When I lived and worked in Utah in 2006, I found it very difficult to have good dining out experiences. So I bought my first round of cook books and the result was a whole new world of creativity and a very happy husband. I pride myself in figuring out ways to renovate recipes according to what equipment I have and what ingredients I know I can get.
My favorite things to cook
Seafood (most fish, shellfish) - Mediterranean Seafood Stew, Scallops w/Beurre Blanc; seasonal produce side dishes-Roasted Winter Root Veggies, Honey-Pomegranate and Warm Chicken Salad, Apple-Walnut Brussels Sprouts;
My favorite family cooking traditions
For Thanksgivings I don't do anything traditional. Last year I made a mediterranean seafood stew without any tomatoes as my base--instead I stewed the shallots, garlic, celery, shellfish and halibut in chicken broth and dry vermouth. The final dish was a very chunky seafood stew placed on top of aldente linguini pasta circles mixed in a basil & butter cream sauce. It was rich and mighty tasty.
Every year now I plan to do something unique and fun with seafood for Thanksgiving!
My cooking tragedies
Cowpie-like chocolate chip 'cookies' (too soft butter, too many chips).
Congealed beurre blanc sauce.
A father who was too sick on medicine to appreciate the seared salmon with watercress sauce and a mother who was too jealous.