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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Green Pepper Rice
Shrimp Scampi ala Norelllaura
Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting
Sausage and Sauerkraut
Oktoberfest Potato Salad
  
Garlic-Herb Butter Drop Biscuits
Mushroom Soup Without Cream
My beautiful son <3
Mom's Sugar Cookies
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 2398 reviews
Green Pepper Rice
Because I wanted to retain the color of the peppers (I used both green and red) I sautéed them with the onion and garlic, then set them aside. I cooked the rice separately, toasting the rice in the pan with a little butter before adding the water and a bit of salt, then simmered for 15-20 minutes until the rice was tender and the water absorbed. I folded in the sautéed vegetables at the end. Quiet, understated flavor, just ride side dish for the seafood I served with it.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 31, 2015
Delicious Apple Cake
This was ok, tasted good, but a little too sweet and a little too oily.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 31, 2015
Shrimp Scampi ala Norelllaura
This was ultimately very good (five stars), but not without a good deal of tinkering, not least of which reducing the cooking time drastically- this should come together in less time than it takes to cook the pasta! I used a combination of butter and olive oil to cook the bell pepper and garlic - for a few minutes, not 20. Added a glug of white wine, no lemon juice and let that cook off a little and reduce before adding the tomatoes. Cooked that for a few minutes, then added the shrimp, cooking them just a few minutes, NOT the total of 8-10 minutes the recipe directs you to. Oh my, these would be some really overcooked, tough shrimp if cooked that long. And don't bother to dust the shrimp in flour - there's just no reason to. So, using a combination of butter and olive oil, omitting the flour and lemon juice, letting the wine reduce and cook off awhile and only cooking the shrimp a few minutes - quite simply stunningly delicious.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 29, 2015
 
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