Born and raised 2nd generation SoCal gal recently transplanted to UT. A wife and mom of seven plus four by (my children's) marriages ;-) and a grandma to 10 and counting. ;-) I have loved to cook since I was young. My mom was known as a great cook and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. I remember "helping" her bake bread when I was in elementary school. One of my favorite things when visiting my maternal grandma was standing on her step stool and making chocolate chip cookies with her. I have collected recipes since I could read them! :) Oh, yeah, I LOVE to read cookbooks.
My favorite things to cook
I cannot think of anything I do not like to cook, but yeast breads are probably the most satisfying, and anything with butter, sweet or savory! ;) I also like to take recipes and make them "better" -- according to my family's tastes, of course. ;-)
My favorite family cooking traditions
I have wonderful memories of making a great variety of Christmas cookies with my mom and then filling plates with the goodies and taking them to friends and neighbors.
In our home my husband and I have continued family traditions and created some of our own. Probably the most popular is when we get together and have homemade pizza night. It is a big deal at our house and something everyone looks forward to. The plan is for me to have all the fixings for their favorites. I make the dough, roll it out and prepare the sauce then they all go to town creating their masterpieces. :) Now the grandchildren are enjoying participating, too.
My cooking triumphs
I think the first I was "known" for was the pizza I made in high school. My mom thought it was great enough she had me make it for her bridge group. Family pizza night is still one of our family's favorites. Another one of my early triumphs was when I came home from my freshman year in college for Thanksgiving. I was reading through some of my mom's issues of "Gourmet" magazine. I found a recipe for "Boeuf Bourguignon" and one for apple pie with this wonderful, buttery, flaky crust. I worked hard and they were both a "triumph." ;-D
My dad was used to my mom's amazing skills in the kitchen and both my parents raved about my skills. I have had other triumphs since, but these were my first thrills of accomplishment in the kitchen.
My cooking tragedies
Oh, this is a sad one... :( I was a rather new bride and I was really into remaking recipes to make them healthier. One of my husband's favorite things was Lemon Meringue Pie. I decided to find a "healthier" version. I searched around and read some books (this was pre-Internet) and found that arrowroot was often used as a thickener. So I made the lemon filling using arrowroot. It seemed to go OK then I put on the meringue and baked it. I ended up with an ocean of liquid lemon sauce and floating islands of meringue. LOL