naples34102 Profile - Allrecipes.com (18863788)

naples34102


naples34102
 
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
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Italian Drunken Noodles
Lucky's Quickie Chickie
Becel(R) Savoury Braised Green Beans
Veal or Chicken Marsala
Parmesan Zucchini
  
Grandbaby Andrew's First Date with the Car
Penne, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad
The reason for my cooking hiatus
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 2356 reviews
Lucky's Quickie Chickie
There are quite a few recipes like this circulating the web but this one was less complicated, involving less steps. Man, was it good. I seasoned the chicken with some garlic salt as well as the salt and pepper and cooked it in a combination of olive oil and butter for a little extra flavor. One and a half teaspoons each of honey and balsamic vinegar seemed a little skimpy, so I increased that to one tablespoon each and it was just the right amount. I combined the two before I added it to the chicken and it blended in easily. I try to limit my carbs, so I served this with fresh green beans and sliced tomatoes but frankly, this would have been even better with some hot cooked rice.

10 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 7, 2014
Veal or Chicken Marsala
Dust veal with flour, season with salt and pepper. Sauté for just a couple of minutes on each side, not eight minutes! Veal cooks quickly - do NOT overcook, the most important criteria, in my opinion, for Veal Marsala, or any veal dish for that matter. Set veal aside on a platter and keep warm. Add a little more butter and olive oil to pan and sauté mushrooms, some shallots if you like, and minced garlic for 4-5 minutes, not ten! Add about a cup each of chicken broth and REAL Marsala (NEVER cooking wine as directed, and certainly no water!) and cook until it is reduced by about two-thirds. Swirl in a dab of butter at the end, off heat, for a velvety rich, luxurious, glossy sauce. Return the veal to the pan just for a minute or so to ensure everything is heated through. An easy to make and impressive, classic dish, but as written this recipe needs some work. A dish is only as good as the ingredients you use and if it is cooked properly.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 6, 2014
Parmesan Zucchini
Zucchini, garlic, onion, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. An enthusiastic YES! Just one problem - and you'll find out immediately what that is if you cook this (especially the garlic) over high heat. Medium heat is more like it and you must still be careful with the garlic to make sure it doesn't burn! Thirty seconds or so should be adequate, just until it is fragrant. In fact, I always add my garlic last.

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 6, 2014
 
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