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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Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms
Wild and Brown Rice
Peas and Pancetta
  
Croutons
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 2379 reviews
Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms
As I looked over the recipe, I could see it cried out for seasoning – seasoned bread crumbs, Montreal Steak Seasoning and Worcestershire Sauce did the trick. Good, homey dish. I served this with Wild and Brown Rice, and Peas and Pancetta, both recipes also from this site.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 25, 2014
Wild and Brown Rice
I didn’t say a word at the dinner table to Hubs to announce that we were having wild and brown rice with the Salisbury Steak. He dislikes both. I hoped that since the rice was all dolled up that it would make a difference. It obviously did, because he cleaned up his plate rather enthusiastically. And indeed, this was surprisingly good, far exceeding even my own expectations. I did deviate from the recipe, adding some zucchini I wanted to use, using fresh thyme (and no marjoram) rather than ground, and beef broth rather than chicken as I already had a carton opened that I had used for another dish. I chose to cook the vegetables in butter separately from the rice, adding some fresh minced garlic. I set that aside until the rice was cooked, stirring it in at the end. How much my changes influenced the final outcome I can’t be sure. What I do know is that this was colorful, flavorful, and had great texture. I started off with slim expectations for this but we ended up polishing it off. I served this with Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms, and Peas and Pancetta, both recipes also from this site.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 25, 2014
Peas and Pancetta
No ho-hum peas these. These are peas all dressed up pretty. Onion, pancetta, fresh thyme and white wine (and I couldn’t help adding a bit of fresh minced garlic) - what a great, flavorful combination of ingredients! Happy to be the first reviewer and give this recipe two thumbs up.

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 25, 2014
 
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