I would have to call myself a self made cook... nothing fancy going on here! I began cooking when I was about 11 years old. My parents' marriage was falling apart and I assumed responsibility for my own meals, since my mom was injured in a car accident and pregnant at the same time. I quickly discovered the miracle of boiling pasta and putting my favorite toppings on it. From there I began to experiment with slow cooking technique and how to cook relatively inexpensive dishes in a tasty manner. I take a no nonsense approach to cooking that has always served me well and been appreciated by friends and family. When someone compiling recipes for a cookbook approached me and asked for some of my recipes for their book, I was taken aback and embarrassed that someone considered me to be a cook worthy of such an honor. But good cooking isn't monopolized by people with French accents who entertain themselves by pouring wine on their food...
My favorite things to cook
I think right now my favorite dish is something I call beef and veggie stew. It's just what it says. It's like a cross between beef stew and vegetable soup with a browned onion base. A little rosemary and basil and chives and you've got a real winner.
My cooking triumphs
I don't know if I'd call it a triumph, but through lots of patient effort taught myself how to cook tough cuts of beef into tender and moist objects of desire. I know too many cooks who are brainwashed by Emeril and every other self proclaimed genius that exotic ingredients and spices are the secret of a good dish. The real 'secret' is in cooking technigue, and can't be taught or learned while hanging on a sponsored spokesman's every word. If you can't make your meat fall apart in your mouth, you don't need to be obsessing about such frivolous embellishments as sauces and spices. If the meat isn't scrumptious standing alone, you should throw it out and start over!
My cooking tragedies
Don't know where to start! I'll have to get back with you on that one... It's not easy to recall the things we've blocked out of our memories!