I am a second generation Sicilian. My grandparents came over in 1941 and settled in Chicago's "Little Italy". My mother ran a small restaurant where I started washing dishes there at age 10, working my way to waitressing at 13 and cooking by 15. Her spaghetti and meatballs were a staple not only at the restaurant, but also at anyones pot luck style gathering. There were never leftovers to take home no matter how much she made. Growing up in a restaurant, I believe that I learned hands on from the best.
My favorite things to cook
I most enjoy cooking Italian but I play a little bit with Mexican and Asian foods. I can't make a recipe without tweaking it as least a little which always annoyed my mom. It also makes it very hard to put an actual recipe together since I only use measuring devices for baking.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Family gatherings are a very big deal. Every generation of my family has been known for inviting people who do not have loved ones close enough to share holidays with.