My favorite things to cook
Two things in general. One, I love taking basic things like tacos or sloppy joes or burgers or spaghetti and building on them to make them really "Pop" for lack of a better word. I've been told by friends, "I don't know what it is, this is just sloppy joes (or burgers or something else super basic), but MY GOD, it's the BEST I've ever had!" I think it's really easy to skimp or take certain steps or ingredients for granted in the preparation of basic simple foods. So I love when people taste these foods of mine and say it's the best they've ever had!
Two, I really love stir frying and sautéing! I like the quickness of it. I love the FRESHNESS of it! I love the variety of things you can throw in. And I love, love, love using olive oil!! Also, let's not forget, I LOVE Asian cuisine and sauces and such! So this is perfect for it.
The biggest reason has got to be however, that I love being able to use fresh veggies, herbs, seasonings and such in great abundance! I love flavor!!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Has got to be BBQ'ing with a Middle Eastern flair!! Certain spices and seasonings that just make your tastebuds want to SING!! It's the unexpected on something expected!!
My cooking triumphs
I finally had my mom teach me how to make crushed lentil soup—a Lebanese favorite!! I love soups in general but this soup has got to be my favorite across all types of cuisines! It can eat like a meal if you eat enough of it, or it can be just a small course as well. Honestly, I could eat this every single day for the rest of my life!!
My cooking tragedies
I remember when I was on my own for the first time and in college, I got a George Foreman grill as a gift and was dying to grill up some chicken breast! I bought the chicken, trimmed the fat, and threw it on the grill. When it was done, I tasted it, I almost threw up! I couldn't figure out why it tasted so bad! I thought I'd gotten bad chicken. I called my mom and she asked me how I prepared it and I told her I bought it, trimmed the fat, and threw it on the grill. Then she said, "Ok, and what'd you marinate it with?" I was like, "Huh? Marinate?" I may have gotten into a very prestigious school, but I didn't know you were supposed to marinate chicken before cooking!! Looking back on it, I can't believe I didn't know that, it seems as basic as pouring milk over cereal!