I'm a stay at home mom to two boys, baby number 3 will be arriving in December! Cooking a dinner for everyone at my house is a challenge. A vegan in the past, I prefer veggies over meat dishes. My husband, could live off frozen pizzas and when it do coax him to eat REAL food it had better be meat covered in Bar-B-Que sauce and served with fries. My oldest son is on a chicken nugget and hot dog binge and while he loves fruit he will no longer touch a vegetable. My second son, who just turned one and is beginning to explore new foods will thankfully eat ANYTHING I give him, his favorite being pancakes and strawberries. SO, I frequently make a lot of one-dish meals..easier to hide the veggies that way.
My favorite things to cook
I love to try new stuff. I like to bake, but must be in the "mood" I'm one of those pinch-of-this taste-of-that cooks and that just doesn't fly when baking. Whenever I get bored with the regular meals I start wandering around the kitchen throwing new stuff together.
When my husband and I were still dating every Friday night we had refrigerator surprise...the combination of whatever meat and veggies we had left for the week and seasoned with whatever I could find to make it edible.
I like to cook by smell as much as taste. My husband thinks I've lost my mind when I start poking about the kitchen sniffing fruits and spices but I've found that smell will lead you in the right direction towards finding complimentary tastes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We don't really have any traditions so much. Mostly my mom did the best with what she had and always made sure that we had well-rounded meals. However, when my sister and I were teenagers we had a chore chart every summer that divided all the housework between us to give mom a mini-vacation. The only part we enjoyed was that we had to take turns making meals while the other would wash the dishes. We got so carried away with it that we actually made little menus and made a restaurant of our family kitchen. The only down side was my sister realized that even if she used EVERY bowl in the kitchen to make her meals with....I still had to stay up all night washing them.
My cooking triumphs
Growing up we lived next to a wonderful Korean woman who we lost to cancer. She used to make this amazing coca-cola chicken, but would never give anyone the recipe. It took me YEARS after her death of toying with recipes and tweaking it until I came up with something very close to what I remembered her chicken tasting like. Anytime I have a bar-b-que or a party I HAVE to make my coca-cola chicken or suffer the consequences.
My cooking tragedies
I haven't really had any catastrophic tragedies in the kitchen. I've had a few experiments gone wrong that the dog was more than willing to dispose of though. One such experiment was when I was concocting my coca-cola chicken recipe and of course, my loving rottie gobbled it up with no complaints. However, about an hour later I was forced to make her spend the night outside due the UNBELIEVABLY foul gas the chicken concoction had given her.