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I love to cook and am trying to find more time to do so. I like to experiment and will usually try anything at least once. I have a cookbook collection which I am extremely proud of and I love the holidays because I love planning large, detailed meals for friends and family. I'm getting to be an experienced cook (thanks to Zaar), but like they say, practice makes perfect! My passions are my family, friends, FOOD, music and my dog (the most amazing Jack Russell Terrier in the world!!)***My pet family has expanded to include another equally amazing mixed breed that I rescued. After trying to find her a home for a couple of months, I figured out the best place for her was with me.. :) *** RECIPE REVIEWING: I do all the cooking over here and have done so for years. I'm fairly experienced in the kitchen and we have pretty non-discriminating/adventureous tastes, so few things are off limits for us. With that said, I am very careful when picking out recipes to make sure that they suit our tastes and the instructions seem clear. Most reviews won't be based on just my opinion, but of at least two other adults [I just average out what everyone thinks, but since I cooked it, of course I have veto power and can push a 4* to a 5* :)] First time around, I always try to follow the recipe to the T to make sure I rate/review as fairly as possible (the way I see it,a couple minor substitutions are okay, but when everything is substituted, you are not really making that recipe, but a completely different one)...Also, I promise I will never make anything with raw carrots (since I hate them) and then state that I hated your recipe because it tasted too much like raw carrots.. (Can you tell that reviews like these are getting to be one of my pet peeves??) After A LOT of thought I have decided I will rate recipes as follows: 5*****- AWESOME! EXCEEDED my expectations in one way or another(EX: amazing taste for minimal effort, or if it was a lot of effort I didn't mind b/c it was that good! Makes me look/feel like a culinary superstar!). Definitely delicious and I will be making again and again.. 4****-GREAT! MET my expectations and tasted delicious. (If I rate someting a 4, it's pretty much almost a 5 in my book. But maybe needs the ever so slightest tweaking to put it at that 5*. Makes me look like a kitchen queen!)This is something I will make again and probably often... 3***-GOOD/LIKED IT, BUT JUST OKAY. Somehow, fell short of what I was expecting. It in no way means it was bad. Just different than what I was hoping for. Most likely, I view this as a work in progress in order to make it more compatible with our palates. I almost always make these at least twice before reviewing so I can say what tweaks worked for me... 2**/1*- I won't give these b/c usually there is some error somewhere (typo in recipe, I misunderstood something, etc.)I never want to hurt anyone's feelings but I feel that the most important part of the rating/review system is to let other people know what your experience was and what not to do. Therefore, I won't rate the recipe any stars b/c I don't want to lower its rating and b/c it may have been my mistake, but I will review so that others will be able to learn from where I may have gone wrong...