I recently decided to retire from the rat race and am enjoying the luxury of cooking more labor intensive meals for my family. Before retirement, trying a new recipes was confined to holidays and vacations. I have taken numerous cooking classes and usually find my best recipes in these classes. I do like to tweek recipes once I've tried it once to see how I can improve upon it.
My favorite things to cook
I enjoy cooking 3-5 course meals for my small family, preferably new recipes, foods and spices that I can test out and then tweek to my preference. I enjoy all levels of difficulty, but prefer the ingredients were natural, fresh and organic when possible. I very frequently cut recipes in half so that I am not overwhelmed by left overs--especially if the recipe isn't very good.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I have found that holidays and family get togethers are much more relaxing and less strenuous if I am able to plan my menus around recipes that allow most or all work to be done ahead of time. This has proven to be a highly effective strategy and my memories of these times are far more positive.
My cooking triumphs
I haven't found any dish that I am not able to prepare, from souffles to risotto. I enjoy the process of cooking, not just the end result and therefore prefer not to be rushed through it.
My cooking tragedies
Although I am better at grilling now, my worst tragedies have occurred using the grill that is too hot, using direct heat and not oiled properly. I'm getting better but still find it hard to time all items correctly.