Recipezaar has been the perfect source for me. I go on 'kicks' with my cooking. Whether it is rice five nights per week, marinating meats or home made pastas, the 'zaar is always there with a new spice combination or a new side dish. Thank you to all of you out there that have posted and reviewed. A special thank you to all of the Fall 2007 PAC hosts for finding little me and my recipes! One of my peeves is people that post a recipe without checking to see if it's already been posted. When looking for recipes, I always sort according to the date posted. Then I look at the oldest recipes first. Too many times I've seen a newer post with many stars on their recipe while the older one has barely been glanced at. My rating system: 5--recipe was perfectly fine as written, we enjoyed it and it will definitely be made again and recommended to my friends; 4--recipe worked (ex. cake rose, bread held together,etc.), but there was something missing and I will tweak it the next time that I make it; 3--(have only given this once thus far) recipe did not work for me, but it worked for so many others that I thought I erred...but I'm not making that again to find out what the problem was. Thus far, I have not given a 1 or 2, but that is because I've tried to be thoughtful about what recipes to make. Have an absolute love for cooking. In the past, have experimented with different rices and different pastas. Love to make home made pasta with fresh eggs--from the hens right outside! My goodness, there is nothing as good as truly fresh eggs from very happy, free-range, spoiled hens. Oops, did I say spoiled? Nah. The free-range organic grocery store eggs cannot compare to the eggs from the back yard. Because of Recipezaar, I've tried different spice combinations and with outstanding results. There is a local bulk food store at which the spices are so much cheaper and fresher than anywhere else. (For the locals: Taste of Country, across the street from Food Town on Lewis Ave in Temperance. 09/06/09: Update: This store has closed.) With the current economy, I worry about the survival of our local stores. When buying meat, I patronize the independent stores and have found the quality and prices to be much better than a chain store. As a bonus, the butchers are knowledgeable and helpful. (For the locals: Danny's Foods in Monroe, Ida Food Market on Lewis and Bedford Meats on Secor have excellent meats. Kim's Kountry Meats on Telegraph has a great selection of ready to cook meat items. Their crab stuffed chicken breast is to die for.) So many Americans have become used to buying their meals in the grocery stores. It is distressing to me that so many of my friends can't or won't cook. They are missing out on so much! In this house, we go through crazy amounts of flour, sugar, butter, cheese and milk...especially for two people. I just want to know what it is that we are eating; the best way to know is to use quality ingredients and make it yourself. Please, please, reconsider whether or not some of the following are actually foods: *Cool Whip *Cool Whip in the can *cheap chicken patties *Spam *corn syrup solids (What is this stuff, anyway?) *hydrogenated vegetable oil (clogged arteries in a bottle) *margarine (Another astute 'zaar member, Cap'n Jack #465080, reminded me how horrible this stuff is. Thank you!) *Super Sugar Crisp *anything containing added caffeine (Think Mountain Dew and 'energy' drinks, which should not be sold to anyone under 21.) Watch for additions to the "Is this food?" list and read your labels! While reading your labels, you will find ingredients that surprise you. Is it necessary to have yeast in your soup? Is it necessary to have high fructose corn syrup in your soup? Note how many foods list both high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup or corn syrup solids in their ingredients. They use different forms so that they don't appear to have as much of this gunk in them. (Ingredients must be listed in order, from high to low, of content quantity.) Note the sodium content in your foods, also. Do you need that much sodium? In the house, I use a mixture of 1/3 Nu-Salt (potassium chloride) and 2/3 table salt (sodium chloride) as we tend to have muscle spasms. Though we don't salt our food very much, that simple substitution seems to have helped. And it's easier than eating a banana. Since DH loves his Kool-Aid, I have begun adding 1 T of acacia fiber when mixing up a package of the beverage. We re-use plastic bottles; he drinks 4-6 pints of Kool-Aid per day. That means he is getting 5-8 grams of additional fiber each day, painlessly. Look out for those low-cal sweeteners that have added fiber. They are dumping in corn waste as the fiber content. Corn is not the recommended fiber source. It's just a cheap way for them to jack up the price of chemical garbage.