• ValeCooks
  • Posts
  • Welcome to ValeCooks 👩🏻‍🍳

Welcome to ValeCooks 👩🏻‍🍳

Welcome to ValeCooks 👩🏻‍🍳

Hi there! I’m Vale, and welcome to my weekly 📧 newsletter. Each week, I will be trying out new recipes and sharing my discoveries along the way. I’ll also share some of my all-time favorites🌟. This newsletter will serve as your shortcut to finding great recipes 🍲 without the trial and error.

For several years, I’ve been on the quest for recipes that bring smiles 😊 to my family and friends. Growing up, food was the heart ❤️ of our home. From my dad whipping up his famous pastas to my mom raffling her cheesecake-covered mixing spoon among my siblings after cooking, we were always the family that arrived at house gathering with my mom’s delicious desserts. Now, as adults, my siblings and I continue to share our love for food with each other and everyone around us 🍽️.

Since 2020, I have tracked every recipe I have tried on a Google Sheet📊, noting each success and learning.

Recipe Count Over the Years:
  • 2020: 91 recipes

  • 2021: 255 recipes

  • 2022: 173 recipes

  • 2023: 188 recipes

This year, I’ve set a rather ambitious goal: to try 7 different recipes each week🗓️, totaling 365 for this year! Let’s see how this adventure unfolds. I’m excited to share what I learn and discover along the way.

Family, Food, and Shared Happiness

Today, what really keeps me going is sharing my all-time favorite recipes with family and friends. A few months ago, my sister, a true legend in the kitchen 👩‍🍳(she was meant to be a Top Chef judge!) — moved down to San Diego. Now that she’s nearby, I have been making the most of it, experimenting with new recipes, especially health-conscious desserts, to surprise her whenever we meet. The best part? Seeing her break into a happy dance after tasting a successful recipe. But you know what tops even that? Watching my nephew, Nico, ask for “Mas! Mas!” after having a bite of the treats! ❤️

This Week’s Recipe Test Summary

Impress Someone🌟
  1. Sticky Coconut Chicken and Rice 🥥🍗🍚by Kay Chun @ NYTimes Cooking

    • Perfect for ginger and coconut lovers, this dish is comforting with plenty of leftovers. I’d recommend using chicken breast instead of thighs. It’s from the same chef who created one of my favorite 2020 recipes —Coconut—Gochujang Glazed Chicken with Broccoli by Kay Chun.

  2. Almond Coconut Granola Bars 🌰🥥 by COOKIE + Kate (minimally processed food)

    • My sister and nephew loved these, though they’re more like tasty clusters than actual granola bars. I used honey (not maple syrup) and almond butter (not peanut butter).

  3. Macaron by John Kanell @ Preppy Kitchen 

    • Ideal for first-timers making macarons. While I’m not a big fan of macarons, my cousins loved them.

Would Make Again 👍
  1. Gooey Butter Cookies from All About Cookies: A Milk Bar Baking Book by Christina Tosi

    • Delicious when fresh out of the oven, but just okay when cold.

  2. Spaghetti with Carbonara Sauce 🍝by Daniel Gritzer @ serious eats

  3. Ice Golden Milk Latte🥛🧊by Cheryl Malik @ 40 aprons (vegan, paleo)

    • The best at-home golden milk latte recipe I’ve tried.

  4. Pickled Red Onions 🧅by Love & Lemons

Would Not Make Again 👎

These recipes didn’t live up to expectations or just weren’t to my taste.

  1. Lemon Puff Pancake with Fresh Berries 🥞🍋🍓🫐 by PJ Hamel @ King Arthur Baking Company

    • I’m still in search for the perfect Richard Walker’s Dutch Pancake copycat recipe. The closest I’ve found so far is the Baked Pancake from Allrecipes.

  2. Toasted Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto from Smitten Kitchen Keepers Cookbook by Deb Perelman (vegetarian)

    • Making gnocchi was so fun, but the taste was just okay.

  3. Tender Italian Baked Chicken 🇮🇹🍗by Barb Eisel @ allrecipes

  4. Sheet Pan Chicken Gyros with Feta Tzatziki 🥙by Tieghan Gerard @ Half Baked Harvest

I’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, or any recipe request you might have.

See you next week. Keep cooking! 👋 

Vale from ValeCooks