I was raised by a single mom with a very bland taste palette and in my world, dinner came from a box. Cooking, therefore, is a whole new world for me and I'm enjoying it a great deal. However, I've been baking breads, bagels and decorating cakes since I was about 15. I have a knack for all things baked and the irony is that I'm not much of a sweets eater.
My favorite things to cook
Chicken paprikash, bagels, semi-homemade pizza, pomegranate chicken, steak and Bearnaise sauce, pumpkin gingerbread, any type of pasta.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom used to let me lick my fingers after spreading the (corn-syrup laden) pizza sauce on the Chef Boyardee Pizza Kit. See, I really wasn't exaggerating about the boxed meals thing.
I still love and will always lick the beaters and the spatula after baking.
My cooking triumphs
Gumbo. It is both my nemesis and my triumph. I still haven't made a great gumbo but I did finally make one that we didn't have to order pizza. I made a roux, used andouille sausage and chicken and it was pretty good!
My cooking tragedies
Gumbo gets this award too. I never ate much Okra until I came here to Oklahoma. I didn't know that when you use frozen okra, you probably shouldn't pour all the slime into the gumbo too. Add to that, I was using a low-fat (read: no taste) recipe to begin with. It was the nastiest goup I ever made!