I'm a 30something married fashion designer living in Northern VA. I did an apprenticeship several years ago at the Red Sage restaurant in Washington, DC, which further sparked my longtime love of cooking for family and friends. I like to cater for my friends' parties, too. I'm a fairly dedicated Locavore, and I believe in eating seasonally and sustainable agriculture. I'm all for eating and drinking locally. I've discovered wonderful wines made right here in Virginia, and we're lucky to have a number of local farmers markets, a few of which operate year-round.
My favorite things to cook
I try to eat meatless every other day, and I've found that Indian recipes in particular offer a great wealth of vegetarian recipes. I'm big on cooking 'from scratch' and am avoiding processed products where possible. I've recently started canning and preserving, and that brings me a deep sense of satisfaction in the sense that I'm providing healthy food for myself and my husband.
I've been using allrecipes.com for several years now, and often send links to my friends for recipes that I like. :)
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas and Easter during my childhood always featured baked ham with various trimmings; my mothers potato salad, devilled eggs, and all sorts of yummy sweets. My mother would go all out at christmas time, turning out cookies and candies from her kitchen for the family and also to give as gifts. I'm carrying on the cookie part of that tradition, setting aside a day during the Christmas season to bake several dozen cookies to put into gift assortments for friends and neighbours.
My cooking triumphs
Getting my pie baking to competition level. I want to enter the Virginia state fair this year.
Making homemade vanilla extract with vanilla beans and bourbon, instead of vodka (can't drink vodka, and we like bourbon!
Doing my first round of canning/preserving in 2008
Getting better with cakes, both making and decorating.
My cooking tragedies
Hmm. When I cook well, I cook very well indeed.
Where as when I fail at something, it's (as the Hubby puts it) nothing short of spectacular. :)
I made a recipe for a Tomato Gratin, which turned out as wrong as could be. had no taste whatsoever. :)
There's also the occasional bread dough failure. Failure to rise, rises too much, the infamous 'brain bread' (THIS won't fit in the toaster!), etc.