About Me

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recipe collector...civil engineer...cookbook devourer...looking to share cookbook & recipe reviews and my real-life kitchen dramas as I re-engineer recipes ...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Welcome to RecipEngineer!

Welcome to RecipEngineer! As 2011 dawned, I began to construct my "Eleven Exciting Things to Do in 2011" list - a deviation from the standard unrealistic annual resolutions. When I completed the list, more than half my goals and ideas for the year 2011 involved cooking, recipes and food. After years of testing recipes in my tiny Medford kitchen, I realized that it is finally time to share my re-engineered recipes and detailed reviews of recipes and cookbooks with fellow recipe lovers.  I hope that this blog will be a valuable source of information for fellow recipe addicts, as well as for those of you who don't have the time or inclination to page through expensive, bulky cookbooks looking for that elusive perfect recipe.

A little bit about me:

I'm a civil engineer by day and a recipe collector/experimenter/inventor by night. As an engineer, I like all things logical, orderly and on graph paper! I don't improv in the kitchen. When I see an avocado, olives, almonds, a sack of Yukon Gold potatoes and a stick of butter sitting on the counter, I have NO idea what to do with these ingredients. When faced with a challenging list of available ingredients, I hit the cookbooks, internet and Twitter for great recipes to experiment with in my kitchen. I also keep a fully stocked pantry to avoid nightmares such as eating almond-avocado mashed potatoes garnished with olives for dinner.

I'm usually pretty organized ... but my recipes are just out of control! My kitchen counter is filled with cookbooks and binders full of recipes. I hand-write my favorite recipes that I collect (along with helpful notes/revisions) on graph paper because it is neat and orderly (and because clearly I am a total nerd). I'm working to get my all my favorite recipes well-catalogued in a share-able format and I'm always looking for tips how to organizing my ever-growing collection of recipes.

I did not come by my recipe addiction genetically. My paternal grandmother cooked amazing Portuguese food entirely from her memory. One of my biggest regrets is never getting her to write down the incredible recipes for malasadas (Portuguese fried dough), sweet bread, kale soup or her many other delicious home-cooked dishes. There is nothing sadder than not being able to re-create the culinary memories that you associate with a person you love and miss dearly.

 I do most of my cooking in my tiny Medford, MA apartment with limited kitchen gadgets. Occassionally, I venture to the suburbs and invade my parents' huge, beautiful kitchen with its glorious counter space and endless pots and pans, but usually I work surrounded by leaning towers of cookie racks and an overflowing sink full of dishes.  I wish I had impressive culinary school tricks of the trade and industrial kitchen tools, but I make do with great tips from America's Test Kitchen and a cobalt-colored KitchenAid mixer. 

I absolutely DEVOUR free recipes from Twitter. Cookbooks are seriously expensive these days! While I'll be reviewing cookbooks in this blog, I'm also going to review lots of the free recipes from @Real_Simple, @TestKitchen and many, many more from Twitter. Likely you "favorite" these free recipes and despite good intentions never get around to using most of them. I'll let you know which of the hundreds of your "favorite"  free recipes are worth trying at home and which ones should be "unfavorited" immediately.

I'm a local girl ... and I like my ingredients to be local as well.  Born, bred and well-educated in Massachusetts - you won't convince there is a better state in which to live, love and cook. Massachusetts farmers grow some the best apples, cranberries, salad greens, etc. in the world and produce incredible maple syrup. I appreciate that buying local and organic can be pretty expensive, so I try to take advantage of seasonal deals on local ingredients from farm stands and local markets.

I'm a firm believer that cooking should always be collaborative.  There is nothing I like better than being surrounded by friends and family in the kitchen. Nothing makes me angrier than when cooks don't share their secret recipes and ingredients in order reign supreme in their kitchen. Recipes should be shared, not hoarded.  Food is love - spread it around.

 I have other interests ... but it all starts in the kitchen.  I'm a huge sports fan (go Patriots! go Celtics!), but I'm not ready to sit down and enjoy the big game without a table overflowing with good food and drinks for my friends and family. I occassionally knit while something is baking in the oven. I read constantly - particularly Anthony Bourdain books. I adore going to the movies, but bypass the concession stand and sneak in my own handcrafted snacks. I always cook to great music and dance (completely lacking rhythm) around my tiled kitchen floor.  Again, sincere apologies to my downstairs neighbors...

I look forward to getting to know all of you and your favorite recipes. Please leave some feedback below - favorite recipes/cooking war stories/general greetings/etc.  I'll be sharing all of my discoveries and dramas the kitchen and I hope that you'll consider sharing your recipes and your kitchen adventures (and nightmares) with me as well.  Enjoy the blog!

Follow me on Twitter: @RecipEngineer.

1 comment:

  1. Come visit Prep2eat for organizational cooking tips and inspiration for eating healthy and tasty at home.

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