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    Member since Feb 2007

    Chef #447487

    From Canada

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    About Me

    Hi Cool I'm a SAHM of the modern Brady Bunch variety with 4 kids still at home, 5 flown the coup, and a beautiful grandson. We live between the city and a small acreage in the Canadian Badlands at the edge of a large working farm. We love having the space to get away and the beautiful view of the Rockies Innocent

    Some history on my nickname ;). When we first moved to the country, I somehow ended up with pet ducks. Yes, ducks. I adopted 5 gorgeous domestic ducks, we ended up with 13 (you know how that goes ;) ) but we also collected eggs and I really loved my babies. I also collect rubber ducks, people started gifting me ducks of all sorts. I had already been replying to how are you? with just ducky, thanks! so it just sort of stuck. And there it is 8). Unfortunately, we don't have ducks anymore, (long story) perhaps one day we will again. I do still have my rubber duck family though :D

    I'm not out in the work force at this time do to severe fibromyalgia, though going gluten-free has noticably helped improve my health. Cooking has become pretty creative trying to get by on less and still come up with healthy, tasty meals for my family. I love to cook and find recipes that freeze well for those days that I'm just not able to. If  you have suggestions of some of your favourites, by all means feel free to email me Smile.  I'm pretty creative with food and if I don't have exactly what I need, I'll often do a work around, or sometimes just adjust to suit our families tastes and budget.

    When I'm not feeding these constantly hungry boys of mine I enjoy photography, writing and geocaching. What's geocaching you say? Well, just follow this link and you can learn all about this great activity that's awesome for everyone of every age. If you like to get outside but are like me and need something to actually get you out there, defitely give it a try. But if you get addicted, well... consider yourself warned lol.

    I've been with since it was recipezaar and rarely go elsewhere now if I'm looking for a recipe. My goal this year is to try at least one new recipe each week and post at least one recipe each month. Economical recipes that even the tightest budget can work with. I plan on cooking only from what's in my pantry or freezer, shopping from the sales rather than ending up with expensive items I may only use once. In addition to my recipe posting here, I plan to post my efforts on my blog with photos hoping to help out others that have to live on restrictive finances, diet and chronic pain.

    So I thought, if I’m going to be doing reviews for some of the tag games and other forum activities I should come up with a rating system rather than just throwing out stars and reviews willy-nilly.

    I’m lucky, I have fairly non-picky eaters that are willing to try something new and our house rule is, try it. If you still don’t care for it, you know where the fridge is, find something else, no big deal, no questions asked, no being made to feel bad just because it didn’t suit your taste. Food and flavours are quite subjective, what appeals to one individual/family may not appeal to another, so I also feel reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt. I’ll never intentionally insult anyone, I won’t tell them they’re “doing it wrong” because it if works for you, go for it. Anything can affect the finished product as well, from quality of the ingredients, to how it’s prepared, to changes made by availability or even due to financial restraints. I’ll always try to be fair in my ratings and whether I give out a 5-star or a 2-star, I’ll explain why we liked/disliked the recipe and any changes I made. Honestly, I can’t see the point of rating below 2-stars ever, I wouldn’t have even tried the recipe if I hadn’t thought there was something there that appealed to what I believe our family will enjoy. Although I try to get the basics of the recipe exact, on some I will likely make minor changes to the recipes based on our personal preferences, or due to allergies, these changes do not count toward star ratings and will be explained in the review. A recipe will also lose a point for confusing or incomplete instructions, which will also be explained.

    Without further ado, my basic guidelines (wish there were either ½ stars or a 10 star rating, I find 5 fairly limiting): 

    5 stars – New family favourite! I’ve been told this needs to become at least a monthly staple in our meals, preferably more often.

    4 stars – Everyone liked it a lot & will make again but will likely make some alterations. This may not become a monthly staple, but will most likely grace our table a few times a year.

    3 stars – It was palatable. Possibly will make again sometime with major changes to suit our family preferences.

    2 stars - Really did not care for this at all and no one ate it. Either the recipe didn’t meet expectations or just simply didn’t suit our personal taste preferences. I will explain clearly and kindly why this rating was given, please don’t take it personally as it is not personal, and please don’t throw you’re frying pan at me ;-)

    Please remember, when it's all said and done, this is all opinion, everyone is different and I don’t expect all of you to like our recipes anymore than I expect to like every recipe we try and absolutely none of it should be taken personal. I don’t think I’m any sort of cooking guru, just a mom feeding her family and hoping to find new and interesting ways to do so, hopefully broadening my children’s horizons as we go along. Please be fair, kind and honest, before “dissin’” a recipe, try it, or if you don’t think it’ll suit your personal taste, keep mum, it’s not really playing nice in the sandbox to give a poor rating to something you refuse to try. 

    Happy cooking! Cool

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    Favorite Foods

    I don't have picky eaters, but somehow, the few foods they don't like are not the same, so it can be a challenge some days. As a family we love Italian, Mexican and East Indian foods. The kids have their favourites, which are the same as most kids; fries, pizza, pancakes, mac & cheese, and they often prefer their veggies fresh and uncooked.

    I also love cooking for my grown kids and sending care packages to them. Their most requested dishes are my chili, lasagna and lazy pirogi casseroles. I get that same request from visiting friends and family, as well as my Black Forest brownie trifle.

    We have been looking for good gluten-free food in Edmonton, Red Deer & Calgary for my restricted diet have not been disappointed. Our favourite Date Night spot is Chop in South Edmonton. 

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