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    Member since Feb 2010

    Chef #7108

    From Whitehall, Pennsylvania

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    About Me

    I am Tara and as a former dance teacher I admit I love to turn up my music and dance while I get my cook on. I am a 40 y/o mom of an 13 year old son, Jordan, our 12 y/o cat Gage, an 8 y/o year old English Bulldog, Halli. After working 15 years in a hospital setting, in 2011 I joined the staff of a very large and very busy specialty/surgical opthamology practice. I love reading, cooking, gardening, computer games, animals, music, and of course, dancing. I enjoy spending time w/my son, doing fun kid things with him. I love the summer and despise winters; I must be cuddled up with a warm blanket, some tea and a good book to be able to endure the winter months here in PA. And I LOVE soup!

    My mom is a caterer and runs her catering business with 2 other partners, O'Brien's Really Good Food. They also run a downtown cafe and a stand at our local farmers market. Growing up, I never wanted to learn how to cook. Then I started my family and thankfully, stumbled upon Zaar on nite on the web while looking for a carrot recipe...and here I am, 11 years later! Now, my mom tells me that if she knew then what she knows now, I would've been cooking a long time ago....thanks to the help of this website!

    My best culinary experience has to be when I attended the 2001 NYC Food Show at the Javis Center. I was able to sample foods from vendors all over the world and from each state in the US. I tried Ostrich meat, which is good and tastes like sausage, in my opinion. And as a bonus, I got to briefly meet Emeril!


    Favorite Foods

    Favorites: Italian, Seafood, Asian, Middle Eastern, German, Mexican/Spanish, soups, sandwiches, diners, a good medium rare steak, good ol' stick to your ribs PA Dutch foods...I pretty much will try anything once except head cheese.

    Dislikes: Raw broccoli and cauliflower

    What I don't do much of: Bake..not out of question just not as interested in baking or eating it but I'll do it if I'm called to do it

    What I'd love to do more of: Grilling...I have a grill and I just bought a good quality stove top grill pan and I have been putting that to good use!

    Food interests/POV: Flavorful yet budget-friendly, quick easy weeknight stovetop dinners, casseroles, etc that can be frozen or make good leftovers, crockpot meals, soups, sandwiches, potlucks, etc. Food can still be good and tasty without getting all gourmet and expensive; utilize coupons, sales, discount grocers, managing your own garden, buy in bulk at cheaper prices and freeze and shop local produce stores to stretch your dollars into making good food homemade for your family; it can be easily done with patience, time, knowledge and good recipes. Then take the hard earned money you saved on groceries and splurge on a nice fancy dinner out once in a while without feeling guilty!

    Food experience I wish I could relive: a sugary/salty/buttery crusted Sea Bass entree I ate at Buddakhan in Philadelphia, PA. Also, a roast beef grinder I ate at the Dough Roller on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland in about 1990.

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