smaakmaker Profile - (1978126)

cook's profile


Home Town: Tampa, Florida, USA
Living In: Brandon, Florida, USA
Member Since: Oct. 2002
Cooking Level: Professional
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Low Carb, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
I was destined to be a cook! Cooking is in my blood, both sides of my family are filled with cooks and restaurateurs. Some of my fondest memories are of spending summers hanging out in the kitchen of my aunt's little restaurant watching my Gram cook up delicious food. She made some of the best Sunday Gravy I've ever tasted, and her bread was out of this world! I have two teenagers at home and I'm trying to get a personal chef/catering business off the ground and the pace of my life can be pretty insane, so cooking is like meditation for me. There is nothing that relaxes me like spending the day in my kitchen cooking for my loves. My greatest joy is that my kids share my passion for good food and all are on the way to becoming great cooks themselves.
My favorite things to cook
I love to challenge myself in the kitchen and I get bored with eating or cooking the same things over and over so I love to make EVERYTHING! But by far my favorite thing to make is anything Indian. It is the one thing I could make every day and never be bored of it. We eat a lot of vegetarian meals even though we're meat eaters and I love experimenting with tofu and other non-animal proteins. With my busy life, my slow cooker is my friend and I use it often so I love devising and adapting recipes for it. I always get excited when it's cooler weather here in Florida so I can bake.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every holiday each family member gets to choose the dish that is a "must have". You know that one food that makes Christmas feel like Christmas or Thanksgiving feel like Thanksgiving. When we have other people over they get to choose a dish as well. It has been really neat to watch how everyone's "must haves" change over time.
My cooking triumphs
The 100+, last minute, destined for failure catering job that went off without a hitch made me feel pretty good about myself. I grew up in the South, with all that delicious Southern food, so making those a little healthier always feels like a bit of a triumph.
Recipe Reviews 4 reviews
Mystery Chocolate Cake
This cake was just so-so to me. It was moist and I loved the idea of using beets, but I was looking for more chocolate flavor. I paired it with a fudge frosting and that helped some, but I think next time I'll try a beet cake that uses baking chocolate. If you're looking for a nice, moist cake with mild chocolate flavor, this might be for you. If you're like me and want lots of chocolate flavor, you might want to try another recipe.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Apr. 29, 2014
Party Pinwheels
Made these last minute for a Christmas party and they were great. I don't like ranch dressing mix, so I just chopped up a couple of tablespoons of chives, parsley and dill and added a dash of garlic powder and some lemon juice. Used a mix of red and green bell peppers, finely diced zucchini instead of celery and subbed low-fat mayo and sour cream for four ounces of cream cheese to lighten it up a bit.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 14, 2012
No Bake Pumpkin Pie I
This was so easy to make, and has great flavor and texture. Pumpkin pie has been one of those things I dread making because it never turns out quite like I wanted, but this was perfect. I might experiment with it a bit but it definitely goes into the regular holiday rotation. Thank you!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 26, 2009
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