I work full time, spend my weekends volunteering at church, and have two beautiful children. I'm trying to lose weight, but it doesn't help much that I LOVE food! I cook from-scratch meals every day, and am always looking for the trifecta: quick, healthy and inexpensive. It helps when the kids and the husband will actually eat it, too.
My favorite things to cook
Everything! I really love making soups. Summer, winter, it doesn't matter to me. I also like to try new foods, techniques, etc. I love baking and decorating cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Using fresh veggies straight from the garden (or, nowadays, the farmer's market). That's how we grew up, and I wouldn't dream of using instant mashed potatoes or canned cream of broccoli soup.
My cooking triumphs
-White chocolate strawberry ganache, that I invented and actually worked!
-I've developed some great ways to cook things like bacon and mashed potatoes that make them perfect every time.
-I got a KitchenAid mixer a year ago and have learned how to make perfect meringue, my own whipped cream, etc.
-And I am down to maybe 2-3 cans per shopping trip (mostly tomatoes and creamed corn, and that's it).
-I made some pretty amazing lo mein for the first time recently. Usually my Asian food isn't so great.
-I have developed some really good plans for using leftovers.
-I am pretty good at packing healthy, well-balanced school lunches.
My cooking tragedies
-I still can't get the kids to eat anything with mushrooms in it.
-My Asian food skills are not that great (though I did have one triumph).
-I made a guitar cake for my daughter's 8th birthday when I was very, very novice at cake decorating. It looked like a homeless person's shopping cart. We didn't get pictures.
-I don't really recall any other instances that I would describe as tragedies. We've had a few new things go wrong. We even picked up and went to a restaurant once, but I don't even remember what it was I had attempted to cook. I tend to just fix it until it's right, or eat it anyway and not worry too much about it. It's food. Next time will be better.