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
Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies
Low Carb Jambalaya
Jalapeno Green Onion Ale Corn Bread
Blonde Apple Brownies
Shrimp and White Bean Salad
The Bros, Daniel and Andrew - Good times ahead!
Grandbaby Andrew - 2-1/2 yrs.
The Newbie - Our Danny Boy
Barilla PLUS(R) Rotini with Three Peppers and Herbs
Sesame Vegetable Stir-Fry
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 2376 reviews
Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies
Mmm-MM! Loved these! A little sweet, a little salty, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. I did, however, make a couple of modifications. In looking over the recipe I thought it could use a little more sugar (can't believe I said that!), and specifically white sugar. So in addition to the 1 cup brown sugar, I added 1/2 cup of granulated sugar as well. Good call - perfectly sweet. As for the cinnamon chips, I used the whole darn bag, essentially doubling what the recipe directed. I was pleased with that too. Great cookie!

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 26, 2014
Low Carb Jambalaya
In consideration of Hubs' sensitive innards and our heat tolerance level of "coward," I prepared a much tamed down version of this using just 1-1/2 tsp. of the Cajun seasoning, no hot sauce and smoked kielbasa; and both of us were pleased. It's so easy to add more heat/spice if you want it, but impossible to take it out once it's there; the point being I would recommend seasoning this to taste. I followed the recipe loosely, using the traditional "holy trinity" of green pepper, onion and celery, sweating the vegetables in bacon fat which leant a pleasant smokiness to the dish. I also used fresh rather than cooked shrimp, adding them at the end, just for a few minutes, before finally adding the cooked chicken until heated through. I loved the addition of the zucchini, which in the absence of the traditional rice, gave this more substance. For those who still want the rice, like Hubs, it is easy enough to serve it on the side. This was excellent. It makes a ton, so we'll be enjoying a quick and delicious repeat tomorrow! Note: this recipe begs for advance prep work, and I'm glad I did. I found it very helpful to have everything chopped and measured (mise en place) ready to go.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 25, 2014
Jalapeno Green Onion Ale Corn Bread
Loved this. Moist, tender, full of flavor, and adding some finely chopped red bell pepper made it pretty to boot. I don't care for sweet corn bread, so using just two tablespoons of sugar rather than 1/3 cup was just right. Can't say I would have enjoyed this nearly as much had I used that much sugar. The size of the loaf pan wasn't specified - I used an 8x4," baking about 27 minutes.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 25, 2014
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Cooking Level: Intermediate
About me: I am 31 years old, and work as VP of Corporate… MORE
Cooking Level: Intermediate
About me: I travel over 100,000 domestic air miles a year.… MORE
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