My mother got me started baking as soon as I could reach the kitchen counter. She went back to work when I was in high school and I started cooking dinners about then.
My favorite things to cook
I love getting together with friends for pot-luck dinners on weekends. I think irish stew over colcannon is my most frequently requested meal. I like finding new recipes to keep weeknight dinners from falling into ruts.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Years ago I invited my sister-in-law over to bake cookies one day about a week before Christmas. We had so much fun that we invited all the other women in the family to join us the next year. It became an immediate tradition and now we consider it the start of our annual holiday celebration. It's still mostly the women in my family - my mother, my sister, my sisters-in-law and my nieces - but sometimes the guys will get together and take in a movie while the cookies are baking.
My cooking triumphs
The greatest moment for me was the first year I hosted Thanksgiving dinner and the turkey came out perfect in spite of all the sleep I lost the night before worrying about it!