I came from "humble upbringing" and my mother called herself a "plain" cook. When I left home at 18 I was determined to master cuisine. I subscribed to "Cuisine" magazine and started replicating recipes each month. It's been 30 years, including learning at Cordon Bleu Paris, and cooking for as many as 350. I joined Allrecipes to have access to comfort food and "mom-type" traditional recipes.
My favorite things to cook
My favorite things to cook are seared ahi tuna over spinach salad, pasta from scratch, cheap cuts of beef simmered all day, potatoes in any form, and I am mad about recipes stolen from exotic locations. My Peruvian secretary watched her Grandma cook "Aji de Guillina" (not sure of spelling) and took copious notes providing me with one of my treasures. Another was a friend who watched a cook in Thailand prepare a chicken-cashew dish and carefully wrote down the steps. Some day I should submit those!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Eggs Benedict and Bloody Marys for Christmas morning breakfast - And Prime Rib dinner in the evening on Christmas day.
My cooking triumphs
When I was an 18 year old novice, I made Beef Wellington and for dessert, Baked Alaska.
My cooking tragedies
Any time I take Hollandaise Sauce for granted, I get punished with a curdled catastrophe. The steps are there for a purpose it seems.