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An amateur cook who loves the kitchen and loves to make up new recipes. I am a systems administrator by day and a pretty good chef by night (at least I think so). My favorite cook book is probably the Joy of Cooking. I take bits and pieces out of there to make my own things. It's a good starting point. It does tend to use things that I don't have like lard, so I substitute shortening or margarine and most things actually work out really well.