I grew up on a wheat farm and cattle ranch, and country-style cooking was a big part of my growing up and learning to cook (at a very young age). In the years since, however, I rarely cook any of the staples from my childhood, opting for healthier and more international dishes. Cooking for my two youngest children, who are both picky eaters, is my biggest cooking challenge.
My favorite things to cook
I'd much rather bake than cook. Cooking everyday meals feels like a chore, but baking is a joy and a stress-reliever. I like to cook if I'm trying out a new recipe with interesting ingredients or learning new techniques.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas baking to the extreme - filling up the freezer with beautiful cookies and tasty dessert weeks in advance! Including traditional Norwegian cookies and pastries.
My cooking triumphs
Pies -- all kinds, but I'm particularly known for my apple, cherry and lemon pies and I'm usually assigned to bring them to holiday gatherings and other festivities. Making flaky crust has never been a problem for me, my theory being that I watched my Mom so often that I just somehow absorbed the knowledge and techniques.
My cooking tragedies
I had to throw out my first couple of attempts at making bread, and I've definitely had some instances of burning or overcooking foods - but mostly I don't consider any of it a tragedy. It all counts toward learning and improving.