I am a Midwesterner who recently moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Many of the dishes I prepare are homestyle meals, very "meat 'n potatoes," but since the move I have been incorporating a lot of island spices and experimenting a lot with fresh seafood.
My favorite things to cook
Meatloaf with tomato sauce, roast beef boiled in onion soup with potatoes and green beans boiled in, blackened snapper, butternut & acorn squash soup, pineapple upside down cake, tuna casserole, refried beans and cheese sauce, homemade guacamole, homemade macaroni and cheese, artichoke chicken casserole, cheesy potato bacon soup
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother's meatloaf with tomato sauce, her roast beef boiled in onion soup mix with green beans and potatoes, another tradition is cooking out of this Anne of Green Gables collection my parents bought me when I was really little. My grandmother and I used to to make homemade noodles together as well.
My cooking triumphs
It is my experience that you either know how to cook or bake, but one usually moreso than then other. I am a cook, not a baker. I have had some major disappointments while baking. Recently, I baked my first pineapple upside down cake and it was DELICIOUS. Also, I fixed Indian food for the first time a couple weeks ago and it was a HUGE success! I also make DELICIOUS creamy fattening soups! Real butter and whole milk is where it's at!
My cooking tragedies
"The Cake Incident of January 12, 2007" - I attempted to make a low-cal mocha angel food cake and somehow it came out so horrible that you could bounce it on the floor like a basketball.
"Gingerbread Cake" - I must have used powdered sugar instead of flour at my mom and dad's house (kept in tupperware containers so no labels) so the cake came out looking like a bubbling tar pit. It ruined my mom's pan.