Early on my mom molded me into her personal baker. As a child I would enter and win 4-H bake-offs. Family and friends always request my desserts for get togethers. I've been married almost two decades and always cooked meals, but I always followed the recipe to a 'T' and never experimented. But a recent relocation from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Northwest left my palate desiring the Southern foods I grew up on and I had to learn to cook "real" food. Southern cooking is a little of this and a little of that with no "real" recipe. Even though I document my recipes, I don't follow the recipe exactly now and I always experiment. I guess I'm not worried about ruining the meal now. My personal goal is to try two new recipes per month, but usually make a new one every week. I now love experimenting and creating new dishes.
My favorite things to cook
Pasta and sauces, Steak, Chili, Seafood Gumbo, and I'm learning to love making casseroles and one pot dishes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
For years, my sister and I made winter holiday candy for our family and friends. I love making Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and dressing and Christmas dinner with ham.
My cooking triumphs
When my family and friends come back for seconds, I know the recipe is a keeper. My friends base includes Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Laos. We all try to get together once a month and everyone brings a dish. We trade recipes and I love learning how to cook my friends' favorite dishes.
My cooking tragedies
I'm always cutting or burning myself in the kitchen, but I never let it discourage me. Most of the time I follow a recipe exactly the first time I make it and then decide how to make it mine the next time.