I'm a mom of 3 and I've been married over 20 years to a wonderful man. I'm not Holly-homemaker by any means. I work hard and like to play hard--so I usually try to limit my time in the kitchen, even though I like to cook. I really love finding quick and easy recipes for week night cooking--and the more challenging ones for the weekend.
My favorite things to cook
Things that don't take a lot of time but still taste like they do. One of my favorites is pork tenderloin in the oven with herbs and squash and sweetpotatoes. It doesn't take much prep time (especially if you buy the pre-cut squash) and you just toss it all together and put it in the oven. Seems like you took hours, and it's really only minutes.
Unless of course I have hours to cook (and no qualms about calories)--in which case, I want to create a master piece. I still love making my grandmother's version of chicken cordon bleu with the fantastic wine sauce that I think could be its own food group. Yum!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother had owned a restaurant in Boulder, CO back in the '70s. Some of her recipes are still some of my favorites--even though my mother and I have adapted them over the years. One was a fantastic recipe for Spinach Chicken Crepes--which I practically lived off of every time I was preganant and needed the extra goodness that spinach provides. Now I also have several recipes from my husband's grandmothers. It's fun to make something and tell the kids whose recipe it was.
My cooking triumphs
My triumphs are anytime I manage to make a new recipe and it's great the first time, and everyone likes it. Even if you know what you're doing--sometimes just one little thing can throw it off--so having it all work out is always great. Also, making something when you don't really have much around is also a triumph. I've improvised a lot over the last couple decades--sometimes I'm amazed at what you can do, even if you think there's not much to work with.
My cooking tragedies
I will never-ever forget the disasterous chicken-fried-steak I made my husband when we'd only been married for a few weeks. It was burned, and tough, and the gravy was lumpy and tasteless...I think the only salvagable part of the meal was the peas! Thank goodness I've improved since then!