naples34102 Profile - (18863788)


Home Town: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Living In: Mequon, Wisconsin, USA
Member Since: Aug. 2004
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Italian, Nouvelle, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting
Recipe Box 1 recipe
  • Title
  • Type
  • Overall Rating
  • Member Rating
Best Ever Blueberry Cobbler
Springtime Spaghetti
Italian Country Style Ribs
Simple Broccolini
Pink Flamingo Yogurt Smoothie
About this Cook
After raising two children and putting them through college, they are now on their own and my husband and I are empty nesters. Not better, not worse, just different! My husband's job has always required a lot of travel, but now I accompany him on all his trips. It seems we travel more often than we're home, sometimes several trips a month! I have seen and experienced some amazing things and while I do get homesick, I'm blessed for the opportunities to see so much of our country. And, since a great deal of my husband's work is in Naples, Florida, we have a second home there and enjoy our little getaway. When we're home, we've established a new ritual of dining, just the two of us...beautiful music, lots of glowing candles and a martini(Chocolate for me, Traditional for him) while we work together in the kitchen to make creative and elaborate dinners.
My favorite things to cook
While the kids were growing up, cooking meals was more a daily function than a satisfying experience. Once my "work" was done, I always found great satisfaction in baking. Now I've stepped beyond the "kid friendly" meals, and have really enjoyed trying more creative dishes for meals. Baking, however, is still my greatest joy. I still make the family favorites when requested, but I love experimenting, trying new recipes, putting twists on some of them, and try to master higher-skilled techniques not so familiar to me. No distractions anymore, so I now have the luxury of having the time and opportunity to work on more complicated recipes!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Having started cooking at age five, and at my age, there are many memories of family cooking traditions, and I still use them on holidays when we're all together. By far my favorite is our Christmas Eve dinner tradition. I am a second-generation Italian-American who continues to follow traditions set forth by my mom, grandma, and probably by the women before them too. We have a traditional, meatless, Italian Christmas Eve Dinner which has always included spaghetti with sauce made from tuna and anchovies (trust me, you don't taste the tuna or anchovies!), baccala (salt cod), and Shrimp Scampi. It wasn't always the kids' favorite, but they've come around! And I know they'd think something wasn't right with Christmas if it was any other meal!
My cooking triumphs
Consistently preparing beurre blanc and other emulsions perfectly and understanding why!
My cooking tragedies
I've only had one cooking tragedy, but it was a doozie! When my son was about 10, I was in college and preparing my Senior Thesis. I had been studying long hours, getting very little sleep, and still trying to keep up with my domestic responsiblities as well as taking care of the kids and getting them to all their activities. On his birthday I sent him to school with brownies for his class birthday treat. Easy...I made them so often I could do it blindfolded. I'll never forget when he got off the bus after school that day, carrying the empty pan and with his head hung down. Clearly something was wrong! He told me I had forgotten to put the sugar in the brownies, and I can only imagine how embarrassed he was as his classmates sunk their teeth into them! I couldn't have cared less about my cooking failure, but only that I was responsible for my son having a not-so-nice birthday at school.
Recipe Reviews 3205 reviews
Best Ever Blueberry Cobbler
When I prepared this for company this morning I violated my own rule of never serving anything to guests that wasn’t tried and true. Well I needn’t have worried. This cobbler was a hit and my guest requested the recipe. It was perfect in every way. Neither too runny nor too thick, just right sweet, the perfect balance between the topping and the blueberries beneath, and simply exploding with fresh blueberry flavor. The cake-like topping is buttery rich with an almost crackly, flaky exterior. The orange juice (I used fresh-squeezed) was not even discernible so if you don’t have orange juice I’d bet this would be just as good with water! I added no cinnamon. Unless you feel you need to enhance the already simple and luscious flavor of the blueberries and the buttery topping, leave the recipe as is. Perfection shouldn’t be messed with. Last, not only was this impressively and satisfyingly delicious (even without whipped cream or ice cream!), it is incredibly easy and quick to throw together and get into the oven. I baked it for 35 minutes and then, to ensure it was baked through, I laid a sheet of aluminum foil over the top to prevent over browning and baked it and additional five minutes. Excellent recipe with old-fashioned homespun goodness.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 6, 2015
Springtime Spaghetti
Rich and creamy. Comes together quickly, looks pretty and tastes delicious. I'm not a fan of carrots, raw or cooked, so I substituted orange bell pepper, tho' any number of other vegetables could be used with great results.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 4, 2015
Italian Country Style Ribs
This was so “D” good I almost licked my plate clean tonight. I added onion, garlic, parsley and red wine to my own tomato sauce and simmered it slowly for an hour and a half. Very tender meat and not the slightest bit dried out. Served this with bucatini pasta and “Simple Broccolini,” also from this site. One of those big payoff for little effort dinners.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: May 3, 2015
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