About FoodieDani

What can I say…I’m a corporate girl by day and a ballroom instructor by night (Latin baby!). In addition to my other bazillion jobs (PR consultant for the restaurant industry, working for my sorority, etc.) I occasionally have time to eat (ok, I always make time to eat). I’ve always loved food – cooking, eating, reading, whatever! I grew up trying recipe after recipe out of my mom’s orange Betty Crocker cookbook (which I now have my own copy courtesy Ebay…).  Heck, I even remember being in high school and impressing my young dates by having them over for dinner that I cooked!

The Average Cook blog focuses on my adventures (and misadventures) in cooking, restaurant reviews, and other food-related news bits and bites. I have no formal background training in cooking but grew up with two Italian grandmothers, one Italian grandfather, and two parents who all enjoy cooking and who all owned the catchphrase “Mangia!” (didn’t matter if I was about to explode, you better eat that damn second bowl of spaghetti). I am not a spontaneous cook by any means, I enjoy trying new recipes and sometimes adapting them to my own tastes. You will likely see very few of my own recipes here. Just not that creative!!

So bear with me when I post a bad recipe, oh it will soo happen, a lot. And rejoice in my cooking triumphs!




  1. Anonymous said

    congrats and good luck with your food blog!!!

    love, mom

  2. foodiedani said

    Thanks mom

  3. Hi FoodieDani,

    I just want to thank you for this blog! It’s a wonderful combination of practical recipe advice and witty conversation. I’m not a cook myself, but your recipes from cooking light inspired me to look up one of their recipes for french toast this morning. I had bread and blueberries and thought of your blog and decided ‘why not?’ I’m happy to report that the berry french toast was a success! Of course I’m the only judge here, but I am a judge with discerning taste! I’m looking forward to your next post!

    The sassy single girl

  4. foodiedani said

    Sassy Single Girl,

    Thanks for reading the blog and getting inspired! I appreciate your feedback and look forward to reading about the Single Sassy Girl!

  5. You asked a comment on another blog, about “cone method” for filling cupcakes (http://cupcakeblog.com/index.php/2006/12/cherry-vanilla-cupcakes/#comments). I can’t speak for the author of the blog, but it looks in the photo, she may have gone in from a 45-degree angle. You can use a long “cone” shaped tip (No. 230 Round Decorating Tip 402-230) from Wilton, inserted into a pastry bag. Here’s a link on filling cupcakes with a fruit filling (jam in this case): http://www.cupcakefun.com/techniques/jamfilledcenter.cfm

    Hope it helps. I don’t have a cooking Blog, but I’ve had a cooking site for years (before anyone had heard of blogging). See me at http://www.sharonanne.com

  6. foodiedani said

    Thanks Sharon Anne for the cupcake tips! Love your site as well! Just added to my blogroll. Thanks for reading!

  7. Marilyn said

    Hi Dani!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I’m so glad you did. I think you and I would get along great. I consider myself a “foodie” as well. I love going out to eat, as well as cooking at home. I, too, love to try new recipes and adapt to my taste. I find cooking very relaxing actually. I don’t have a cooking blog, but as you’ve seen I like to “review” local restaurants I’ve dined at, as well as participate in local food forums.

    I also love watching The Food Network not to mention the reality shows Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen.

    Thanks for the link! I will return the favor. Keep in touch, ok?

  8. foodiedani said

    Hey Marilyn! Really enjoying your blog as it seems we have a lot in common. Love Top Chef too!

  9. Deb Smith said

    Hi Dani,

    I’m an average cook and foodie like you in Ocean Cty. NJ. Just across the bridge from Monmouth county. Love cooking light mag. too. I hope you’ll try some of my recipes on Jersey Bites. I just started my blog right after Labor Day and I’m having a blast with it. Email me if you’d like to trade links.


  10. foodiedani said

    Hey Deb!

    We’re neighbors! Love your site!! Adding to my blog roll!


  11. Hal Lindner said


    Wanted to make sure you saw this…

    I came across this website video piece and PDF recipe, which I was intrigued by. I tried the recipe and was very happy with the result. Comfort food doesn’t get much better than this.


    I was suprised to see it mentioned in a great story in the food section of the Sacramento Bee on spaghetti & meatballs. I thought it might merit a forward to you




    It even made the local news, guess the whole town is going spaghetti & meatballs carzy:



    Hal Lindner

  12. Hi Dani,

    Thanks for commenting on the mystery food. I wanted to invite you to join our new social network for New Jersey foodies. It’s a great way to promote your blog. It’s barely a month old so don’t be discouraged by the number of members. I have quite a few members who intend to join and once we reach a certain number and keep the content flowing, the group should multiply rapidly. I’d love to have you join us and participate. You have a really great blog and will bring so much to the dynamics of the group.

    You can check us out here: http://www.jerseybiters.ning.com

    Hope to see you there.

  13. Janie Mack said

    I have been trying to print a recipe “ROAST CHICKEN WITH ONIONS, POTATOES AND GRAVY” dated cooking, cooking light, food 11/13/2007 12:28 pm. Please tell me how to get this printed so I can add it to my recipe collection. It sounds simply delicious.
    Thanks much from away out west in Utah.
    Janie Mack

  14. foodiedani said

    Hi Janie,

    Thanks for visiting. The best way to print this recipe would either be to print from browser window or copy and paste recipe into a Word doc. You can also click on the link in the blog post that will direct you to Cooking Light’s site, where they have a printer-friendly version.


  15. Julie said

    Hey Dani,

    I just left a little award for you on my site! Dinner at Bobby Flay’s place sounds fantastic!!



  16. foodiedani said


    Thanks so much! I’m honored!


  17. Melissa L. said

    Hey gorgeous! I LOVE your blog!!!! I tagged it on mine. I’ll be calling you later today, hope we can catch up! ~ Melissa (from The Courier)

  18. foodiedani said


    Hey sweetie! Nice chatting with you the other night! Thanks for the compliment and the link! I will return the favor! Looking forward to speaking with you!


  19. Hello! – Fellow jersey blogger! I was wondering if you could drop me an email – I am interested in doing a blogroll with ya!


  20. akentuckycreation said

    Great blog. I will check it out more often. I don’t know how, but someone referenced my blog through yours. Hope you will check my blog out also. I have a lot of recipes posted.



  21. foodiedani said

    Hey Lee,

    Thanks for stopping by! Will check out your blog!


  22. Duey Baab said

    Hi Dani,
    I came across your blog doing research for the new show we’re casting on food Network called “Dear Food Network”. Thought it might interest you or you could mention it on your site or just pass it on to family and friends. We are looking for fun, diverse people to ask questions about grilling. Here’s the casting notice:

    Now’s your chance to have your Grilling question answered, possibly even in-person! Inspired by letters from fans, Dear Food Network features top chefs answering your cooking concerns, problems and challenges.

    Have a question about global grilling (Mexican, tandoori, Italian, Korean), improving an All-American dishes (hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken), seafood, or how to make a tasty dessert on the grill? Our Food Network stars are here to help improve your recipes and grilling skills!

    We’re looking for fun, creative 20-second videos (DVD or MiniDV) to incorporate into the show.
    For video guidelines please contact me at foodnetworkseries@gmail.com !

    Also send us your stats (name, age, city/state, living situation, contact info) plus a recent photo, a little about yourself, and your cooking questions. Does your chicken always come out burnt, maybe you’re a baker who wants to take it to the backyard, need an idea for a party?

    The best questions/videos will be used on the show and some people will get to have their question answered in person by his or hers favorite chef!
    Please send your DVD or MiniDV to:

    Embassy Row
    Att: Dear Food Network
    110 Leroy Street
    7th Fl.
    New York, NY 10014

    All entries must be received no later than Monday December 8th.


  23. Val Ann C said

    Hi Dani,
    It’s Val Ann C from chowhound.com.

    If your dining adventures take you to near Shrewsbury, please stop and see my photography on exhibit at:
    FOCAL POINT – An Exhibit by 13 Photographers, Curated by Laury A. Egan
    November 1 to December 3, 2008

    Guild of Creative Art
    620 Broad Street (Rt 35, across from The Grove and Pasta Fresca)
    Shrewsbury, NJ, 07702
    Gallery hours:
    Monday to Saturday 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m.
    Thursday 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m.

  24. Naomi Hamm said

    Hi ya Dani, I am sure you are a great cook. My uncle, who marirried my witch aunt, oh don’t she just wish she were a real witch, but anyway, he was an Italian and a great. My grammy was a southerner so I guess you can tell I have still a weight problem. I do so love eating and during my mid twenties I tried cooking and found I enjoyed it and was good at it. Well I guess I was just lucky.

    I am a freelance creative Writer/artist and I enjoy internet gabbing with other writers, actors, activists, rock stars, writers, cooks, you name it I’ve probably been on their blogs. Such as Heath Ledgers many sites, Sylvia Browns spirit.now.com and also Tools for Life, under the pen Chantilly.

    Soon real soon, I am going to start trying to mentor online with someone who can help me create an appropriate website and blog, etc that would be right for me, because of my varied interests, hobbies and creative writing endeavours.

    Hopefully soon I can start the research and then begin writing on my first love: the historical romance novel about life for a young woman during the American Revoltunary war that begins with her life and reason to leave her native Ireland with a shipping magnate’s son who is in his own right a captain, a real bona fide mon capitaine!

    Well I will be looking forward to that AND on continuing my research and devlopment of my Natural Nutritionist website and business.

    On how to nurture yourself and your loved ones with healing foods, lifestyle changes and more…….

    I will also look forward to checking into the Dani Average cook zone from time-to -time.


    Now back to my other millions of emails and things I need to go,

    Chow one and all

    My best,

    Naomi Hamm at hamm_naomi@yahoo.com
    Post Office Box 63,
    Drexel Hill PA 19026-0063

  25. Shirley said

    Hi, just wanted to let you know I referenced your popover recipe in my new blog, Antique Supper Club. Hope you enjoy!


  26. sandrar said

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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