Mom of 3 teens, Air Force wife (hubby now retired) for over 20 years.
My favorite things to cook
Baking is my main cooking love, especially gourmet desserts. I have a repertoire of fancy chocolate desserts listing over 30 items, as well as the basics of fruit pies, flavorful cakes which I decorate in fun and unique ways, cookies and bars, etc. I also like to cook for family or friend gatherings, with a focus on tasty vegetable dishes and healthy-prep protein dishes, along with a few really yummy but bad-for-you items! My family is willing to try new food items and recipes all the time, and every one of us cooks, so we have a good time.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays always mean a big meal just like when I was a kid. The menu has little variation year to year, so we have a finely orchestrated routine and that keeps the stress level low -- hurray! A Christmas tradition is decorating cut-out white cookies. I have given cookie decorating parties for my kids and their friends and it is always fun even now that the kids are older. I always get in there and make quite a few myself when they are done.
A summer cooking tradition is making dinner of grilled chicken breast or fish, fresh melon, and a green salad or pasta salad with lots of fresh veggies in it, accompanied by a good grain bread from a bakery. We all cut and chop things while we visit and set the outside table, hubby is at the grill, and we get well fed and cooled off.
My cooking triumphs
I have made some outstanding-looking decorated cakes for others' events, which I look back on and count as a triumph. I used to make a roasting pan of bread pudding for an office I worked in and we'd all have it for breakfast. Mostly, my triumphs consist of the fancy chocolate desserts I have mastered over the years and the chocolate parties at which they've been served.
It is always a triumph when an everyday dinner, which I don't put a lot of focus on, turns out to please the family more than ordinary. Oh, and I know how to make sushi!
My cooking tragedies
Ugh -- once I baked and sliced a large ham for an office party honoring a new bride, and right as I was walking up to the door I dropped it, platter and all, on the sidewalk. There was broken glass everywhere and not one bite of ham was worth the risk. That was a tragedy!
I also baked a chocolate cake for a joint birthday party for my hubby and good friend but forgot to put the baking soda in it so it didn't rise. My oldest daughter was 2 years old, and when I saw the cake and said "Ohhhhhhhhh...." (censoring myself because she was right there...) she added "Damn damn damn" LOL! Luckily, it was a quick recipe and I had more of the ingredients so I just made it over.
After beginning my baking efforts almost 40 years ago, there are so many more little tragedies, but they have been great learning experiences.