Cook offers wise policy

Many people have a ready answer when they're asked what the worst thing they've ever cooked is. Michelle Ruggiero, 32, is different. "I don't cook bad food," she said. Her policy is not to cook food she doesn't like.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 24, 2010

Many people have a ready answer when they're asked what the worst thing they've ever cooked is. Michelle Ruggiero, 32, is different.

"I don't cook bad food," she said. Her policy is not to cook food she doesn't like.

It's a wise policy, but not universally effective. Her daughter Kerstyn, 11, has an answer for worst dish: baked corn. Fortunately for Kerstyn, the baked corn is often a potluck specialty (as is today's recipe, stuffed sausage pizza), so she doesn't have to eat it all herself.

Kerstyn, her sister Kamia, 4, and their mother are in agreement on the best dish, however: fried dough bread dough you spread out and fry and then put sugar on. In fact, Kerstyn's friends like to have their sleepovers at her house just so they can sample the delicacy.

Kerstyn pitches in too. She makes macaroni and grilled cheese as her grandfather taught her.

When Mom cooks, it's most frequently meatloaf, lasagna, walking tacos tacos made with Doritos instead shells and chicken in the crock pot. The meatloaf is most requested by her family.

For special occasions, the Ruggieros do a few things differently. At Easter, they make a roast. For Christmas, it's prime rib. And there's no sauerkraut on New Year's Ruggiero doesn't like it, and, like she said, she doesn't make food she doesn't like.

When she isn't cooking, Ruggiero enjoys shopping and working on her house. She works as a graphic artist at the Sandusky Register.

Secrets of success in the kitchen for her are always having on hand plenty of salt and pepper, garlic, bread crumbs and seasoned salt.

Another secret bit of advice: "I don't measure anything," Ruggiero said. "You've got to go by taste even if you're making something out of a box."

She selected today's recipe because it's a special family recipe and because "it's easy to make and everyone who's ever tasted it really likes it."