I love ethnic foods, using fresh ingredients, aromatic foods, the smell of different & unusual spices, and authentic tastes.
I think food should be savored and appreciated, not gulped down.
I also tend to be a "recipe" follower the first few times I make something; then I tweak. Sadly, I am not an "intuitive" cook who can whip together a great meal out of whatever's on hand.
My favorite things to cook
"Rices & spices", stir-fry's, Indian cuisine, Asian cuisine, baked fish recipes, crock-pot recipes, and almost anything with mushrooms. I love to EAT Middle Eastern food, but alas, have not really even tried cooking it, aside from Hummus. The stuff available in Dearborn, MI, Arabic restaurants is so unbelievably good, I hesitate to even mess with it.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I was raised a vegetarian (am not one anymore), so ate a lot of "fake" meats such as Worthington brand Choplets, Vega-Links, Frichik, Nuteena, cottage cheese loaf, Special K loaf, etc. I still like that stuff too, to this day, and am glad I was exposed to it. I enjoy Morning Star Farms and Boca veggie meats also.
My cooking triumphs
Pork Vindaloo (it is restaurant-quality awesome!),
Bagghar-E-Chawwal (seasoned rice),
Chicken Picatta-Marsala (my own recipe),
Perfect Chocolate Cake,
my Thanksgiving Turkey rocked (only 2nd time making turkey ever - of course, how could any meat with a whole stick of butter and 3 different chopped, fresh herbs smothered all over it NOT rock?),
my Greenbean Casserole w/baby bella mushrooms and heavy cream (my mother said it was the best she ever tasted - hooray!)
My cooking tragedies
RECENT EPIC FAILURES: 1) Emeril's Classic Chicken Parmesan (I know, sounds good, right? What could go wrong? Well, smoked Paprika + smoked mozzarella = smoke fest). A little smoke goes a looong way.
2) Using eggs in Paula Deen's Creamy Crock-Pot Mac & Cheese recipe = teeny, tiny little pieces of cooked egg throughout, which was rather off-putting.