Over 4O million cooks visit Allrecipes.com every month, and each has a story. This fearless Seattle cook? She's always working to master something new. Meet @foodieroz!

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Also known as: Rosalind Brazel, 44, Seattle, Washington
Allrecipes community member since:
August 2010
Day job: Communications director for a nonprofit that fights for racial, social, and economic justice
Who I cook for: Myself, plus friends and relatives
Pet: An 11-year-old dog named Smigel

Fascinating facts about me: I knitted scarves and crocheted purses as a side business for many years, and I recently began sewing some of my own clothes. I grill on my covered balcony 12 months a year—a big commitment in Seattle. About five years ago, I made it a point to taste new things and develop my palate. I started with pink meat—even though my family has a "burn it to be safe" philosophy—and kept going from there.

On my bucket list: Travel to New York and eat my way through it.

Food in my family: My dad is not happy unless food is cooked to death and his mouth is on fire (from spices). My mom made a few dishes—very American. But my mom's mom, who was from Germany, made amazing pot roast, sauerkraut, and schnitzel. My godmother, who was born in Italy but lived in California, made a zucchini dish that I have tried for years to replicate. And my grandmother on my dad's side was a fabulous Southern cook. She could fry chicken like nobody's business.

I eat everything except: I hate coconut, and I'm not a fan of squishy seafood (clams, mussels, and oysters).

What got me cooking: Moving to Monroe, Louisiana, to work as a TV reporter. Like me, most of the reporters there were from somewhere else and didn't have family in town. The rest of the staff took pity on us, bringing food to work or inviting us to their homes for dinner. I felt so welcomed and honored by that—it made me think more about the social appeal of being a good cook. Plus, the food is so good there! I started cooking things like monkey bread, sourdough from scratch, and gumbo so I'd know how to make them again when I eventually got back to Seattle.

A recipe I just love: Angela's Awesome Enchiladas. It's a little bit of work but worth the effort. My favorite part? It freezes beautifully—very important if you're single.

Food discovery that changed my life: Runny eggs. I was watching an episode of Top Chef that featured the chef Wylie Dufresne, who is famous for his egg fetish. He mentioned the creaminess of egg yolks, and I was intrigued. I'd only had hard-cooked eggs because that's how my family always made and ordered them. I thought: Maybe he's on to something! I tried my first runny egg soon after that and fell in love.

What I like most about Allrecipes: The recipes are tested and rated by home cooks like me. I use the site when I'm looking for a specific recipe, and I use the magazine to enhance my love of cooking in general—it opens my eyes to things that I may have not considered.

My kitchen is: Tiny and jam-packed with tools. I have a deep fryer, a pasta maker, an ice cream maker, a pressure cooker, and doubles of just about every tool you can imagine (graters, spoons, spatulas).

Best cook I know: My brother Romel, who's a chef (that's him at the stove in this photo).

When the party's at my place: The food is part of the fun. For this get-together, Romel and I prepped veggies, meats, and noodles ahead of time, and then everyone cooked what they wanted, Chinese hot pot style, in simmering broth.

About my brother: He makes the best breakfast hash. It has three types of meat, peppers, onions, and potatoes. We usually add cheese and an over-easy egg. It's just everything you want in a breakfast.

About my dog: I've had Smigel (SMEE-gul) since she was 9 weeks old. She's a Chi-Pom-Peke—my made-up designer word for a mutt mixed with Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and Pekingese. She's named after a character from The Lord of the Rings. (I always name my pets after science-fiction characters.) She's actually a service dog, trained to alert me to take a necessary medication, and she travels with me just about everywhere I go.
My signature recipe: My baked beans are almost like chili. I use molasses and brown sugar, sausage and bacon, and beans (such as chickpeas) that you wouldn't expect.

Follow Rosalind on Allrecipes here.

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