When I'm not painting (MirioumaArtworks.net) or writing, I'm usually cooking. Sometimes I do them all at the same time! I have three sons aged 4, 9, and 13 - I love to see the faces they make when I put "weird" food on the table.
My favorite things to cook
I'm known for making good soup - it's a staple dish at our house. I hardly ever use a recipe; it's more fun to throw things in the pot that you think will taste good. I love trying ethnic and Middle Eastern recipes - things like tagine, couscous, and hummus. And I'm a sucker for baklava and cheesecake.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom and I used to order baklava from Swiss Colony at Christmastime. One year when I was about 16, I discovered that my high school French teacher was actually Greek. So I asked her how to make it. She taught me how over the phone, and I've been making it every Christmas since.
My cooking triumphs
I learned how to make great homemade pizza when I owned a copy of Anna Thomas's "New Vegetarian Epicure". I've tried other recipes, but nothing has ever beaten that one. That cookbook was my foundation for learning how to cook healthy meals. So I would say as far as cooking "triumphs" go, just learning how to use fresh, healthy ingredients was it.
My cooking tragedies
Raspberry Chicken Tarts: The recipe said to make little phyllo pockets and place a dab of the chicken/rasp. mix inside. I was short on time, so I just layered it all in a casserole. What a mess! It tasted awful and mostly got thrown out.
My First Thanksgiving Turkey: Nothing short of disastrous. Frozen in the middle, burned on the outside. I think I actually cried that year! Lesson learned.