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In advance, I'd like to thank everyone who reviews my recipes and leaves positive feedback! I know that I usually don't email anyone after getting a review, so I'd just like to thank everyone who reviews and submits pictures of my recipes in advance. It's much appreciated!
Whew I haven't updated this in forever!! Well, I'm a student/accountant slowly working on my Master's degree and EA designation. I concentrate in taxation, namely the issues of low-income individuals and families, and community practice. We need more community-oriented professionals in this world more than ever; there are enough EAs and CPAs in the corporate arena. We need more people to represent small businesses and the self-employed, family businesses, and community development initiatives!
When I'm not in school slowly being bored to death with accounting research, I live for going out with my friends who essentially are my family.
I live in a fairly ghetto setup that doesn't really have a real kitchen; I love where I live but will totally cry tears of joy when I buy a condo or small house that has an actual kitchen with a DISHWASHER and a setup that will enable me to entertain often! I got deprived of that sort of thing growing up, so when I have a bigger place I plan on entertaining quite often!
I love cooking, baking, and developing my own recipes out of experiments. I also like to see recipes for something I wouldn't eat (like pork or chicken for instance) then adapting it to fit my lifestyle and finetuning it from there. I used to be pretty cooking-inept but that has drastically changed in the past year. ;) Now I'm surprised at how many kitchen gadgets I own!
I don't like giving out bad reviews because I know how much it sucks when someone leaves you a nasty review, so I usually just leave a comment but don't give a star rating if that's the case. That and it's just food people, come on! No use in getting all riled up, go clean my kitchen if you want something better to do! :D
Plus, I usually will make a recipe if it has ingredients that I like and/or use often. If it's substantially different than what was posted, the review isn't fair.
A big thank-you to everyone in the forums who has helped me with all my cooking and baking questions! Sharing experiences really helps in learning to cook and bake better.
I am vegetarian but not a conversion-happy one. I don't mind if you eat a porterhouse steak in front of me, just please don't come down on me for my choices to eat my most awesome tofu burger and salad instead.
I am trying to eat more vegan foods lately and have cut/replaced a lot of foods out of my diet due to lifestyle changes, but could never go vegan because I love cheese and yogurt too much!
I regularly play Veggie Swap in the Vegetarian & Vegan forum, so if you're interested in trying new recipes if you're looking to temporarily or permanently move away from animal products, feel free to join the fun!
Favorite foods: strawberries, almost anything pumpkin-flavored/containing pumpkin, black beans, spinach-feta concoctions that don't contain phyllo, broccoli, cheese cheese cheese, tofu, pizza, brown lentils especially when made in lentil burgers, sweet potato fries, falafel, greenbeans, curries, quinoa, and I have a weakness for homemade/fresh-baked bread of just about any kind! My sister used to call me a "breaditarian".
I don't like most pastries but have a weakness for a good fruit tart, like the kind they have at Mangia. *commences Homer Simpson esque drooling*
I don't like any kind of red meat, poultry, buttery flaky pastries, eggs (no matter how you prep em but cold ones rrrrreally gross me out!), peppers, potato buds (they taste like soap), most soft biscuits (but I like the low/no sugar type of cookie.)
My weird food quirks: Tomatoes. I LOVE tomato-based foods like pizza, pasta sauces, ketchup, tomato soup, etc. but will only eat raw tomatoes if sliced paper-thin on some sandwiches or finely, finely diced with Mexican food preferably with some cilantro. I hate them in chunks on salads and can't stand chunky tomato soups and sauces. Same with tomato peels! :: Salad dressings- except for some raspberry vinaigrettes, I totally despise packaged salad dressings. I thought Bolthouse Farms 1000 Island dressing was good at first until it gets that chemical taste a few days after opening. I think almost every store-bought salad dressing has this disgusting chemical or overprocessed taste to it whether it's Kraft or that $8/bottle stuff they sell at Whole Foods. But most salad dressings at restaurants, especially French, 1000 island, and buttermilk? I usually can't get enough! :: I hate, hate, hate mayonnaise but don't mind using it in my cooking and love mayo-based sauces and salad dressings. But plain? Ick. I also use Nasoya soy-based Nayonnaise to cut on fat, calories, and perishability and find that it works just as great if not better. If I could buy Nayonnaise by the crate or economy-size jug that would rule.
BEST RESTAURANTS EVER:
Jackson Diner, Queens NY: Best Indian food EVER. Menu prices are good considering the huge sharable portions and I get enough for 3 dinners out of the leftovers, but the lunch buffet is an AWESOME deal.
Blockheads, various points of NYC: Great low-price Mexican restaurant that has healthier eats than other Mexican places, good drink specials, and just a fun place to be. I've got a lot of good memories of getting drunk with my girlfriends over foot-long burritos at this place.
Caliente Cab Co, Murry Hill NYC: It's right next to Blockheads and it's a little more expensive but their margaritas are out of this world and you get heaping portions of awesome food. I highly recommend the bean tostadas and shrimp quesadilla.
Kate's Joint, Lower East Side NYC: I've been going to this great vegetarian/vegan restaurant since 2003, I usually always get the Super Veggie Burger, McKate, or the Mock Popcorn Shrimp. I don't know what Abijah's Secret Sauce but it sure is delicious. A particularly funny memory I have of taking one of my friends to Kate's with me is when got inside and she asked the waitress, "Dude, will Kate share her joints?"
Ayurveda, Upper West Side NYC: It's a preset menu that changes daily, where you just pick what kind of rice you want. You get all kinds of different little dishes plus naan and roti, and a little dessert! You can also always ask for seconds, and there's no charge-- be it on the naan or any other dish on your plate, though usually I'm too full to ask for seconds! It's always a tasty adventure of wholesome food that takes on ayurvedic practices, and I am pretty sure is a totally vegan establishment.
Shady Maple Smorgasbord, East Earl PA: I've been going to PA Dutch Country with my family for vacations for 20 years, maybe farther back if my memory serves me well. Shady Maple's always been there. This place is just awesome. If you go during lunch hours, the buffet is about half the price as dinner and you get the same food. The new building it's in is just amazing-- there's the pizza bar, the steak bar, catch of the day bar, salad bar, 2 dessert bars, classic comfort foods, garden fresh greens, and don't forget their classic whole-wheat rolls with fresh creamery butter! There's something for everyone and even your pickiest kids will find something they love. And you can never go wrong with their shoo-fly pie and red velvet cake, which you can purchase in the Farmer's Market next door to take home. Also, you eat free on your birthday!
La Barca, San Francisco CA: My family and I discovered this restaurant by accident in 2001 on a family vacation. At the time, none of us were really into Mexican food but were willing to give it a try because the place looked warm and welcoming and we saw everyone's plates had heaps of food. Well, that turned me on to Mexican food for good! I think La Barca is one of THE best Mexican restaurants in the freakin world. If I'm ever in SF for fun or business again, it's well worth the trip! The prices are unbelievable for the food you get-- and I never saw potato enchiladas anywhere else! The green enchilada is good too.