I say my hometown is Portland, Oregon, but that's where we ended up after my father's Army career of 20 years (so I was an Army Brat for about 15 years, 22 schools before I graduated from college). After about 15 years in Oregon, I've made my home in Seattle for 20+. I recently tore my 1-story home of 20 years down to the basement and rebuilt a 2-story "new home" (acting as general contractor too) -- and I love my new kitchen and master suite!! Would be happy to just stay home and and garden and cook for family and friends, but have to also work hard in my real estate business to pay for it!!
My favorite things to cook
I probably cook Mediterranean/ Italian/ French and Asian food the most, followed by Southwest/ Mexican, trying to keep a focus on lower fat cooking. Love it all! I don't eat much in the way of desserts, so my cooking is generally focused on appetizers, salads, healthy side dishes, and main courses.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I've been cooking with two other friends for about 15 years, we probably do a gourmet meal at one of our homes every six weeks or so, with spouses, friends and kids all invited. The hostess selects the menu and the 2 others cook to her requests. We have had some wonderful Mediterranean, Asian, Southwestern/ Mexican, Southern US and other menus. Also, my mom was from Alexandria, Virginia, and loved to cook, learning the local cuisine from the many places we lived. I honor her and her love of cooking by cooking and sharing the many recipes she shared with me with others, especially her traditional Thanksgiving and Southern recipes.
My cooking triumphs
We have some outstanding Asian markets in the International District in Seattle. I love nothing better than planning an Asian meal with a wide variety of dishes, shopping in the small markets, and then chopping and readying all the ingredients with the recipes on hand. When the guests arrive, I mix them up and have them cook a dish or two at their "stations."
My cooking tragedies
I've been cooking alot since I was 16 or 17 with few failures. I do recall, however, a few times cooking while taking care of friends children or even my own, getting distracted, and have things way over cook or even start to burn. And some desserts I have made just don't quite make it ...