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Hello from suburban Fort Worth, Texas!
*My rating system defined*
Very few recipes really knock my socks off - I love to cook but am not a gourmet.
***** - met all my expectations in taste & appearance; directions were clear & easy to follow.
**** - fell slightly short of my expectations in taste or appearance or directions were faulty or not completely clear.
*** - mediocre taste and/or appearance; most likely a recipe that I would not use again without much modification.
** - taste and/or appearance was not to my liking; a recipe that I would not attempt to modify or use again.
* - taste was absolutely not to my liking (I can't imagine ever using this rating as I can generally tell by the ingredients if I will enjoy the finished product or not)
My cooking leans toward basic ingredients & methods, although I sometimes venture outside my box as a personal challenge. I laugh at my failures & take pride in my accomplishments.
I am most certainly not a food snob. Every cream of something soup has a place in the food world. Likewise, I'm not married to only fresh herbs & top shelf spices; if I have them fine, if not, I'll use dried in a heartbeat. Cool Whip? You bet. Cake mix? Of course! Bisquick? A southern cook's best friend.
When searching for a specific recipe & finding very similar ones from different chefs, I'll go with the unreviewed recipe if possible. I remember the excitement of my first reviews & try to pass it on.