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About Our Online Cookbook...
We have organized our recipes into categories. Links for each category are available from most pages and there is also a complete list of all recipes available. At the end of each recipe are links to quickly navigate through all recipes in an entire category (like turning a page).
About the Recipes...
Our recipes are in US measurements. Our recipes are meant to be read through entirely before starting. When referring to herbs, we mean fresh herbs, unless otherwise noted. Fresh herbs are readily available at most grocery stores now and really make a difference in the taste. If a recipe requires dried herbs, we will state so. As a general rule of thumb, if fresh herbs are not available and the recipe calls for this, decrease the amount of dried by a third. For example, 1 tablespoon of Oregano (implied as fresh) would equal 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons dried. Of course all seasonings are to taste.
I have always found it beneficial to read through a recipe from start to finish before starting. Also, following the Oriental style of cooking, I like to prepare all of my ingredients before I start and have them laid out, ready to use. This way cooking will flow smoothly and best of all you can clean as you go. Generally eggs are to be used at room temperature. One sure contradiction to this is when separating eggs. It is much easier to do when they are cold. Always use the freshest ingredients you can. Unless your doctor absolutely requires you to be on a special diet, try to use full flavored dairy and cheeses. The fat content is usually required for flavor and texture. Remember: everything in moderation. Also realize that almost all alcohol evaporates during the cooking process and leaves behind its flavor.
Sources of Inspiration...
Of course I have to credit my grandparents, all four of them, for a lot of my passion for food and cooking. My paternal grandparents inspired Eastern European and Mediterranean dishes and my maternal grandparents inspired Southern American and cafeteria-style dishes. They also nurtured my innate desire to grow a vegetable garden. I have grown my own vegetables in some form or another since I was 10 years old. I also learned from my maternal grandmother how to preserve these vegetables by method of canning. A lot of work to be sure, but worth every bone-breaking minute when enjoying them during the cold, dark days of winter. Needless to say, both sets of grandparents rooted in me the ideals of not wasting anything and how to be frugal.
As I grew up, my own curiosity and need for "new" tastes led me to discover that the world of food was enormous. I discovered the sea provides more than just flounder and shrimp, the grassy meadows provided more than just hamburgers and top round steak and that chicken was not the only option for poultry. This along with a desire to taste anything put before me rewards my palette with many, many hours of pleasurable eating.
TV Chefs and Cooks and their affect on me...
I remember watching with my Mom The Galloping Gourmet aka Graham Kerr and all the iterations of shows with Julia Child when I was a young. Then there was Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito, America's Test Kitchen (and now Cook's Country) and then the Food Network. I was greatly influenced by Mario Batali, Giada De Laurentiis (her Everyday Italian series), Lidia Bastianich of Lidia's Italy, Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa and of course the King of all things food, Alton Brown of Good Eats. Another great source for inspiration is Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. Although it does not offer too much in the way of every day recipes, Iron Chef America nonetheless is fun to watch. A good many recipes here are directly influenced by these sources. As with any recipe, once you make it by original recipe, you will find yourself making little tweaks here and there to suit your taste.