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An amateur cook who loves the kitchen and loves to make up new recipes.
I am a systems administrator by day and a pretty good chef by night (at least I think so).
My favorite cook book is probably the Joy of Cooking. I take bits and pieces out of there to make my own things. It's a good starting point. It does tend to use things that I don't have like lard, so I substitute shortening or margarine and most things actually work out really well.
My favorite dish to cook is Pad Thai. I have found many recipes for this dish and have modified them to make 1 good one that I use all the time. The one thing you must have for this dish is the sweet-hot chile sauce.