Just a future German teacher who's come from two sides of a family with excellent cooks. I'm living in Germany for an indefinite duration and loving it! My roommates and I often cook and experiment together.
My favorite things to cook
I LOVE to bake. The more challenging, even the more thrilling. Aside from that, I really enjoy cooking AND eating seafood, Creole, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Latin American, and Southern US cuisines. I cook with at least 90% fresh ingredients that are normally organic or in whole foods stores.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanksgiving and Christmas meals were always very magical for me, and not just because of the main meal. At the beginning of both days, my mom would always get up early and make snacks for everyone to eat throughout the day while everything else was going to be cooked. Somehow that was a lot more fun than cooking the actual big meal. Aside from family, I enjoy inviting friends and other guests over for any meal in the day.
My cooking triumphs
At Western Kentucky University I took a gourmet foods course where we all learned "to be comfortable" in the kitchen. My lab partner and I were often the ones with the best looking and tasting creations and had the highest grades in the class.
When I lived in Vienna, Austria, I also took a cooking course and surprised the teacher with my knowledge. Here in Germany, my roommates often request that I cook something "typical American" for them.
My cooking tragedies
There are probably too many to fit in this little box! But I'd have to say that the time I first tried making "Germknoedel" (an Austrian sweet yeast dumpling with poppy seed sugar on top and plum jam filling) was probably the worst. Normally I can eat whatever mistake I've made, but that time I couldn't even take another bite after the first one, because it was THAT bad. I believe the yeast I used itself was bad. The dumplings tasted like a strong yeasty sugary mushy ball.