I am nearly thirty. Gasp! I am the oldest daughter and grew up in my mother's kitchen. I learned most of my basics from her. She grew up cooking Kansas style and added some German recipe's to her mix when she married my father (his mother was German). She always had fun making new concoctions in the the kitchen. My father ALWAYS cooked breakfast on the weekends, things like potato pancakes, french toast, or omelets. So naturally my first and longest job was in a restaurant. Although I no longer work there, I really enjoyed having that huge kitchen to play in.
My favorite things to cook
BROWNIES! I also love to cook anything with fresh veggies in it, especially tomatoes. My newest favorite thing to play with is falafel. The possibilities are endless.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Try it see if it works.
My cooking triumphs
Brownies with cream cheese filling (sometimes chocolate chips added in for "those" days). I memorized this recipe when I was 18 and when family visits they expect them "warm, gooey" and on hand.
My cooking tragedies
I had made stuffed chicken breast once (with broccoli/cheese filling and a bread crumb crust) and it came out awesome. So when I started dating my man, I decided I would wow him and his friends with my expertise and make it again... however, I misjudged the thickness of the chicken or the length of cook time or something and they all turned out raw on the inside. He and his friends still refer to that day as the day I made them salmonella chicken.