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my name is susan and i'm the proud momma of 2 boys. after 10 years as a project manager in high tech, i'm now a happy sahm. the boys are only 16 months apart, so i always have my hands full. oldest is "in process" of potty training and youngest is just now sleeping thru the night.
my husband is Chef #553989. he is my partner in cooking, photographing, raising kids, and every other aspect of life. when hubby travels, i tend to rely on OAMC to make sure i eat well and feel taken care of.
like most mothers of young children, i've seen my share of pb&j and processed toddler friendly foods. i'm slowly but surely returning to my pre-baby roots and beginning to take pride in what i cook again. the big difference is that now things tend to be faster, simpler, and healthier than 5 years ago. the common theme is that flavor and presentation still matter. quality ingredients and visually appealing food really do make a difference.
my fall garden has tomatos (fingers crossed), radishes, broccoli, chineese cabbage, and onions. i have rosemary, sage, thyme, catnip, dill, basil, mint, and bay laurel growing in pots for my fresh herbs.
zaar has helped me discover a new passion - food photography. the act of photographing my food has altered the way i cook. our food these days is filled with more color and variety, in part because fresh fruits and vegetables make for better photos. and our food is simpler. simple foods are easier to photograph.
i've decided i'm not a fan of tea sandwiches and that i can't bake a decent biscuit. i could live the rest of my life without eating octopus again. i don't like to cook with canned soup, i think cool whip is an evil abomination, and i think the only purpose for iodized salt is to de-ice things. crisco has been banned from the house.
i have a passion for fresh quality ingredients. i spend extra money for fresh herbs and spices because i believe i can taste the difference. i buy organic when i can, but don't sweat it when i can't. i use whole grains for my kids. i look forward to my occassional trips to central market and specs downtown.
i still have a secret fondness for lucky charms and the insides of oreos. i love chocolate, the darker the better. i've never met a stinky cheese i didn't eat. i cook and eat globally... thai, sushi, curry, morroccan, brazilian, french, you name it. but i also cook and eat locally. i'm a texas girl, and that means i grill/bbq when hubby isn't around. i also love chili burgers, chili cheese dogs, frito pies, and a good cold shiner (beer). i could eat tex-mex every day. i'm a confirmed afficianado of cheap wine and the occassional cheap cigar.
when i'm not momming, wife-ing, or cooking, i like to read sci fi, scrapbook, watch baseball, or collapse in a general state of exhaustion. but these days, just keeping up with all my zaar games keeps me busy.
My rating system (more or less):
***** FIVE Stars: I made the recipe without any major changes to ingredients or preparation, and it turned out perfect. If I made any changes, it was due to what I had on hand, not because the recipe was bad as is. I'd make this recipe again without a doubt. And I'd be proud to serve it to my family and friends.
**** FOUR Stars: The recipe is very good, but I needed to tweak it just ever so slightly to my liking. (This does not include recipes I change because of the ingredients I have on hand. Instead, a four-star recipe was just a little "off," but easily fixed with minor changes.) I'd probably make this again, and I'd recommend this recipe to others.
*** THREE Stars: The recipe is good, but needed many modifications to bring it to my liking. I either had to omit, substitute, or increase ingredients or something was just not right with the texture or taste.
** TWO Stars: This recipe was a real bummer both in taste and preparation. I was disappointed in the outcome and couldn't even modify the recipe enough without it becoming a whole different recipe. I wouldn't make this again, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Reviewed with no rating: The recipe didn't turn out as a direct result of my failure to follow the actual recipe. Or, the dish turned out but was not to the taste of our family.
If a recipe has a flaw that is later corrected (unclear directions, typographical error, missing ingredient) I'll be happy to re-rate it.