing. First you had to make 3 meringue layers shaped like a violet flower, then on the 2nd day you baked the cake layers and on the 3rd day, you put it all together with layers of raspberry preserves then decorated it with pale lavender colored icing and sugared violets.. The first attempt came out a bit lumpy and off kilter, but I made another shortly after and it was beautiful! I'd never used so many eggs in my life before to make any 1 food item, just the meringue layers alone was 18 eggs! A great learning experience for sure and definitely helped me step out of my "comfort zone" on trying new things.
My cooking tragedies
I remember the first time I tried to make paella from memory after my first trip back from Spain when I was 17.. it was a disaster and I must say my parents were great sports for eating it without getting sick! I tried to make it in an electric wok .. hahaha.. holy cow what a mess.. but it wasn't half bad, at least I thought.. this was also the same meal I tried to make tortilla de patatas.. that turned out to be a greasy mess, but I never stopped trying to make either.. luckily I went back to Spain a few more times and have learned so much and will keep learning!
Recipe Reviews 60 reviews
Roasted Chicken with Chipotle Cocoa Rub
Easy recipe to make, great use of spices, loved the flavor. We'll def make this one again.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 24, 2014
Salt Roasted Shrimp with Saffron Wine Sauce
The idea of using the salt bed to roast the shrimp on is a great idea in theory or for "show".. but the shrimp just soaked up the salt and the taste was over the top SALTY. The saffron wine sauce was spot on, we loved it, but next time, we'll either roast the shrimp as is without the "fancy salt bed" or grill them on skewers then use the saffron wine sauce to finish. The roasting salt bed idea would probably work better for whole fish or tenderloins where the mass can compete with the saturation of salt, but not for small meat items. The shrimp tasted like juicy salt licks by the time they were done roasting on the salt.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 24, 2014
Slow Cooker Apples with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar
Super easy recipe & with the Reynold's liners, snap to clean up! Rocks with vanilla bean ice cream or by itself (I had to test both out ;) ) I added pecans to the crumble filling/topping for a bit more texture.. YUM! Will make this again for sure.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 27, 2014
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