I am an early 40's, mother of one 16 year old boy. I have always enjoyed baking, then cooking came about 20 years ago. I garden (flowers more than food), cook, enjoy music on my iPod and wine/winetasting. Besides my hobbies, I also work as an adult basic educator through our local technical college.
My favorite things to cook
Can't decide. I love to cook so many different things, but I can say, cooking too many things that are alike in preparation (like lots of recipes that require a lot of chopping) too close together tend to burn me out. I like variety.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanksgiving - the same way every year - with friends, not family! Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, wild rice, green bean casserole, cranberry, and a fruit fluff salad with big marshmallows, homemade rolls and pecan pie. And of course, lots of wine and football!
I also make a traditional meal on St. Patrick's Day - corned beef, red potatoes, corn casserole, Irish soda bread, and pistachio cake.
I have also worked to find new recipes that become my traditions for other holidays, such as carrot souffle and ultimate scalloped potatoes for Christmas, 7-layer salad for Easter and lasagna or other Italian for Valentine's Day.
My cooking triumphs
Making things I am scared of and having them turn out, such as canning salsa with fresh tomatoes and peppers from my garden, cheesecake and risotto, fondues and stocks. I feel so good when something turns out I was anxious about trying and then can't believe how easy most of them were! That's why I call myself The Sanguine Chef - sanguine defined as cheerfully optimistic, hopeful or confident.
My cooking tragedies
My worst was when I made a batch of Snickerdoodle cookies. At that time, I kept all my bulk dry goods in glass gallon jars. I accidentally grabbed the salt instead of the sugar when I made the cookies. I didn't know it until I grabbed a warm one, fresh from the oven, and popped it in my mouth!It was awful - the whole batch went in the trash.