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One of my passions is to feed people, but I wouldn't work in a commercial kitchen on a bet. It's too hard - and I have great respect for those who do it. I fix dinner for about 60 people once a year and am always looking for new recipes for "the party", which is what led me to this site. My husband and I also make and can jams (especially strawberry - plentiful in Florida, peaches, tomatoes and green beans, not to mention the annual cookie frenzy each December when we make about 75 dozen cookies for gifts. We also smoke salmon often. We love living in Florida, but miss the fine seafood, corn, tomatoes, peaches and apples of the mid-Atlantic coast.
Below I've defined how I rate recipes to make my ratings more useful. I think this is important as I rely a great deal on ratings and comments by other Chefs and I would like to know what their standards are.
How I rate recipes:
5 stars: These are recipes I expect to make many times and require little in the way of changes to be really, really good. This rating doesn't take into account as to whether a recipe is 'gourmet' or just plain good food - if I expect to make it often, it gets 5 stars.
4 stars: These are recipes that are very good, but for one reason or another I don't expect to make it often. The reasons for not making it often can be varied, such as difficulty or cost, but NOT because we just thought it was OK instead of great. These recipes are just as good as my 5-stars and are ones I would consider making again.
3 stars: These are recipes that one of my family or extended family liked or loved, but there wasn't a consensus that it was really good. 3 stars means I probably won't make again unless there are easy changes I can do to make it more to our liking.
2 stars: These are recipes that just aren't to my taste for one reason or another. Could be flavor, poor appearance, difficulty - just about anything. I don't plan to make it again.
1 star: These are recipes I didn't even end up serving to others and will not make again. Usually my problem with these recipes is with the taste. You won't find many of these ratings from me as it is sometimes kinder to just not rate it. If I do rate it, it is to make suggestions on how to improve it.
Spicy foods, anything with high-quality blue crab or black grouper. We buy meat from a gourmet and specialty market and believe that using fresh and good quality ingredients is the secret to great cooking. I'm most famous for my Cream of Crab Soup and Scotch Smoked Salmon. Favorite restaurant: Red Mesa in St Petersburg. Everything I've ever had there is excellent, but it's not pretentious or expensive. Also Carrabas Italian Restaurant. Favorite local market: Shaner's Land and Sea Gourmet Market in Pass-a-grille, FL.