I pretty much think about food all the time. I really want to have a healthy relationship with food, but it can be a struggle. Over the last three or four years, I have completely changed my diet .. I don't enjoy fast food or anything highly processed anymore. I'm on a continuing mission to learn how to cook delicious, healthy food that incorporates as many vegetables, fruits and whole grains as possible. I still feel like a beginner, but I love finding new recipes, going to the grocery store, cooking new things and then sharing them with people I love.
My favorite things to cook
My absolute favorite thing to cook is my friend Nancy's Vegan Biscuits and Gravy recipe. Her gravy is so thick and delicious and healthy .. I can eat that stuff for several days straight and not get tired of it.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I was never really taught how to cook when I was growing up. I learned how to make Hamburger Helper and grilled cheese sandwiches, and that's about it. My dad has passed down two great recipes though; one for chili and one for spaghetti sauce, and I've improved both of them and really made them my own. I like to call the latter my "World Famous Spaghetti" like my dad did. :)
My cooking triumphs
I have almost zero experience cooking with meat, and a couple of months ago I successfully fried up some shrimp to go with a simple mushroom and garlic risotto. I was really proud of myself for that meal. We also had a tomato-and-basil salad with it, with some crumbled goat cheese and a drizzling of balsamic on top. Really yummy, simple dinner.
My cooking tragedies
I moved to Portland from Missoula, MT, and I have yet to figure out how to make this fantastic Vietnamese-style hot and sour soup that I got addicted to while I lived there. It has the most wonderful flavor, and it always makes me feel better if I am even slightly under the weather. I keep trying to replicate it, but so far, I'm not even close. :(