• Joined April, 2004
  • Intermediate Home Cook
  • 0 medals this month
  • 93 medals lifetime
    I first learned to appreciate the workings of a kitchen while watching my Kentucky grandmother, who believe it or not had some remarkable similarities to “Granny” from “The Beverly Hillbillies” TV show… before they struck oil! My grandmother did not have all of the fancy gadgets available today, and by many would be considered one of the truly “backward country folk”, but through watching her I saw a genuine artist at work. The knowledge… the creativity… the feeling… the passion… flowed from her soul much like it must from a conductor while directing a symphony.  There were no recipes for her to read, just what was in her head, most of which had been put there by her mother, a full blooded American Indian. It was impossible, while watching her prepare “vittles” in her tiny kitchen, not to glean a few crumbs of cooking wisdom, all of which I will forever be thankful for. After graduating from high school my interest in cooking took me to college and professional kitchens in the north where I learned about the culinary interests of just about everyone in the world OTHER than those from the southern United States (knowledge of true southern cooking seems to be limited to only those from the south).  Eventually I married a man who had been given, long before I met him, the nickname of “Jethro”, also a character on “The Beverly Hillbillies” TV show. Jethro was known for his unrelenting appetite; an appetite which had no apparent effect on his waistline. Not long afterwards 2 Jethro Juniors were added to the family, all 3 of them normally hungry and glaring at me with big eyes and a fork in one hand. They have kept me sufficiently busy in the kitchen (and in every other room for that matter) for the past 20+ years. Now that the 2 Jethro Juniors are feeding themselves quite effectively (one has definitely received an extra dose of cooking genes) I find myself doing more baking and less entrée experimentation. Every once in a while a hankering hits me to create a dish from my youth or tackle a new recipe that on paper seems impossible, but for the most part I have entered a season of “comfort.” For the first time in a quarter of a century I do not HAVE to make a big meal every day, and I am loving that… right now anyway. Before long the comfort will turn to boredom and I will be right back in my apron, cooking on the new stove Jethro Senior has been promising me for the past 10 years. When left to my own devices I will likely visit Puerto Rico again, or Morocco, or Nepal… and delve into their traditional cooking, which is something I have always wanted to master. That doesn’t sound so bad actually… being able to cook what I want when I want. Perhaps I should begin shopping for that new stove after all.   Anything chocolate, containing chocolate, or even tastes like it contains chocolate, is OK by me. Desserts are a favorite weakness of mine, particularly now that my children are grown and much more of the creation is left up to me to consume! (The Apricot Torte just popped into my mind... and the Kaluah Mousse Torte... and the Mile High Turtle Pie!) Thankfully fresh fruit is also very high on my list and could easily be considered "dessert." It often is. In fact fruit normally constitutes at least a portion of my breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. For main dishes I’m not much of a meat eater and prefer lots of vegetables, legumes, etc… with little meat. A variety of cheeses, nuts, fruits, and a glass of wine would make a perfect meal for me. I particularly like trying new things and have enjoyed learning about and experimenting with foods from other cultures. India, Tibet and Nepal have made the most recent positive impact, however if time allows I would like to at least sample traditional food from absolutely everywhere (I draw the line at insects and larva!). My best memories of food are of course those enormous spreads covering an entire table in my grandmother’s home in southern Kentucky. 

My Most Recent Ratings

Do-Ahead Egg & Hashbrowns Breakfast Bake

Do-Ahead Egg & Hashbrowns Breakfast Bake

I assemble this every Christmas Eve and serve it on Christmas day as part of brunch. It is always eagerly anticipated by the regular attendees. Time is short on Christmas morning and I love the fact that one of my main hot dishes requires nothing more than removing plastic wrap and sticking in the oven. A few modifications have been made to the original Betty Crocker recipe, which results in a fluffier finished product, more like an omelet. I have found that my guests prefer the texture of this as opposed to the original, which was looser and left liquid remaining in the bottom of the pan when serving. — Sherri 12/26/2012
Very Cherry Pie

Very Cherry Pie

My absolute favorite cherry pie, that’s… well… as easy as pie. No really, it’s simple to make, and quick, and provides great results. I’m sure everyone has their own opinion of the perfect tartness or sweetness of a cherry pie, but this one is perfect in my opinion, perhaps leaning a bit more on the tart side, which makes it the ideal mate for a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream. Along with our own favorite cherry pie we all likely have our own version of the perfect cherry pie crust. If you have one that works well with this recipe I hope you will include it with your review. — Sherri 10/15/2012
Mochaccino Cheesecake

Mochaccino Cheesecake

I am so sorry atgordon! I can see the flour and egg amounts along with the other ingredients, so I do not know what is happening when you attempt to view the recipe. The way the recipe was posted, which was for 12 servings, the amounts in questions are 2 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour... and 3 Eggs. Both of these are included in the filling. Hope that helps and you'll give it a try. Apparently 20 people listed it as a favorite so it must not be too bad, and I liked it enough to post it on Big Oven, which is something I am rather picky about. — Sherri 8/24/2012
Classic Belgian Waffles

Classic Belgian Waffles

I've seen some reviews where folks are having trouble seeing the ingredients. I'm not sure what's going on with that but when I look at the list of ingredients I notice a black dot instead of a red dot beside the flour and the milk. Why? I have no idea but perhaps that has something to do with why certain items may be missing. For the flour the amount is 3 Cups, sifted. The other black dot is beside the milk, which is 1 1/2 Cups of whole milk. I posted this recipe and have been making it for years. It does take a bit more effort than using a pancake mix for instance, but if getting out the prized Belgian Waffle maker why not make some exceptional Belgian Waffles?! — Sherri 2/4/2012
Chocolate Bar Fondue

Chocolate Bar Fondue

I can see why there was a question about amounts if metric measurements are needed. The metric conversion link does not seem to be working, at least for me. Give it a try though. It's a tiny "View Metric" link directly to the right of the recipe title. I looked it up online and hope this is correct. You may want to double check to be sure. From what I can tell the 32 oz of chocolate is equal to 900g, the 1 TB of instant coffee is 6 to 8g and so is the sugar- 6 to 8g. For liquids the 1 Tsp of vanilla should be 5mL, 1 1/4C of heavy cream should equal 300mL, and the 1/3C hot water 80mL. Hope this is right. I was actually planning to make this myself tonight. I am NO expert on fondue but after a long search this recipe is for the best and easiest I have found for chocolate. — Sherri 1/1/2012
Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake

I posted this recipe over 6 years ago and am thrilled that so many people have enjoyed it. It remains one of my oldest son's all-time favorite cakes and one my must-takes to any gathering, whether in the morning, afternoon or evening. I do want to thank everyone for their reviews. I learned some things. Apparently it freezes incredibly well which I have actually never been able to do. I would have to hide it while cooling! Another thing is what sqrishka said in his review, which was that he made 2 cakes, one as directed and one gussied up sqrishka style. For the 2nd cake instead of using a bunt or tube pan he made a 3-layer 9-inch round cake. Instead of the glaze he frosted with a Cream Cheese Frosting he made with 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and 1/2 cup coconut (in the actual frosting). They both turned out yummy and this new method is something I am DEFINITELY going to try! Tha — Sherri 8/21/2011
Mile-High Turtle Pie

Mile-High Turtle Pie

In response to the question by Paige91- With the caramel sauce, pecan cookies, and toasted pecans, you should easily we able to substitute plain vanilla ice cream for the butter pecan ice cream. It's really the caramel and chocolate bar melted together and the toasted pecans that give it that gooey "turtle" flavor we love so much. Vanilla, or something like French Vanilla, would be just fine and give you a very similar flavor and the same look of the light (vanilla) and dark (chocolate) ice creams scooped and layered together. — Sherri 7/22/2011
Brownie Biscotti

Brownie Biscotti

I did review this recipe years ago but was just making it again and thought some tips might be appreciated. For a 9" x 13" box of brownie mix know that a 10" x 15" (inside area) Pampered Chef baking sheet (a jelly roll pan with the 1" sides, not the flat cookie sheet), once spread into the pan and baked will give you biscotti that is not quite 3/4" thick. I prefer this because I like mine particularly crunchy but if using a pan of this size reduce the baking time some. Twenty-nine minutes is usually enough for the first baking and just keep an eye on them during the second baking. If you prefer thicker biscotti simply use a smaller pan and adjust baking time. Some other tips would be to lightly oil the foil that is lining your pan in addition to oiling the pan, sides included. Be sure to leave the 2" foil overhang. Once the first baking is complete allow the pan (with the biscotti and foil still inside) to rest on a cooling rack for 3 minutes. Then place another cooling rack on top an 5/16/2011
Hot Chocolate with Pink Peppermint Whipped Cream

Hot Chocolate with Pink Peppermint Whipped Cream

Just a quick note about this recipe. Everyone has a favorite way to make Hot Chocolate, but no matter what your favorite is I highly recommend the Pink Peppermint Whipped Cream. It is a real treat and will make any hot chocolate better. Just freeze the dollops in a way where you can pull one out every time you need one. Fabulous! — Sherri 12/10/2010
Caramelized Pecans

Caramelized Pecans

This recipe may seem so simple that it isn't worth commenting on, but I am making these pecans again this Christmas. I love these things! Addictive! 12/24/2009
New York Style Cheesecake

New York Style Cheesecake

The most recent reviewer is correct on both counts! The directions do not say what to do with the sugar...and the sugar does indeed belong in the crust. Thank you for pointing that out. On another note- this recipe makes a New York "Style" cheesecake that is much more dense than the light and fluffy ones that are often seen. Although not an authentic New York Cheesecake, it is quite good. I have been making it for many years and have received countless requests for the recipe. It always turns out perfect and is always a huge hit at my house! 10/12/2009
Carrot-Cucumber Sambal with Chicken

Carrot-Cucumber Sambal with Chicken

I have not found a recipe that I felt was worthy of Big Oven for a long time, but this is worthy. I would give it more that 5 stars if I could. It was perfect in every way and the vinaigrette was heavenly. I made it just as written although I did double it, which was good thing since it was engulfed. I simply served it with fresh pineapple spears which seemed to be ideal. If you like the flavor of Asian foods this should be right up your alley. [I posted this recipe.] — Sherri 6/25/2009
Grilled Roast Chicken

Grilled Roast Chicken

This was very good, and let's face it, finding good recipes for grilling whole chickens isn't always the easiest thing to do. The amount and combination of spices frightened me a little, but the flavor was fabulous. Amazingly, it wasn't too spicy. Not overpowering but certainly there. I did rub some under the skin like one of the reviewers mentioned, as well as on the outside. This chicken should lend itself to all kinds of side dishes, not just what you would consider for cajun foods. I will be making it again. Thank you for the new chicken recipe! — RKBCooks 6/15/2009
Brownie Muffins

Brownie Muffins

These are my favorite chocolate muffins! They are just like they sound...muffins that taste like brownies with pecans. I haven't found a chocolate muffin anywhere that I like better, and I've tried many. I've even stopped buying muffins at my local coffee shop and make these instead. My entire family loves them. Of course they are chocolate on top of chocolate, so those who do not care for packed full of chocolate brownies - Beware! 4/19/2008
Frozen Butter Pecan Torte

Frozen Butter Pecan Torte

[I posted this recipe.] — Sherri 4/18/2008
Marinated Tangerine Beef

Marinated Tangerine Beef

I had to comment on this because I loved it. I did change some things though, like slicing the beef into thin strips instead of cubes. I made the marinade just as directed but made new marinade for the sauce using twice as much juice as beef stock instead of equal parts. I also made extra sauce so there would be plenty, and served the meat over angel hair pasta tossed with steamed carrots and brocolli. It was all served together in a bowl like in the photo, with the sauce poured over top. Everything had a subtle flavor that was fresh and light. A wonderful summer dish. 4/18/2008
Butter Pecan Pie

Butter Pecan Pie

Impressive! My new favorite Pecan Pie Recipe. I could find no faults with it at all and made no changes other than using my regular pie crust. The texture was perfect and it filled a 9" pie pan exactly. It did not cave in when cooled, have a runny consistency, or end up too sweet to eat more than a sliver. It is a very attractive pie with an excellent flavor. This is by far one of the most impressive recipes I have found as far as absolute perfection in every aspect of the finished product. I am thrilled to have found this recipe and thank whoever it was that posted it. They deserve a star! — catgurrl 4/18/2008
Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

I was looking for a Chicken Pot Pie recipe, and of the many available, chose this one. It was a good choice. I did change some things like increasing the amounts by about 1/4 to make 2 9" pies, softening some minced onions in the butter, adding sage to the spices, using half and half instead of whipping cream, and using fresh vegetables instead of canned. It's a good recipe though. The amounts are correct to give the right consistency in the sauce. I would probably add the importance of a 15 minute boil time on the vegetables, and to brush the bottom crust with egg whites or yolks to make a sort of "seal" before filling. You also might like to note that the sauce continues to thicken some while baking so consider that. It was very tasty and gone in a flash. One pie went into the freezer so I'll let you know how well the potatoes make it through that. This is a great pot pie recipe that I will certainly be making again. — glohills 1/18/2008
Chocolate Pecan Pie Squares

Chocolate Pecan Pie Squares

Wonderful, easy and quick Pecan Pie Bars that will make your teeth ache! Serve them heated with Caramel Sauce and Chocolate Whipped Cream for a real treat. Great size for a crowd. [I posted this recipe.] — Sherri 10/27/2007
Beans, Greens and Sausage

Beans, Greens and Sausage

[I posted this recipe.] — Sherri 7/5/2007

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am a neighborhood from Janesville, WI , and your receipe for peppermint hot chocolate really looks good, can't wait to try it, thanks..Bill

3 years ago    fairlady7

Your parm crusted chicken is from Cuisine at Home mag. I make it all the time. It's great. Isn't that where you got the recipe?

4 years ago    lboorum

"Topdog," I think the olive oil is intended to be used in sauteeing the chix breasts...I could be mistaken, but it seems to be the only logical place to use it.

5 years ago    roundhouse20

Hi Sherri,
Going to try your Parmesan crusted chicken today even though I am unsure of a couple of things. Recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of olive oil but it doesn't state where to use it. I am guessing it is to saute the chicken. Also 2 salts are mentioned in the ingredients list but in the instructions it doesn't say which to use where. Same for the pepper. Thanks

6 years ago    topdog417

I am so sorry for the delay answering! I just saw this question. I wish I could help you with the cheese substitution but have never used anything other than cream or Neufchatel Cheese. I will point out though that this is a New York "Style" Cheesecake and is not an authentic New York Cheesecake. It is certainly closer to and much heavier than many other cheesecake recipes out there, and I love it, but a true New Yorker would point out some differences, such as the crust. There are many other N. Y. Cheesecake reciped listed on Big Oven and you may be able to find one just like what you had in New York. If you decide to try this one I think you'll like it, but finding the perfect, authentic New York Cheescake recipe can be quite a quest. If you locate just what you had in New York I hope you will pass on the recipe to the rest of us!

6 years ago    Sherri

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