I'm half French and half Italian, so that means I love food, I love wine, and I love food with wine! I'm passionate about my cultures and it reflects in my cooking style. I love dishes with complexity, richness, and unique character. I prefer cooking the old fashioned way, with less technology and more elbow grease, but with a new baby I have to sometimes bite the bullet and go with some shortcuts. But for the record, I NEVER use Cool Whip, Crisco, or margarine because I love "whole" foods that are in their unadulterated state... like butter, fresh whipped cream, etc. The real stuff ALWAYS tastes better. Not to mention those substitutes are pretty close to being plastic. As for my personal life, I have a 2 and a half year old girl named Sienna and an 8 month old girl named Mia. My husband and I love to enjoy a home cooked meal together and open a great bottle of red wine. My parents both are wonderful cooks. My father is a seasoning genius, and my mother makes everything taste delicious. They both instilled in me the love of food and the love of the art of food, and that every meal should be a celebrated occasion. The cake used as my "icon" picture... a beautiful mocha genoise, was made by my mother, and is probably at the top of my list for amazing desserts. I would probably eat that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if it were available to me. Mmmmmm. I have traveled all over Europe and the United States, and also visited Morocco. Marrakesh is magical, France is inspiring, and I wish I could go back! I have truly become a Zaar addict and love searching out the highest rated recipes to share with family and friends. Doing this has saved me a ton of money at the grocery store because I can plan out my meals for the week and make one trip instead of shopping everyday. I love crockpot meals not just for the simplicity, but slow cooking in my opinion brings out remarkable flavor and tenderness and allows ingredients to meld just so. My rating system for recipes are as follows: 5 stars means it was FABULOUS and unique and I'll definitely be making it to impress my guests. 4 stars means it was great and I will be sure to make it again. 3 stars means it was good and served the purpose I needed but I may or may not make it again. 2 stars means I really didn't care for it and probably won't be making it again. It may not just be the taste, but other factors such as preparation involved and it's worth compared to the end result. 1 star means I really did not like this dish and will not make it again. Thanks for your interest and hope you enjoy my recipes! ******************** I first saw this on Karen from Colorado's page... I love it!... I didn't have potatoes, so I substituted rice. I didn't have paprika, so I used another spice. I didn't have tomato sauce, I used tomato paste; A whole can, not a half can - I don't believe in waste. A friend gave me the recipe; she said you couldn't beat it. There must be something wrong with her, I couldn't even eat it!