I have been baking and cooking since I was 10. I truly enjoy it, and it is one of my favorite hobbies.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook anything that feeds a lot of people, as I love love love having people over for dinner and because I want to have lots of children one day. By cooking large meals, I am preparing myself for the future! I try to make meals with what I have, as my family is on a limited budget.
My favorite things to cook would be desserts (especially cakes and tarts, as they are fun to decorate, and trifle, as it is my favorite dessert ever), soups, Southern food (my household loves gumbo), Italian food, casseroles, and salads. I *especially* love making salads with every meal, as they are attractive and healthy.
When possible, I always veganize bread recipes (which means using egg and dairy substitutes) and try to make things healthier. We're not vegetarians or anything, but I do make vegetarian meals occasionally, as it is cheaper than making a meal with meat (vegetarian chili is a good example).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother almost never cooks. As a child, she never ever made desserts or bread. So, I bake rather often. I guess you could say it is to make up for my lack of such things during my childhood. My grandmother was a great homestyle cook - I try to take after her when possible.
Other than my grandmother, there isn't anybody in my family who cooks really. My mother burns milk, and the best my father can do is make instant oatmeal lol.
My cooking triumphs
Finding the perfect meatloaf recipe (wasn't from this website though).
However, I am still searching for the perfect banana bread recipe and the perfect coffee cake recipe. I'm still looking for that perfect banana bread that is thick, rich, and dense, and that perfectly smooth yet rich coffee cake that has some peaches in it and fabulous streusel on top. Still looking and looking after many failed recipes.
My cooking tragedies
There is a Brunswick stew recipe on this site somewhere. I made that for dinner once, and oh my gosh, it went horribly. Everyone took one or two bites, then looked at me really weird. Suddenly, my father said "What happened?" By that, he meant what happened to my cooking skills. And the worst thing was that we ended up dumping the whole thing (which contained four pounds of meat! Aaargh!). And for the life of me, I cannot make a good cream cheese frosting!