By Allrecipes Magazine

Cook to Follow: Paula

This retired teacher, sweet grandma, and empty nester is one of the 55 million cooks who visit every month. She credits the site and her fellow Allstars with teaching her how to cook and encouraging her to try new things in the kitchen.

Related: Learn more about the Allrecipes Allstar program and how you can be an Allstar, too.

Paula's Favorite Recipe

Get the recipe: Zippy Egg Casserole

"This is not my recipe, but it is my favorite breakfast recipe. I make it for holidays, brunches, and more, says Paula." "I use Jimmy Dean hot sausage, grate all the cheeses myself (so much better than using preshredded) and do not add additional salt or pepper."

Photo by Kathryn Gamble

Get to Know Paula

  • Also known as:Paula Roten, 65, Olive Branch, Mississippi
  • Where I grew up:Memphis, Tennessee
  • Cooking Skill Level:I used to say expert, until I met so many experts through the Allrecipes Allstar program :-)
  • Who I cook for:Myself and my husband, Gary, 67
  • What I Did Before Retiring:I taught English and French for nearly 20 years at junior and senior high schools in Mississippi and Tennessee.
  • Best Cooks I Know:My mother and my mother-in-law. They are both in their 90s and no longer cook, but when they, oh my, it was delicious comfort food!
  • My Approach to Cooking:I love trying new recipes and rarely cook the same thing twice in a month. My husband doesn't get upset if he doesn't like a recipe because he knows he won't see it again for a long time anyway.
  • Who or What Inspires MY Cooking:Ordinary people, like the home cooks on Allrecipes and particularly the Allstars. They have inspired me to try things that scared me, likecinnamon rollsandyeasted breads. They have introduced me to new-to-me foods likequinoa. They have recommended great tools like immersion blenders, meat thermometers, stand mixers, and high-powered blenders. They have given me the courage to try new things in the kitchen and be creative.
  • Food Discovery That Changed My Life:Okra. I roast it straight from the freezer as a side dish. I use it as a thickener. And I put it in healthy shakes.
  • In My Fridge Right Now:Refrigerator pickles. I made some with sugar for my husband and some with a stevia blend for me.
  • One Kitchen Tool I Can't Live Without:I'd say a small paring knife. My husband says a step stool because I can't reach the top shelves without it. This is true! I'm 5-foot-2.
  • Favorite Things to Cook:Zippy Egg Casserole,fried tilapia fillets with capers,corn on the cob, and bakedbeef stew.
  • Obsessions:Family! My husband, my son and daughter and their spouses, and my eight grandchildren.
"Gary (above, middle) and I have been married 44 years."

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This article originally appeared in Allrecipes Magazine.