I am a Northern California transplant to the south but love it here. My mother was from Alabama and I grew up eating and then cooking foods with a southern flair.
My favorite things to cook
Anything that is not the norm. I get tired of pot roasts, everyday casseroles or soups. I like the unusual or anything that challenges my abilities.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I grew up with a family that loves shellfish. Some of my favorite memories was helping my mom fix huge pots of cioppino with whatever was fresh. Sometimes we would change it around and make bouillabaisse, always with homemade bread for dunking in the broth. Dinner could last for hours, just sitting around talking, drinking wine and dipping bread.
My cooking triumphs
My brother and his fiance asked me to cater their wedding reception. They wanted a combination of southern and Mexican. It was a challenge but I pulled it off.
My cooking tragedies
I live out in the country and have had my share of critters around. I was preparing to grill swordfish for a crowd but when I went out to start the grill, I was unpleasantly suprised by a large rat sitting there when I popped open the lid. He had taken up residence and did not want to leave. He kind of sat up and hissed at me. I shut the lid and had to go to plan B. I had never cooked swordfish on the Foreman but it worked in a pinch.