Valerie's Kitchen Profile - (18744468)

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Valerie's Kitchen

Valerie's Kitchen
Home Town: Sunnyvale, California, USA
Living In: San Jose, California, USA
Member Since: May 2004
Cooking Level: Not Rated
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Photography
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Jul. 24, 2013 9:25 am 
Updated: Oct. 5, 2014 6:35 pm
For those of you who have not yet met him, I'd like to introduce you to Bruno. He's been part of the food blogging world now for two years but remains utterly confused. He watches as I carry delicious food from room to room, stalking the light, and then spend way too much time taking… MORE
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From The Blog:  Valerie's Kitchen
About this Cook
I've been married for 28 years and cooking even longer. I am the mother of 4 boys ages 25, 23, 19, and 17. I am always looking for inspiration and have been VERY inspired by this site. I have found so many great recipes here and the reviews are so helpful. I try to review every recipe I make so I've compiled a pretty good list of reviews to date. From day to day I'm not sure whether I'll be serving 4 or 12 so I always try to be prepared for anything! I had the pleasure of working with the crew from when they came to San Jose to film a webisode of "What's Cooking" from my kitchen in November 2010. You can see my webisode here Currently I'm enjoying my time as an Allrecipes Allstar and Brand Ambassador. I look forward to seeing what is yet to come from this great site! Please stop by my blog for more.
My favorite things to cook
I'm a very seasonal cook and love to cook and bake things that suit the time of year so we do a lot of grilling in the summer and there are lots of good, hearty dishes in the fall and winter. I enjoy making use of my garden tomatoes at the end of summer and into the fall. I love to bake and have been making pies and cakes for many years.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I know everyone thinks that their Mom was the absolute best cook in the world but actually it was mine! I am sixth out of a family of 5 girls and 1 boy and the action was always in the kitchen. I watched and learned how to be a good cook from her. My best memories are of our large family gathering spontaneously on Sundays for a pizza party where my Mom would throw together delicious home made pizzas. Her Thanksgiving dinners were to die for with every dish made from scratch. She could throw a pie together so effortlessly without ever touching a measuring cup! She was at her best when we had crowds of people in our house waiting for anything from a pancake breakfast to a wonderfully prepared sit down dinner. She will always be my biggest inspiration.
My cooking triumphs
I think the most memorable things I make are my baked goods. I've got a husband and 2 boys who ask for a home baked pie on their birthdays instead of cake.
My cooking tragedies
We used to host a family party each Christmas season at our house. I have a very large family and had 30+ people in my house. I had spent the day preparing all the dishes that I would serve and had several things in my double oven when all of the sudden the power went off! I heard my sister shout "somebody call Dominos" and my heart sunk. Luckily, within just a couple of minutes (very long minutes) the power came back and I was able to finish cooking everything. I guess this counts as a near tragedy but it was memorable.
Recipe Reviews 501 reviews
MVP Chili
I made some significant modifications to this to suit our taste and my review is based on those changes. I added 1 pound of ground beef in addition to the hot Italian sausage for a meatier chili. The directions don't mention this but you'll want to be sure to drain off as much grease possible after you brown the meat. I upped the amount of cumin to 1 teaspoon. I also omitted the tomato paste and instead added a 14 ounce can of tomato sauce. I was concerned the consistency would be very thin and liquidy with the addition of an entire bottle of beer and the tomato sauce adds some body. Most importantly, after everything is added, I brought the temp up to bring it to a boil then lowered the temp, covered the pot, and let it simmer for an hour to allow the flavors to blend, cook off a bit of the alcohol, and help the sauce thicken. It was VERY good with these changes and I'd definitely make it again. The Italian sausage adds great flavor!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 27, 2013
White Almond Wedding Cake
I had a feeling this cake would be great because it was recommended to me by a very talented baker. I had the task of baking a cake for a 2 year old's birthday party. The cake was sturdy enough to remove from the pans and decorate without any issues but it was also extremely moist and went over in a huge way with the people at the party. One person said she liked it better than the cake she always orders from her favorite bakery. I filled it with a mocha filling and topped it with cream cheese frosting. Will definitely be making this one again.

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 28, 2013
Grilled Steak and Fresh Mozzarella Flatbread
I love the ingredients here but felt the balsamic needed jazzing up. Instead of using it alone, I mixed up a basic balsamic vinaigrette by adding some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a touch of sugar. The flavor was great. This is a wonderful healthy option for grilled steak.

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Aug. 26, 2013
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