Other cooking enthusiasts?

  • #1
I was wondering how many of us on this site enjoy cooking?

I know I enjoy cooking for many reasons, some of which would include:

The look on people's faces when they are presented with a plate of food that they didn't have to pay for that looks like a master piece.

The way a good meal makes anyone happy.

The compliments given when a good meal is had and the thanks given for investing one's personal time into something for others.

The way culinary arts are a 'set-in-stone' type skill. What I mean by that is if you cook the same size cut of beef at the same temperature for the same time doing everything the same you will always get the same results.

I love being in the kitchen, just me and the food. It is kinda relaxing to drain away my problems/worries for the day and see what unique dish I could come up with.


I got to thinking about this because I spent yesterday afternoon cooking a Valentine's meal that will be served today. (Thankfully I chose a dish that could be made a day ahead of time since I get off of work an hour before the meal is to be served. )

I cut chicken breasts in half as to give 3/4 inch-1 inch chicken cutlets. Setup 3 containers side by side: 1st had flour, salt, pepper; 2nd had beaten egg and water; 3rd had bread crumbs, cheese, the zest of 4 lemons, thyme, parsley, basil. The chicken cutlets got all of that in order and then fried for 3 minutes on each side. They turned out amazingly well... (of course we had to taste to be sure.. )

The 2nd part of the meal is a spaghettI dish.

It is a normal wheat RotinI (I think it is... inch long spiral noodle things ) boiled just as most spaghettI is. The sauce however is home-made. 7 cans of diced tomatoes, 3 large onions, 2 bell peppers (red and orange in my case), a large amount of basil, italian seasoning (which contains basil and other things), and pizza seasoning (a nice commercial sauce taste added so the kids are happy.) The peppers and onions are sauteed for about 5-8 minutes before the tomatoes are added along with the seasonings and it is suppose to cook for 5 minutes or so blah blah blah... I did my own twist to the recipe.

I cooked the sauce for a good hour or so before turning it off to cool. I also added atleast 2 cups of Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of chicken stock, and then near the end about half a cup of flour (to thicken it up a bit).

The recipe I went from says it served 4, but what I listed above is what I used because we are having 12 people over. My family always cooks extra.. If there is no food left someone must've left the table hungry was the philosophy dad instilled me with when teaching me to cook... so.. yeah... 5x the recipe originally for 4 people and only needing 3x the recipe.

(Not to mention my parents are going to do some side dishes. They live with us and tend to try to helpout with the fish and the cooking.)

Just thought I would see if there is a ball worth rolling around on the cooking topic amonst the fishkeepers.

Everyone feel free to jump in: Bakers, non-bakers, southern-style cookers, non-USA cuisine cookers. Toss in your favorite recipes if you would like, I love new ideas.
  • #2
HI wow that sounds good can I come over for dinner lol. I worked as a chef for many years so if you would like to pick my brain feel free to. Ill post some recipes for you now that Iam not working it just got to stressful anyway Happy Valentines Day.
  • #3
Good morning CWC~ ;D
I have also been going through recipes to find a great one to serve my honey for dinner tonight. I'm going to serve a pork tenderloin stuffed with red/green/yellow peppers, feta cheese, spinich and of course fresh garlic! lol..
After cutting the small tenderloin through the center to almost in half, I lay it out on the cutting board in between wax paper and use the mallet to beat to a thin layer. After which I add the ingredients, roll up and tie off. That's it
Then going to serve rice pilaf, and garden salad. ;D
Now I have to come up with a nice sauce to put over the pork when it is served.
Both my husband and I love to cook, and I have to say he is truly a gourmet cook. We have to fight each other out of the kitchen for the night. LoL...
My specialty is fish.. and baking desserts. Speaking of desserts I haven't come up with a low fat one yet... hmmmm? any suggestions anyone?
~ kate
  • #4
LOVELY CWC and capekate that pork sounds like it's to die for.

I LOVE to cook.
I was thinking of going to chef school for collage,BUT the thing that made me chose different was that chefs have to work lots of night and weekend.
O I KNOW I could blow the other people in the class out out of the water with what I know how to do. I have wonderful knife skills.
  • #5
I've always wanted to pursue cooking as a profession but it is a very stressful job, I think I'll just keep it on a small scale as a personal hobby. But I do enjoy cooking, it fells good to do something productive atleast once a day.
  • #6
I'm Italian... food is what I do... I love to cook & eat it too!!

Each year, I have two luncheons, on the first of spring and the first of Autumn. I do a 5 course meal for approximately 12 adults. (its more like a dinner than a luncheon) I usually try to make seasonal dishes. I dress the table accordingly, with all the trimmings and decor, pick appropriate dishes and settings... (I have a lot of dishes). I serve an appetizer, a salad or fruit dish, a soup, (sorbet intermezzo) then the main dish and a dessert. I even send my guests home with a gift/favor.

My absolute favorite time of year is winter, between Thanksgiving and Christmas (especially Christmas Eve) we definitely out do ourselves with all the dishes and desserts.
The best thing about cooking, for me, is having all my friends and family together... the food is just a bonus. And, I agree with you CW, there is nothing better than the perfect meal to set off a great day/evening with good friends and good conversation.
  • #7
Here is a cake recipe, with a short cut, that turns out awsome...

Cherry Almond Pound Cake with White Chocolate

1 (18.25oz) white cake mix
1/3 cup sour cream
1 (12.5oz) can almond filling
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup white chocolate baking morsels
1 cup dried cherries
-powdered sugar

Heat oven to 325. Gease and flour bundt (or similar type) pan. In large bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, almond filling, oil and eggs. Blend on medium speed 2 minutes, scaping bowl often. Fold in cherries and white chocolate. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake 50-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar.

( I use my chrysanthemum pan for this dessert).

I hope you like it. Enjoy!
  • #8
I really do like it! ;D It sounds like a wonderful, easy dessert recipe to try out! I think that I am going to end up with a short cut this year tho. lol..
I'm going to go and buy two slices of wonderful cheesecake that the store sells in the specialty section! And I will add a sauce to go over it.
Now I can just concentrate on the main meal! ;D
But I'm going to try your cake recipe at another time! Ive written it down on my index card! thanks... ;D

~ kate
  • #9
Kate, I hope you like it!

I served this as a dessert when I used dried cherries as a theme ingredient.

I also used them in salad. I used a spring mix salad, added green apple (chopped in bite size pieces-dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning), walnuts, dried cherries, crumbled blue cheese, red onion, shreadded carrots and a few grape tomatoes sliced in half. I served this salad with a balsamic dressing... (I used the Good Seasons Italian, that you make yourself, but used Balsamic vinegar instead of the redwine).
  • #10
  • #11
All of the recipes you guys have posted look great! I want to try making them. I have had very little cooking experience. My husband is a great cook and he is slowly teaching me. I finally made my first dinner for company about a month ago. It was salmon, corn, steamed veggies, rice, and rolls. Not the most inovative thing, but I was pretty proud! I am looking forward to learning more. Ideas and tips from others are always appreciated
  • #12
Kate, I hope you like it!

I served this as a dessert when I used dried cherries as a theme ingredient.

I also used them in salad. I used a spring mix salad, added green apple (chopped in bite size pieces-dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning), walnuts, dried cherries, crumbled blue cheese, red onion, shreadded carrots and a few grape tomatoes sliced in half. I served this salad with a balsamic dressing... (I used the Good Seasons Italian, that you make yourself, but used Balsamic vinegar instead of the redwine).

ummmmm your salad sound delish! lol...
Well my menu is done, the stuffed tenderloin is ready for the oven later.
So what I ended up doing was..
taking the tenderloin and split it down the center and beat with the soft end of a mallet. Then when it was spread out, I added a layer of olive Bruschetta from a jar (diced tomato, diced onion, green olives, crushed tomato and olive oil). Then over that I added fresh spinach. Next layer was garlic herb Feta cheese, and then roasted peppers, and a few black olives.. I then rolled it up carefully and tied it off. On the outside, some olive oil and garlic, salt and pepper. It is sitting on a rack, over a cookie sheet waiting for the oven, which I will set about 375* and cook for about an hour- maybe an hour and a half. Side dish is a box of Near East, Rice Pilaf. I also made a fresh salad of the rest of the spinach, feta cheese, some black olives and pine nuts. I will serve that with either a ceaser salad dressing or whatever we have in the fridge.
I bought a little piece of chocolate heaven.. cake and icing with cherries and will split that for dessert. I personally do NOT need the calories lol..
So I hope my hubby will be pleasantly surprised!

~ kate
EDIT: oppps... .and almost forgot.. a nice bottle of red wine! and a bowl of candy kisses, caramel filled for the coffee table. No stress.. no fuss.. no muss! just the way I like it hehe...
  • #13
Ummmm.. all that 's posted so far sound delish! Oops I'm sorry Rachel Ray.I really enjoy cooking too. We like watching the food programs on cable. I have more time now than ever to cook, but can't always manage it with chronic pain probs. Aren't we so blessed to have the grocery stores,markets and such to go "pick out" what we want to cook and eat whenever we want? Even the nearby gas stations have nice selections!
  • #14
I enjoy cooking and baking though I'm limited as to what I can make since I'm not paying for ingredients You sound like quite the chef cwc
  • #15
You folks have no idea.

Makes it hard for me to even maintain my weight, let alone lose any.
  • #16
You folks have no idea.

Makes it hard for me to even maintain my weight, let alone lose any.

haha I bet they don't.

Try running make those elves keep pace with you
  • #17
Well, I've always enjoyed cooking, but these days I'm kind of forced into it. I recently changed jobs, and started working for a market called Jackson's Fresh Market. We're not open yet, but we've been working at the bosses house until then, to find the recipes that we will put on the menu. We(cooks) have been making somewhere between 3 to 7 recipes a day, and the bakers have been making 2-5 recipes a day. This is with 5 people max...one person only works 2 days a week.

Anyhow, its quite nice. There will be no short order cooking. Everything is made before hand, and all entrees are served as to-gos. Its an odd niche to fill, as it seems like the food will be sub-par after cooling and having to be reheated, but we've picked recipes that can be reheated successfully.

Hours are 6AM to 2PM, and we have all kinds of creative control and input. I thought I would never have another long-term restaurant job, but this is totally different.

That's why I'm ordering a . I'm quite excited about it. I believe I will be adding a 3.5" paring knife and either 6.5" or 4" NakirI knife to the collection.
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Dinner went well. We had Dino's cousin and her kids over. (Today was also Dino's dad's 73rd Birthday.) My parents did the desserts and sidedishes. They did his dad a chocolate cake, some cupcakes, some pecan pies, and used my new set of large coffee mugs as pudding cups.

We had the chicken and pasta dish along with potato salad, biscuits and deviled eggs. Of course there is enough food left that no one will cook tomorrow and we sent several plates out to folks that couldn't make it.

I broke my diet tonight, but will pick it back up tomorrow. I have been on the low carb diet for the past 4 and a half weeks and have lost 18 pounds, but didn't want to limit myself to the chicken tonight... so I enjoyed myself and will continue my diet tomorrow.

Thank you all for chiming in with recipes and stories, this thread is going to be such fun! We can just keep it going eternally with everyone sharing a recipe anytime they want.

I'll try to toss a couple recipes in here in the next few days. Dino's family has a family cook book that has some recipes that are kinda comical as well as very serious ones.

Edit: Forgot to mention this before. I used to work fast food management and decided then that unless I were to become fortunate enough to own a restaurant I would never work professionally as a chef. There is soooo much stress in that, from what I hear. If I didn't have to work I would be thrilled to spend my days cooking like 4-5 hour dinners. Invite everyone over everyday and just cook all day.

(Thanks again for the compliments and the first day success of this thread. )
  • #19
I enjoy cooking when there is time or when I know for sure the hubby will be home for it when it is set on the table. The kids go for anything!
My daughter and her PawPaw are in a baking war. Who can make the most outragious cake for someones birthday. She just made a monkey cake for him...not too bad either, he's won thus far though, he made a dragon cake for my nephew...spitting fire & all!!
  • #20
mmmmmmmm SpaghettI my favorite .
Another ingrediant I would put in would be mushrooms.
Side dish - bread roll sliced vertical but not all the way through , butter both sides of slices , sprinkle the Italian herbs in , wrap in foil and in the oven to heat 180c(about 5mins) unwrap foil and throw on some tasty cheese until melted .
This will help with washing up as you can use your slice to soak up the last bits of sauce off your plate/bowl..
  • #21
Sounds wonderful CWC!!! where's my plate of left overs :-*
  • #22
I enjoy cooking & baking myself... enough that I wrote software to manage the recipes (636 at the moment) and generate meal plans and shopping lists.

Great sounding dish there CWC - sauce should definitely be homemade.

Here's a recipe for one of my favorite candies:

2 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. In a heavy, 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, hot water and salt. Cook and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Then cook without stirring to 260F. Frequently wipe crystals forming on sides of the pan, using a pastry brush dipped in water. Remove from heat.

2. Just as the syrup is reaching temperature, begin whipping egg whites: In a large glass or stainless steel mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Pour hot syrup in a thin stream over beaten egg whites, beating constantly with the electric mixer at medium speed. Increase speed to high, and continue beating for about 5 minutes. Add vanilla; continue beating until the mixture becomes stiff and begins to lose its gloss. If it is too stiff, add a few drops hot water. Fold in nuts, if desired.

3. Immediately drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. For a decorative flair, twirl the top with the spoon when dropping. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • #23
I love cooking, so much so that I dropped out of college halfway towards an engineering degree from Texas A&M to pursue my passion. After a few years as a chef at a four star resort here in San Antonio and not seeing the light at the end of tunnel there I was fortunate enough to be offered a position as Culinary Manager for another restaurant and have been in restaurant management ever since.

Now I don't cook as much at work as I used to I still come up with some stuff every now and then. I even tried out for and got two call backs for ****'s Kitchen last year. my signature dish would have been a Seared Dry ChilI Rubbed Ribeye with a Smoked Poblano and Tomatillo cream sauce with Jalapeno-Jack Mashed Potatoes.

My family loves it and we don't eat out much. My wife doesn't see much sense in paying for something at a restaurant that I can make for them at myself.
  • #24
I have a really easy family recipe that's hugely popular at potlucks once you can get someone to try it... most people avoid spinach! this is comfort food in a big way... my husband loves it, btw and he typically hates spinach...

Spinach Casserole

3pkgs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed thoroughly to drain.
16oz sour cream (light or fat free works fine)
1 envelope lipton onion soup mix

Topping: mixture of melted butter, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese (approximately 1stick-1c-1/3c ratio, or to taste)

mix the first 3 ingredients well, and spread in a small casserole dish. mix topping and spread over the spinach mixture. bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 30 min or until browned.
  • #25
I love cooking, especially experimenting... sometimes it turns out bad but when it turns out good it's great to see the expressions when you answer, "I just threw in stuff", when asked what's in it. My best stuff is when I take the basics from a recipe and go crazy with it... I made a wild berry pie (mostly wine berries and blue berries) that was to die for this way But I also made a curry that was not fit for a starving dog Anyway I'm gonna make a teriakI stir fry tomorrow for my sister, maybe I will post the recipe if it turns out good.

ps all these recipes sound great and are getting added to folder of scrap recipes
  • #26
I like boiling hot dogs, making sandwiches, microwaving leftovers, and going to McDonald's, hahaha.

I've recently advanced to making grilled cheese sandwiches, french toast, and frying smallmouth bass on a frying pan, but otherwise I don't know how to cook much. Not yet anyway.
  • #27
I LOVE to cook!! not little 'meals' But BIG extended family meals where everyone is there and you have to like quadruple the recipe. I also like walking into a kitchen not knowing what I an going to eat and just create a meal with whatever is in the fridge/cabinets. Then you get a different meal every time

All these people love to cook who loves the foodnetwork on tv? I am a food network addict, I watch Alton Brown and Paula Dean relentlessly!
  • #28
Yea, bring on thanksgiving! Love the food network. alton brown's my fav. show. I work in videography and love cooking, so his show's a natural hit for me. ;D

I LOVE to cook!! not little 'meals' But BIG extended family meals where everyone is there and you have to like quadruple the recipe.

All these people love to cook who loves the foodnetwork on tv? I am a food network addict, I watch Alton Brown and Paula Dean relentlessly!
  • #29
I went to a pampered chef demo this past weekend, and the recipe the consultant made was awsome. It was a chicken enchilada ring. It was so easy to make, and really, really tasty. If you want the recipe, Ill post it. I ordered some cookbooks... I am hoping to find many tasty recipes in them... if I find any good ones, Ill be sure to post them for you guys.

I am going to to an online pampered chef show, so if anyone would like to browse the catalog (they will ship directly to you) PM me your email address and Ill send you an email invite.
  • #30
Sounds like a great recipe. Have you browsed allrecipes.com ? drool
  • #31
Food network was just in my town to film an episode of Dives, Dinners and Drive-Ins or whatever its called. They went to the place my sister works(The Gumbo Shack) and to another place called PaninI Pete's. Pretty cool, but I don't get too worked up about that stuff. Anyway, keep an eye out for it
  • #32
Sounds like a great recipe. Have you browsed allrecipes.com ? drool

I love that site! I've gotten some great recipes from there.
  • #33
ok here is one of those pampered chef recipes...I made it today... if you like brie and spicy foods, you will love this....

Tangy Pepper-Pecan Brie
20 min | 10 min prep

1/4 cup pecan halves, chopped
1-3 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1-3 garlic clove, chopped
1 (4 inch) brie cheese, 4-inch round-room temp
1 French baguette, sliced
vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In small bowl combine peppers, apricot preserves & garlic. Cut the brie in half horizontally. Place one half of brie cut side up onto center of a large round stone. Spread half the apricot mixture on top. Top w/ half the pecans. Place remaining brie on top (cut side up). Spread remaining apricot mixture on top & top off w/ remaining pecans. Arrange the baguette slices around the brie. spray/brush w/ vegetable oil. Bake 8-10 minutes or until baguette slices are golden brown & Brie begins to soften. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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