A couple of things:
First, Shelly nearly wrote a book in her profile, so I'm not going to add much to the introduction. I would hate for you to waste precious minutes reading when you could be baking me cookies and putting them in the mail. (Don't forget to add walnuts.)
Second, Shelly is a chef. And she joined the recipe club. Which means if you are a member, you're getting real recipes that use actual chef ingredients, not like the recipe I am sending that uses Velveeta, a box of Froot Loops and those fake bacon bits that are really pieces of shredded cardboard that has been soaked in brown salt water.
Which reminds me: IF YOU HAVE NOT SENT YOUR RECIPES YET, GET ON THE STICK. (And yes, that goes for me, too. I know, I know. Do as I say, not as I do.)
Name: Shelly Cole
Birthday: May 4, 1973
Go-to food for stress relief: mashed potatoes - my favorite verion is made with heavy cream, lots of butter, cream cheese and white cheddar cheese.
Something random about yourself that even your mother doesn't know: I win bets in bars with my middle name - it's so strange that no one can guess it. I get *lots* of free drinks! That was fun in college.
Last time you wore a size 12: My birthday, 2003, during my honeymoon.
Last book you read: "Memoirs of a Geisha" (for the second time, and it's finished - but currently reading "At Home in Mitford" and Stephen King's "Wolves of the Calla")
Your signature dish (include a recipe, please): I don't have a "signature" dish - but I have many favorites - I'll send along two:
Heaven & Hell (for those with a little bit of pyromaniac in them)
2 oz clarified butter
1 c brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 orange
3 oz Grand Marnier (or other orange-flavored liqueur)
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
25 turns fresh pepper from mill
1/2 qt vanilla ice cream
1) Melt butter and sugar in pan.
2) Add juices, bring to boil.
3) Add Grand Marnier - flambé.
4) When flames die down, add pepper and strawberries, simmer.
5) Serve hot over ice cream.
NOTE: This is called "Heaven & Hell" because it burns like Hell when you cook it, but it tastes like Heaven when you eat it. Divine!
Lots of fun when you have guests to cook it where they can see you.
If you're not comfortable with the flambé portion, you may cook the Grand Marnier in a separate saucepan at low heat to cook out the alcohol, then add it to the sauce and simmer.
Bailey's Chocolate Mousse
1/3 c sugar
12 oz semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 c Bailey's Irish Cream
NOTE: This works best on a gas oven, where you can cook directly over fire.
If you do not have a gas oven, (or you aren't comfortable cooking directly over fire) then in the first step, you need to place a small amount of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Place your bowl of eggs over the boiling water and proceed as directed with the rest of the instructions. This will take longer, but it's safer for those who aren't used to or comfortable with the heat and possibility of curdling the eggs.
1) Place eggs and sugar in a stainless steel bowl (DO NOT USE ALUMINUM!). Turn on burner, and place bowl directly over the heat source. With a wire whisk (or hand mixer, if you prefer), whip eggs and sugar constantly, moving the bowl on and off the heat source regularly to avoid burning,
until eggs reach the temperature of 160°F. Remove from heat, continue beating until eggs are foamy and thick.
2) Melt chocolate in a *small* amount of milk, cool.
3) Whip cream and Bailey's together to stiff peaks. Fold all together gently. Refrigerate. Serve with fresh raspberries and whipped cream.
NOTE2: For the best results, keep cream in refigerator until you absolutely need to pull it out. Also, place the bowl and beaters/whisk you plan to use to whip the cream in the freezer, until the time comes where you absolutely have to begin whipping. This makes the cream much more stable, and it will whip up a lot better than if you use warm/room temperature items. Also, if you do not want to use alcohol, or you don't have any Bailey's lying lying around, this recipe is perfectly delicious without it.
Anything else you need to confess that can posted on the world wide web: I decided to join up because I got involved with the recipe swap (by the way - have you recieved yours? So far, I've only gotten a meatball recipe!) and figured I should tell y'all a little about me.
I'm 32 years old, and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I've tried to figure it out to no real avail, as of yet - but I have high hopes for my latest venture: blog design. However, I'm very good at doing land title searches (been doing it since I was 12 and big enough to actually heft those 70-pound books onto a table), and I am also a bona-fide chef - a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. Which is probably why I don't have a signature dish - I've got recipes out the wazoo and can't pick one as a favorite. My focus was in pastries but I've been everything in a kitchen from the "Grill Bitch" (I can cook a mean steak) to my last job prior to quitting for the birth of my son - Assistant Director of Dining services at a local college (a big, fancy name for "catering director for the mass quantities of money this stuck-up private college has to spend").
Um...I grew up on a cow farm in West Virginia - my father raises cattle for carnivores ...so please don't get into the whole "cows are beautiful, intelligent creatures" thing with me - I swear to God - I lived with them for 20 years - they stink and they're dumb as rocks. No wait - rocks are smarter. Which is probably why we don't eat them. (Believe me, vegetarians can be vegetarians - I have no issue with it. I just have issues with the ones who are so far into it that they try to tell me my dad is a murderer.)
Oh, and one interesting tidbit (that, unfortunately, my mother *does* know about)...I was once offered a job at Walt Disney Studios to do animation on their movies. It wasn't offered immediately - but the guy who did the hiring told me to let him know when I graduated form Art School, because he planned to be first in line to hand me a job there. He also didn't want to give my portfolio back.
I sometimes wonder why I never went to Art School. Then I remember! But we won't get into that, because I don't think you have enough filespace to hold *that* tale.
I also have two kids - a daughter who's 10 and a son who's going to turn 1 on May 14, 2005 - and I have a wonderful hubby who's the Best Man in the Entire Universe and No One Can Beat Him at His Perfectness. (I actually dreamed of him for years before I even knew he existed. And you can ask my
mom on that one, too - I used to tell her about them, and she used to tell me that he was the man I would eventually marry. I hate it when my mom is right! Well, not this time...but you know...)
And I guess that's all there is to say about me, really. Feel free to mock away!