I've been cooking with my mom for several years, but always the same recipes. Since moving out and getting married, I've wanted to branch out, and learn some tips and basics so I can start inventing my own recipes. I've started experimenting more lately, and though I'm not really inventing (anything good) yet, I'm generally comfortable with my ability to change up recipes to better meet our tastes or to avoid a shopping trip.
My favorite things to cook
Pasta dishes, Chicken Dishes and DESSERTS!
My cooking triumphs
Modifying a pancake recipe into strawberry pancakes - they're pretty much the only pancakes we eat now. Citrus rice and pineapple salsa - made them without a recipe along with some chicken one night - everything went together great and we loved the change in flavors from our usuals. And just recently I mixed an Asian inspired marinade for some beef just as I went - my fiance thought it was great!
My cooking tragedies
I decided to start making cakes from scratch instead of box mixes. I make my own icing and thought it's be nice to do the whole thing myself. The cake had good flavor, but was a little dry and fell into LOTS of pieces. I'm pretty sure my problem was the beaten eggwhites, but I didn't try another cake from scratch at all for months. I still haven't tried one requiring beaten eggwhites, but at least now I know some other great cake recipes (that I can make correctly).