I've been working in the social services with kids in out-of-home placements for 11 years. I finished my Master's in Counseling Psychology in 2010, but due to the economy & the strange process that is getting licensed, I've yet to find work as a therapist. I live with my partner and many critters. My 3 step-daughters from a previous marriage are half Arabic, so I have expanded my palate and my cooking to include some Middle-Eastern food. My favorite is a garlic-y chicken soup made with a Middle Eastern vegetable called Molukhia (also known as Jew's Mellow). It can be found in Middle Eastern groceries.
My favorite things to cook
Asparagus chicken casserole. Crock pot pot roast. Soups.
I'm looking forward to getting re-aquainted with my gas grill this summer. I had to take it to a friend's house b/c a city ordinance was passed forbidding grills in attached dwellings (apartments, townhouses). I'm now living in a house again so...watch out for good smells!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother gives lie to the statement 'if you can read, you can cook'. My grandmother was a good cook but she made everything with bacon grease and I wouldn't eat like that now. My ex-mother-in-law made an incredible stuffing at Thanksgiving that I'd love to replicate.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering my friend Ray's New England mamma's clam chowder recipe. Improving on my ex-wife's excellent lasagna. Learning how to tweak and sometimes improve on, others' recipes.
My cooking tragedies
Trying to fry or broil ANYTHING. My mom once burned the house down trying to fry chicken. While I've never managed anything to that degree (and that wasn't COMPLETELY her fault-faulty deep-fryer), my attempts to fry or broil usually end up more like charcoal than food.