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I'm a stay-home mother of a 7 year old boy and a 1 year old girl. My DH & I will be celebrating our 19th anniversary this December. I have 2 cats, a tabby male and a tortoiseshell female.
I've been cooking since I was in grade school, starting with easy recipes such as cookies. I enjoy cooking foods from a variety of cultures, as well as dabbling in historical cookery such as medieval recipes.
Besides cooking, I love spending time with my family--I'm a real homebody. I am also a voracious reader (a self-described bibliophage). I like a variety of music, including classical music, 80's music, Christian alternative, and Celtic. I enjoy watching various British shows on dvd, such as All Creatures Great and Small, The Blackadder, and Mr. Bean. I enjoy vegetable gardening, although I don't have much room for it where we live now.
A note about my rating system:
5 stars: We just really loved it! The recipe either had a huge "wow!" factor, or is simple and good enough to become a "core" recipe. Very few (and only minor) changes, if any, needed (e.g., reduce salt).
4 stars: Really good recipe. May have needed some adjusting to make it suit our tastes, or else mixed reviews (some loved and some didn't). Probably not a staple, but one I'd certainly make again.
3 stars: Okay recipe. Either we weren't very enthused with it, or it needed substantial tweaking to make it suit our tastes. Might make again, with a lot of changes. Probably would recommend only conditionally.
2 stars: Really didn't suit us and would take a substantial amount of tweaking to make it suit.
1 star: Really awful; I feel no amount of tweaking would make it suit, and would never make again.
Because I know my and my family's tastes pretty well and am experienced enough to have a good idea of how a recipe ought to be like from reading it, I expect that 1 star ratings will be exceedingly rare, if in fact ever assigned (none so far). 2 stars will be rare. 3 star ratings should be unusual, but not unheard-of. The majority of my ratings will be 4 or 5 stars. If a recipe turns out poorly and I feel it was due to a. changes I've made, b. equipment problems, or c. cook's errors, I will either leave no rating, only comments, or I will not penalize the recipe's rating (depending on the situation). Typically, I will make a recipe as written the first time, with some exceptions such as adjusting seasonings to suit our tastes, substituting a preferred ingredient that I am confident will work as well (e.g., subbing fat-free evaporated milk for cream in a sauce, or subbing chicken thighs for *****s), or substituting ingredients I can use for ones I can't (e.g., subbing arrowroot starch for cornstarch).
I do attempt to rate every recipe that I try here, but sometimes life gets in the way and I forget. Likewise, I try to thank people for rating my recipes, but lately I've been so busy with the kids that I often get far behind. If you rate one of my recipes and I overlook thanking you, I apologize--and I am thankful, especially for all those helpful comments people leave!
We like a variety of foods from a variety of cultures. I'd say that Asian, Mexican, and Mediterranean are probably the most consistant winners, though, as well as "plain" home cooking. I've recently become interested in making bento (Japanese boxed lunches).
I really love fresh vegetables and fruits. In warm weather, my favorite meal is a salad with some homemade bread and perhaps some cheese; in winter, it's soup with some homemade bread and a bit of cheese--maybe a small salad, too, depending on the soup. I love fresh herbs in green salads! Cheese is another favorite food, though I don't like veined cheeses and I'm not fond of most French cheeses. I prefer sharper cheeses, and I really love English cheeses, like red leicester, wensleydale, and double gloucester.
I have a reputation in my family for making delicious and attractive green salads. I'm also known for my mashed potatoes, pasta salads, and chocolate cakes.
We have an extensive cookbook collection, but I've hardly touched them since joining Recipezaar. I hope you enjoy my recipes!