I have lived in or around Buffalo New York most of my life. I spent a year in Miami, but it wasn't for me. I am a single mom of one son who is two. I started teaching myself to cook when I was about 20 because I decided that when I had kids I wanted to be the mom who is the fantastic cook whose children stop by regularly after they move out just to eat. Well I finally have my son to cook for. Problem is that he refuses to eat anything that is not pb & J sandwiches, french fries or yogurt. I am hoping that he outgrows this fussy eater business when he isn't a toddler anymore, but in the meantime I am dying inside!
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking anything Italian. I probably love making pasta more than anything. I also like Mexican, and I have recently started to play around with Asian. I am not attracted to healthy or lite recipes. A recipe with cream cheese or bacon is always great.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We have several. The females get together once a year to make homemade ravioli and sauce. Thats a lot of fun. We have a fall themed dinner every Halloween. My mother and sister go overboard and make way too many cookies every Christmas. I'm not invited because I am horrible at baking so they humor me and have me make the candies. We have a huge Italian Christmas Dinner, and a Christmas morning breakfast. We also have NEAP (No Elderly Annoying People) night. That is Christmas eve night. My brothers and sisters and I get together without any of the extended family. We just make soup and salad and a bunch of appetizers and can just be ourselves. Another tradition we started recently is that when we spend a week camping over the summer we make a detour and go to Amish country. There we visit the farms and buy our fruits and veggies and fresh butter and cheese and homemade fudge for the week.
My cooking triumphs
Anytime I make something that people love so much they bring it up months or even years later. I love that look people get when they taste something that they think is incredible. You know that look! Their eyes get real wide. A big triumph for me is that I started cooking the holiday dinners a couple years back for my family. It is stressful, but also an amazing feeling to cook 14 things (yes, sometimes I overdo it) at once and have everything turn out well.
My cooking tragedies
I can't bake or really make any kind of dessert for that matter. I still hear comments weekly about a chocolate cherry pie I attempted 2 years ago. I started a fire on the stove a few years ago and in a moment of sheer panic I dumped the entire pot of chicken I was cooking on it in an attempt to put it out. There wasn't even any water in the pot. Oh, and there was this time that I made a huge platter of chicken salad that was full of fruits and nuts and all that fun stuff. It looked really good. My boyfriend at the time came into the kitchen and grabbed a little bowl of it and went to watch tv. At that point I tried a bite and I didn't like it at all. I was upset that I even let him try it so I dumped the whole platter of it into the trash. At that point he walked into the kitchen with a huge smile telling me that it was absolutely fantastic, and he loved it and wanted more. He looked at me like I should be committed when I apologized and pointed at the garbage.