I started cooking at a very early age(10)out of necessity, my Mom had cancer and eventually passed away when I was 15. As I was the oldest daughter I won the coin toss as chef. Dinners were pretty bleak initially as my Mom was not with us long enough to teach me much (sorry to my brothers who grew up on my cooking) but what I lacked in know-how I made up in the desire to do better and make sure that my brothers and my sister had "normal" family meals. My Mom didn't have much materially to pass on to us but I found a wealth of knowledge in her recipe box which I have to this day. Today my favorite meal to cook is a quiet meal for my husband as he is my biggest fan. I've gotten much better in the 30 something years since I started cooking and have even put some variations on Mom's recipes. For me cooking is relaxing and familiar.
My favorite things to cook
Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!!! I love experimenting with new ways to serve pasta. From vodka sauce to seafood marinara I've tried variations on just about everything. I also love to come up with new Italian menu ideas from appetizer to dessert with wine that compliments the menu as a whole.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In the winter I love making cookies with my daughters. Friday nights after a long week at work I love to come home and try a new recipe, I look forward to that all day.
My cooking triumphs
I made my first turkey dinner at 12 years old. The ability to cook a recipe for the first time for company and have it turn out great (I call it cooking without a net).
My cooking tragedies
Baked Alaska, melted all over the inside of the oven. Anytime I serve tuna casserole to my family.