I love to take whatever ingredients might be left in a sparse frig and create a new gourmet dish from imagination. The more limited or strange the combination of ingredients, the more fun it can be.
My favorite things to cook
The more novel and unusual, the better. I just saw a home page recipe on AllRecipes.com that had a sauce made of mustard and grape jelly. How cool is that? Unusual recipes usually mean unforgettable flavor.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Watching my grandmother cook in the kitchen. I think I love to cook because it reminds me of the great women in my family who have had such an impact on me. It represents creativity, nurturing, innovation, pleasure, community. It reminds me who I am and where I come from.
My cooking triumphs
1) My Corkscrew Pasta Salad receiving best pasta salad award on BigOven (even though I domt use BigOven). 2) My fusion shrimp pasta recipe, which has an amazing combination of flavors, very creative and distinctive, 3) Being able to rewrite my mother's recipes that she has mis-scribed from memory--by figuring out that she usually meant "Teaspoon" instead of "Tablespoon." :)
My cooking tragedies
The muffins that got 6 Tablespoons instead of 6 Teaspoons of baking powder; the strawberry pie that got 6 Tablespoons instead of 6 Teaspoons of corn starch . . .