Hello! My wife and I are young, urban professionals (ie, 'yuppies' - and proud of it!) who live in NE Portland, and work out in Beaverton. I work as a Software engineer, but I love all things outdoors - especially biking and camping. I learned to cook during high school, where I would often help my mom prepare meals - this really helped me when I went off to college! I am the primary cook in our small household, and my wife enjoys my cooking very much!
My favorite things to cook
While I don't consider myself a "master" of the grill, I think BBQ is my favorite things to cook - mostly, because BBQ's are usually a festive and social occasion, and there is a lot of "hanging out" time involved where the cook can interact with their guests instead of being cooped up in a hot kitchen. My favorite things to cook are those that don't really have a recipe or a name - they are the kind of homey-and-country-ish dishes that can only be reproduced in a home kitchen, and not at a restaurant.
My favorite family cooking traditions
When my brother and I were still growing up, we would always turn off the tv and set the dinner table to eat at. We never followed 'Emily Post'-style table setting etiquette, though. Just making the effort to sit down and have a meal together was enough, and that is something I have only just begun to appreciate now that I am older.
My cooking triumphs
I was following a recipe from a Chinese-style cookbook to make dinner for just my wife and I, and it wasn't until I had just started preparing the ingredients did I realize the recipe actually served 5-6. Rather than try to adjust the recipe and preserve leftovers for a few days, I called upon three friends and invited them over to dinner. I adjusted the menu and prepared a soup and potstickers to go along with the main dish, and hastily threw together an impromptu dinner party for my friends in under 30 minutes! Best part of all, they were all very surprised at how competant a cook I had become...all of them loved it!
My cooking tragedies
At a Chinese New Year party, we were making several rather elaborate dishes at once in a small apartment-style kitchen for a large group of people. With that much going on, several of the dishes we had planned did not go so well. The one I was most disappointed in was the "Orange Chicken", for which I did not thoroughly read the recipe beforehand, not realizing that sauce (which contained corn starch) needed to be mixed AFTER the chicken was removed from the wok. The fried coating to the chicken rubbed off and stuck to the rapidly thickening sauce. The result was a gummy, pasty glue which we had decided to call "Orange Chicken-like-substance". Doh!