I've grown up in a family of amateur chefs.
My dad is the grill maste, my mom is the oven improv queen, my grandmas are lean, mean baking machines, my uncles have great taste in wine and my aunts know how to cook for the masses.
I used to love spending time in the kitchen with them when I was a kid; learning as I watched and helped them prepare meals. Now I have a pretty good sense of my own taste and cooking ability.
I definitely have a love of baking and making sweets, mostly because it creates a great excuse to invite people over =)
Other than that, I'm pretty adventurous in the kitchen. I love foods with strong, complex flavors. Growing up in Texas, I developed a taste for spicy food and can't get enough of it.
Right now, I'm concentrating on healthy meals with balanced nutrition to help myself and my family get in great shape for this summer and the future =)
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake. Cooking anything is fun, but put a cake pan or some muffin tins in front of me and I just get excited =)
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love all the baking tips I've gotten from my grandparents who are some of the best bakers EVER and the patience I've learned from my mother, who makes the best northern-style chili you will ever eat!
My cooking triumphs
I love to entertain and make tapas for parties. I think some of my greatest triumphs have been snack foods for parties and conventions ranging from Mediterranean shrimp croustinis to heart healthy blackberry mini-muffins =)
My cooking tragedies
Fondant. I have never been able to really get fondant down. I can usually make it alright, but something always goes wrong when I'm trying to use it. I'm very much a perfectionist, so when it doesn't look JUST RIGHT, it bugs me =P