I'm a 23 year old Classics/Christianity major who loves video games, sci-fi/fantasy/horror, linguistics, herpetology, and of course cooking. I live with two dogs, three cats, and seven snakes, who do not appreciate my cooking particularly. I was raised by an excellent Southern cook, so soul food and simple things are definitely a part of my heritage, but I really love learning how to make new things too, especially Asian or Italian food. Despite joining this site, I almost never use recipes except in baking, which is my nemesis, cookingwise, since 'wingin it' does not yield the awesome results it does in other cooking arenas.
My favorite things to cook
Stir fry, baked salmon, beef stroganoff, pork chops, all kinds of soups, chicken alfredo, chicken parmesian, any type of sweet potatoes, manicotti, cheesecake, fajitas, steak, ribs, pot roast, beef with broccoli, making up new casseroles, Japanese-inspired cooking, sushi, chicken and rice casserole, squash of any kind. I just about never make anything the same way twice, always changing things depending on what's in the pantry and whom I'm feeding at the time. I don't like making things that require too many special one-time ingredients.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Lots of Southern influences, like cooking dark cruciferous veggies with a sweet flavour, like sweet collard/turnip greens or brussels sprouts. Cooking meat with fruit, like mandarin orange chicken or apple-sauce porkchops, a lot of people find this odd but I love it. Cooking EVERYTHING with garlic, cooking EVERYTHING with cream cheese, these ingredients make things better, I'm addicted to both.
My cooking triumphs
I made an amazing cheesecake, first try. I'm still ridiculously proud. I made up a recipe for baked pork chops using Chicken 'n' a Biscuit crackers and sliced fuji apples that was really good. My first roast chicken turned out delicious, and I made good stock from it too. I made ribs for my birthday with a marinade that included cola, and that worked out pretty well too.
My cooking tragedies
I just suck at making rice. I don't even know how that's possible, but as often as not it turns out strange. My chicken teriyaki rice casserole was bad, too. And my chocolate meringue pie never even happened; the pie crust is still in my fridge, I think. And my breaded cream cheese stuffed squash wasn't appealing to me, though others liked it. And of course I've had my share of burnt whatever, burgers that fell apart, etc.