I am a system administrator at a local college in my hometown. My wife Julie is expecting my second child. My first one from a previous relationship is my daughter Kaleigh who is 9. I spend a lot of time with her, going to the park, riding bikes, playing soccer to name a few. We just got our first house 9/06 and are remodeling the bathroom and the incoming baby's room. I'm able to work on cars, but don't enjoy it too much, learned more from necessity. I really love the outdoors, having camp fires, and hiking, although I don't get to do it so much because my wife isn't a big fan. Love spending time in the Adirondacks.
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking, I just have been too busy lately to get to do it as much as I would like. My favorite type of cooking is over a charcoal grill or in a smoker. Smoked pork butt, chops, and ribs are my specialty. Smoked chickens are good too, but they are really easy, I like more of a challenge. When I'm inside, I like to cook Mexican and Thai dishes. My wife came up with this Mexican Lasagna recipe that I love to make. We grab rice noodles and make different concoctions. Love making appetizers that are different than the normal everyday ones. For seafood, love cooking with catfish, tilapia and salmon. For my limited baking, my daughter and I take zuchini from the garden and make bread with it, and also banana bread. And last but not least, we grow TONS of basil and about the only thing I do with it is make pesto... really, why waste it on anything else when pesto is SO good! :) Oh, cannot forget the pea soup.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother spent a lot of time making healthy dishes because my dad had heart problems. I thoroughly enjoyed them, although my dad and sister didn't share my enthusiasm. Maybe that is why I was my mom's favorite. Her meatloaf is awesome, I don't even try to duplicate it. Excellent banana bread, and homemade tangy BBQ sauce. Her mom was off-the-boat Italian, and the thing she made I love the most was her tomato sauce - she threw EVERYTHING in there. I liked the califlower in thhe sauce, was very exotic when I was little. My dad's mom, well, she lived next door and I was there almost everyday from age 3-8. It was a farm house, so it was a wide array of fare, from pea soup to salt cod and gravy on toast (I cannot believe I ate that). The cinnamon honey butter was my fav.
My cooking triumphs
While working with my last employer, two of my friends nominated me with the local paper (Post Standard) for the cook of the week. I would always bring in leftovers from the night before, and everyone always loved them. I think it was just because they didn't cook much themselves, so I could have brought in TV dinners and gotten the same reviews. So the paper called and I got a whole page with 4 recipes I had to submit - that was hard to pick, so I just grabbed some of their favorites - Cajun Catfish Fingers, Mexican Lasagna, Buffalo Chicken Dip, and Oreo Ice Cream Cake. I was very proud of that.
My cooking tragedies
My first Indian dish - I don't remember what it was, but i worked so hard on it and scoured the area for the right spices, and it smelled so good cooking.... and was bland! How is that possible?! I made the equivalent of Indian potpourii! The other item was pasta carbonara I made for a cooking contest at work. I had to make it the night before, and, well, it doesn't reheat well. It was dried out, I was so disappointed. If I could have made it fresh, I would have won hands down.