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I need Help Cooking Forum

Posted by Monkey_Princess_101 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 29, 14 at 11:37

For my moms birthday i'm going to surprise her with dinner the only problem is that i don't know what to make.I know a few but i thought that you guys would know some fun dishes that i have never heard of. All I need you to do is post the recipe and what is really great about it and who ever has the best idea will be the winner and I will post a hole message saying who dish I used and how much my mom loved it. Good luck cooking forum


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Not that I will participate in your lottery, but wouldn't it help if you gave us your age, level of cooking skill, and perhaps some id of what sort of equipment you're comfortable using ?


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

I am 11 and I feel comforbal using the oven and oventop


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Despite what I said...I think perhaps 'Monkey Bread' would be a good play on your username.
Very delicious as a late evening snack served hot and easily made with common ingredients.

Here is a link that might be useful: Monkey bread


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Monkey Princess (Makayla) -- I made fresh spring rolls the other day and they were fun to make/eat and really good! Very crunchy and *fresh*. There are several basic recipes on the net, but I wanted to use what I had in the fridge and garden, so I filled them with rice vermicelli, shredded chinese cabbage, slivers of baby carrots and cucumber, and basil and mint. I then made two different dipping sauces... just winging it with what I had on hand. One sauce made with peanut butter, soy, hoisin, etc., and the other with soy, vinegar, and hot oil. :)

It seems to me that you have experience with making pizzas. Why not do make-your-own mini pizzas? you could have lots of different toppings available....

What about a Yum-Yum cake for dessert? Make a yellow or white sheet cake (can be from box), then the toppings are instant vanilla pudding mixed with cream cheese, crushed pineapple, and cool whip (or whipped cream). Must be kept refrigerated though. I can provide more specific instructions if you're interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vietnamese spring rolls


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

How about a pasta dish with spaghetti, fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh basil chopped up & mozzarella boccocini (those little fresh mozzarella balls)? Easy& delicious! Add some Italian bread to the menu too.

For dessert???? Is your Mom a cake person? Does she like chocolate.? Somehow chocolate cake always comes to mind when I think of birthday cake. I make chocolate brownies for the DH's birthday, who is not fond of cake but loves brownies. I switched computers recently and don't have my stash of tried and true recipes on this thing yet, so I can't give you the brownie recipe until I'm home (tomorrow).


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Thank you all for the tips but i don't have a winner just yet Keep going cooking forum


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

OK

Can't think of anything now.

How about you take a look on youtube "Masterchef Junior" videos.

You will see there are many talented kids, just like you. I think you will be on that show, if you want to.

Keeping in mind, the show is "Show Business" A lot of behind the scene things going on. The recipes, the cooking, the plating, etc. may not be all done by the kids.

Have fun.

dcarch

Here is a link that might be useful: Masterchef junior


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

11 years old - good for you! Your Mom will be thrilled.

How about a Rotisserie Chicken (like the ones from Sam's or Costco) and some home-made Macaroni and Cheese and steamed broccoli?

Heat the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees [the Macaroni and Cheese bakes at 400 degrees - if you don't have two ovens then place the chicken in with the macaroni and cheese on the top rack and take it out after 20 minutes making sure it is warmed through].

Home made Macaroni and Cheese
And
Steamed Broccoli Florets

Macaroni and Cheese - 400 degree oven
1 pound mini penne pasta
8 Tablespoons butter
8 Tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
1 pound white cheddar cheese (I like sharp); shred by hand
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste (add these and taste the sauce - important for good flavor - cheese has salt so b careful with the added salt)
Flavored bread crumbs or about 1 cup crushed croûtons

Boil and drain the past - set aside. Remember to salt the pasta water well.

In a large sauce pan - melt the butter - add the flour and stir with a whisk over medium heat to fully incorporate. Slowly add the milk and stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Add cheese and melt fully. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Make sure to taste.

Remove sauce from heat and add the macaroni - fold gently to completely coat. Pour into 9x13 baking dish.
Slowly sprinkle bread crumbs or crushed croûtons evenly over the casserole - not too thick - just a thin layer that will crisp in the oven. Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until top is browned and casserole is bubbly.

Broccoli florets - steamed with butter, salt and pepper.
I buy frozen broccoli florets from Sam's in the frozen section. They come 4 to a bag. You take a bag and place it in a microwave safe dish and nuke it for 7 minutes. Remove it from the bag into the dish and add your butter, salt and pepper to taste. It is wonderfully sweet broccoli and almost as good as fresh.

Hmmm...now I'm hungry.

Hope all goes well Dear One...Happy Birthday to your Mom.

PS. I added an wonderful chocolate cake recipe link - it may be a bit too challenging for you by yourself but perhaps you and Mom could make it together one day.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chocolate Cake


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Super easy? Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, jello dessert.

Chicken: if using pieces (ideally thighs and breasts, ideally with bones), preheat oven to 400 F, pat the chicken dry with paper towels, sprinkle both sides lightly with salt & pepper, place on a sheet pan or in a big oven dish, skin side up, into oven still at 400F, check after 30 minutes (cut into a piece and see if it is done, or stick in a thermometer and look for 145 F) then brush skin with melted butter and re-check doneness every 10 minutes. After you get the chicken in the oven, use soap and water to wash your hands and everything the chicken touched. If using a whole chicken, use kitchen shears, heavy scissors, or gardening shears to cut out the backbone ("spatchcocking": cut up one side of the backbone, from butt to where the head was, then cut up the other side, throw away the backbone), open the chicken and kind of flatten it a bit, sprinkle lightly on both sides with salt & pepper, place on sheet pan skin side up, proceed same as above. When you are ready to serve the chicken, just cut it into pieces (drumstick, thigh, breast, wing) with the shears.

Mashed potatoes: fill a pot half full of water, add a couple big pinches of salt, bring water to boil. Cut washed (peeling is optional) potatoes into quarters, put them in the boiling water, boil until a fork pushes easily into the potato, drain away all the water, mash (use a potato masher if you have one, otherwise improvise with a wooden spoon etc) while adding hot milk and melted butter, add salt if needed. If you kept the skin, add less milk and stop mashing when there are still a few lumps (rustic). If you peeled the potatoes, add more milk and finish mashing with a large fork until the potatoes are pretty smooth (creamy). If the potatoes get gluey, add more milk and butter. You can use any kind of potato.

Green beans: trim off ends, put in a pot of boiling salted water for about 2 minutes (only part cooking here), drain away water, then add butter to the pot and cook on medium heat, stirring to get all the beans coated in melted butter, about another 3-5 minutes or until as done as you like them.

Jello: follow instructions on box. Or, to make things easier, substitute ice cream.

Be careful with sharp knives, pots of boiling water, and hot chicken fat in hot sheet pans. Think about each motion before you move, don't rush or run or move quickly, have hot pads ready for your hands and for the counters. Make sure no one is nearby when you are moving/carrying pots of hot water or food.

Have fun! I'm glad you are cooking at an early age. My daughter started cooking when she was about 10 y/o. The last three summers she's been working as a cook at summer camp. She started out washing dishes and chopping vegetables. Now she is the best cook there, is writing the camp cookbook and will ( probably) be Head Of Kitchen next summer. She teaches me lots of things - I've cooked for longer, but I've never cooked for 300 people. She also got third degree burns twice, which is why I want you to be careful.

This post was edited by johnliu on Sat, Aug 30, 14 at 1:49


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

MP (that's short for Monkey Princess!) I second the idea of making mac and cheese from scratch. Mac and cheese is my favorite food and I think I learned how to make it when I was about your age. It's not difficult but it does take some time. How about ham to go with it, classic combination. You could figure out how to fancy up the ham by decorating it with pineapple and cloves like this picture.
Then green beans which you can get fresh right now, and a salad. I could make all those things pretty much when I was your age.
Now for the cake, whatever kind is your mom's favorite. My mom's favorite was German chocolate cake which I must admit I made using a box mix back when I was your age. I still like boxed cake mixes and that's what I would do if I was you and I was making home made mac and cheese. I'd make a box mix cake and buy the frosting too! Your grandma is probably going to shoot me for saying that! (Just kidding).
If you don't want to make mac and cheese you could make scalloped potatoes. I used to make those too, but they are not easy because you have to slice the potatoes with a sharp knife. So don't do that without someone helping you!! Back when I was your age we made scalloped potatoes out of a box and that's how I did it, even though I made them from scratch once and a while.
I loved decorating cakes with designs and writing. I liked writing "Happy Birthday" on the cake and the person's name whose birthday it was. I used to buy tubes of frosting and special tips for writing. Then I would trace the words with a toothpick on the frosting and then follow it with frosting squeezed out of a tube. Maybe your grandma has a tube thing you could use. But if not, you can buy them in the frosting aisle of the store.


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Oh, and if you make a mistake on the cake writing part you can always scrape it off and eat it! And you don't have to make all those fancy cuts on the ham, just slap some pineapples and maraschino cherries on it and stick them on with toothpicks. The lady who made that ham that I copied the picture from just used a can of 7-Up, mixed with some brown sugar and the juice from the canned pineapple as a sauce for the ham. She basted the ham with that mixture. You can use a spoon or a special basting brush to spread the mixture over the ham. Basting is not hard but be careful and don't burn yourself by touching the hot pan or oven rack. When I was your age I helped my mom baste the turkey for Thanksgiving. Have someone help you with the basting because a ham for a dinner for your family might be pretty big and heavy. I still have someone help me when I do a big roast in the oven because I am very clumsy!


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

ah, for fun... why not fix a dinner of all your mom's favorite foods from when she was 11 years old?!

Or make a dinner where you eat everything backwards, starting with dessert.

Or serve fondues: have a hot oil fondue for cooking meats, a cheese fondue for dunking bread, and a chocolate fondue for dessert (dip strawberries and stuff like that).

:O)


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Hey, Monkey! I know you start school next Tuesday, so your time on the forum will be curtailed, LOL.

This is a very good idea and your Mom will be so surprised.

I should probably let everyone know, though, that your Mom is lactose intolerant, so not a lot of cheese or dairy, and she can't have nuts or corn. Like me, she hates pizza and she does eat a lot of chicken and turkey, she likes it better than beef or pork and she loves vegetables. Lpinkmountain's ham looks really good, though, and that would be good to make in the roaster.

I'm going to suggest you make her some shrimp, she loves that, you know, and the green beans are a very good idea, since you can get some canned from my basement. I think you should use the bread machine and make some homemade bread too. Hey, I just won a Williams Sonoma monkey bread pan on the online auction, you could use that and make some monkey bread like dbarron suggested!

And then we can work on dessert. How about tiramisu? Did you want to do an appetizer too, like maybe hummus?

I know you hate salad, but she loves that 7 layer stuff, and it would be easy to make for her, and she could take ALL the leftovers to work for lunch, so you'd make her dinner for a couple of days that way.

Whatever you decide to make, she's going to love. If you need help getting the ingredients, you know who to call. (wink).

Love,

Grandma

This post was edited by annie1992 on Fri, Aug 29, 14 at 22:38


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

No mac and cheese? Your poor mom!


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

I was going to suggest stalking grandma's garden and cellar for ideas.
Take a look at the recent gazpacho thread. Basically a salsa with pureed cucumber...fun experimenting, using fresh veggies mom likes.
ann_t makes one to go with shrimp.
You might even come up with your own recipe.


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Your mom is so lucky to have you for a daughter. How about a chicken stir fry with carrots and broccoli. I have also added some tomatoes at the end. It is quick and simple. Served over rice. I have also used almonds and cashews in it. Dessert would also be pretty simple. We call it heartbreak eclair. No baking. Graham crackers and pudding along with cool whip and chocolate. If you choose this I will post the ingredients. have fun monkey princess.
Mary


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Someone posted Marcella's roasted chicken with lemon. Simple, elegant and delicious. Potatoes and other veggies could be roasted with the chicken.

Does she dislike all frozen desserts. How about a granita of whatever fruits are in season. I made one with a mix of blackberries, blueberries and chokecherries last year for my birthday. Again simple ingredients. Serve with some crisp cookies.

Whatever you make have fun!


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

How about Chicken Piccata? There is a little parmesan cheese in the recipe, but its not a dominating ingredient. I serve it with noodles or rice.

Chicken Piccata Recipe (from www.simplyrecipes.com)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pound total)
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup flour
Salt and pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brined capers
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Method

1 Cut the chicken breast halves horizontally, butterflying them open. If the breast pieces you are working with are large, you may want to cut them each into two pieces. If the pieces are still thick after butterflying, put them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat hammer to 1/4-inch thickness.

2 Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces in water. Dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture, until well coated.

3 Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces, do not crowd the pan. Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate. Cook the other breasts in the same manner, remove from pan. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

4 Add the chicken stock (or white wine), lemon juice, and capers to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Reduce the sauce by half. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Plate the chicken and serve with the sauce poured over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

How about chocolate cupcakes for dessert?

Super Easy, Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe (from www.simplyrecipes.com)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes.

The coffee (and the salt) help intensify the flavor of the chocolate. If you don't have or don't want to use coffee, just skip it and use water instead. If you do use coffee, just use what would be considered regular strength coffee (or slightly weak coffee) in America, not something super concentrated like espresso. If caffeine is an issue, use decaf. If you want to make a cake instead of cupcakes, double the recipe and use two 8-inch round cake pans and cook for 35-40 minutes.

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brewed coffee (or 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of espresso powder or instant coffee granules)
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 Tbsp (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) olive oil

Frosting:

4 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Method

Cupcakes:

1 Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2 In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt until there are no visible clumps (cocoa tends to clump up).

3 In a separate bowl, mix together the coffee (or water plus coffee granules), vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.

4 Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until they just come together. The mixture should be thin and rather lumpy.

5 Ladle the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

6 Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Once cool, you can eat plain, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle or coat with frosting.

Frosting:

While the cupcakes are cooking, make the frosting. Melt butter in a small saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in the cocoa until smooth. Sprinkle in about a third of the powdered sugar, stir, then sprinkle in about a half of the milk. Keep alternating with the powdered sugar and either milk or vanilla, stirring after each addition, until the frosting is the consistency you want, and smooth. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar. If too stiff, add a little more milk or vanilla extract.


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Here is another idea, which would be pretty easy. You could make a meat pie. But you will need a food processor or a mixer.

 photo 2AF79416-7117-413A-A014-52471190E2DE_zps5rp9k4zm.jpg

Pie crust: you can do this a day or more ahead of time; even at grandma's. Put 1 cup of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the mixer or processor bowl. Take a full stick of cold butter from the refrigerator, unwrap it, cut it into cubes about 1/2 inch per side, separate the cubes, put them in a bowl and put the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes or so. Pour a cup of water into a, uh, cup and put that in the freezer for that 15 minutes. Take the very cold butter cubes out, add them to the mixer bowl, separating the cubes so they are scattered in the flour, not one big lump. Start the mixer. When the butter is just crumbled up into the flour, add the ice water, a bit at a time, until the dough is just firm enough to form a ball and hold together. You want to use as little water as possible to achieve that. Wrap the dough in plastic and put in the refrigerator for at least a hour, and up to a couple days.

Meat filling: (start preheating the oven to 400 F now, and find an oven safe pie dish). The meat can be whatever you like - ground beef, crumbed up sausage, diced chicken - cooked and crumbled in a pan with a little salt and a little butter or oil. The meat should be cooked enough to eat. Set the meat aside, then chop up a small onion, a couple carrots, a couple celery sticks, maybe a couple garlic cloves, and cook that until soft. Mix the cooked veggies and the cooked meat together, salt and pepper to taste, add just enough liquid - milk (or whatever non-dairy milk substitute your mom likes) is fine, or stock, and even plain tap water is fine - to make the mixture moist, but not runny or soupy. You may not need to add any liquid. Set this filling aside.

Potato top: make mashed potatoes as described previously.

Assemble pie: take dough ball from refrigerator, put some flour on your work surface, roll the dough into a flat circular disk large enough to fit in your pie dish and hang over the edge a little bit. Smear butter all over the inside of the pie dish. Lift the pie dough disk and set it on the pie dish, let it sag to fill the bottom of the dish, and form the edge into an attractive crimped rim for the crust. Put the meat & veg filling into the pie crust, smooth it into a flat layer. Put the mashed potato on top and smooth it with a spoon to make a nice "cap" over the filling, but don't cover the crimped edge of the crust. Now use the spoon or a fork to make little peaks all over the potato surface; the peaks will brown in the oven and give the pie an interesting look.

Bake pie: it will need around 45 minutes, but check it every now and then. When the crust is brown and a little hard to the touch (if you pinch it, it flakes and crumbles, rather than squishing down like soft dough) and the potato peaks are a little brown, the pie is done. You can turn the oven off and let the pie stay warm there for an hour or so, if dinner isn't right away.


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Great idea, Makayla! Your mom will love whatever you decide to make, I am sure! Here are a couple of ideas.

This one was posted years ago by Cindy Mac who used to be on this forum. I have made it many times and if you mom likes shrimp, she'll love this! You could serve it with rice and a salad or green vegetable.

Louisiana BBQ Shrimp
(Cindy Mac)

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp
1 stick butter, melted
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil

DEHEAD shrimp if necessary, but don't peel. Place in a shallow dish (I use a pie pan). Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over shrimp. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2-3 hours. BAKE in preheated 350 degree oven uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Serve with French bread to sop up all the wonderful juice.

Another easy meal idea. I make four patties instead of two as the recipe states.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Source: Rachel Ray

1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick) or, coarse salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons, 3 turns of the pan
12 crimini or baby portobellos, sliced
12 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock

Combine meat, Worcestershire, onion and steak seasoning or salt and pepper. Form 2 large, oval patties, 1-inch thick.
Preheat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the meat patties to a hot pan. Cook meat 6 minutes on each side until meat is evenly caramelized on the outside and juices run clear. Remove meat and cover with loose tin foil to keep warm. Add 1 more turn of the pan extra-virgin olive oil and butter to the pan, then the mushrooms. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and saute mushrooms until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
To mushrooms, add a sprinkle of flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Whisk in stock and thicken 1 minute.

To serve, pour gravy over Salisbury steak. Serve with Smashed Potatoes and green peas, cooked carrots or veggie of choice.

Tacos would be easy too. Just brown meat with a seasoning packet you can get at the store, chop up some lettuce, tomato, onion, lettuce. Shred some cheese and pile it all in either corn or flour tortillas.

Let us know what you decide to make!

Linda


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Makayla...I am not going to offer any ideas....you have received so many good ones. I just want to congratulate you on your idea for you Moms birthday. So thoughtful.... she will love it!!

I always read and enjoy the pictures and stories your grandmother posts on the Cooking Forum. Your are going be an excellent cook in the future.

Shirl


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Thanks for all such good recipes I really don't know what to make they all sound so good.


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

I have a winner


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RE: I need Help Cooking Forum

Makayla, welcome to the forum officially as yourself! It's been such fun for all of us to watch you and your cooking grow. Keep up the good work and your creative outlook. (I've been away for a while, so a bit late on your welcome, but I did notice in looking back that you joined on my birthday...grin)

So, you found a winner. Great. I thought maybe her birthday had passed. I was going to suggest making home made pasta, with shrimp (no cheese), and lots of different roasted veggies, that people could add to the pasta themselves or not. Shrimp would be sauteed with garlic,then add chicken broth and basil for the sauce. Just saying what I thought you'd enjoy making and her eating. With your grandmothers Hersheys cocoa cake.


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