As you can tell from my username, I have connections in one form or another, to Indonesia, Holland, and the Middle East. Im an upstate New Yorker, American in heritage, Islamic by religion, and spicy by cooking preference!
My favorite things to cook
Give me garlic, garlic, and more garlic! Oh, and I feel like a real housewife when I turn out a big 9x13 inch pan of something thick like lasagna, or a casserole like my great grandma's Chicken Supreme! (Which I thought was her creation until I found it on the back of a cream of mushroom soup can...oh well.) I also love to slice vegetables for my Indonesian dishes. Mmmm...
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandfather was Dutch and my grandmother was born in Indonesia, so I'm familiar with several Indonesian dishes and have thankfully learned to make some of them: nasi goreng, satay, bami goreng, pisang goreng, and sayur. But I have a long way to go.
My cooking triumphs
My husband loves this Hamburger Stroganoff recipe I got off an American Beauty pasta package. I also like to bake banana bread: a tradition from my grandmother. But Im definitely a "cookbook" chef for now, Im not confident with improvising or not using my measuring spoons. I hope to one day measure a teaspoon in my hand but alas, I havent reached that level yet!
If I add a few ingredients to a recipe, I consider that adventurous. I figure that's the first step to becoming an improvisational chef.
My cooking tragedies
Where to begin? I made vegetable lasagna (this site) and put it in the oven only to find out I was using half the recommended size pan. Had to take my carefully layered lasagna out and dump it haphazardly into a 9x13 inch pan. It didnt look as nice, but still tasted good.
I also attempted to make "fatta" for my husband--- an Egyptian dish that has pita bread layered with rice (heavy with ghee) and then a tomato sauce on top layered with pieces of beef. Well, I made it and neither of us could eat it. I didnt use ghee (clarified butter) for health reasons, but I guess thats what makes the rice taste so good. I blame the rest on the lack of good Egyptian cookbooks out there.