I'm a native of Mississippi and Louisiana, currently living in southern California. It's nice out here, but I'll probably settle down back in the south when the time comes. I started *really* cooking in my early 20s, and now it's my favorite hobby. I'm constantly experimenting in the kitchen.
I work in the field of architecture, and I am married to a wonderful husband who is an officer in the Marine Corps. We have no children, but we have two adorable kitty-cats.
My favorite things to cook
I love baking more than anything, mostly because I feel like I'm better at it than anything else. I love making sweets, and my husband loves me for it. :-) I consider myself a pretty good baker, and I'd like to get up to par in other areas of cooking, as well.
A couple of things that are consistently on the menu at my house are Thai shrimp and pineapple curry and my fabulous shrimp/avocado dip. I make these things about once or twice a month. I also make a killer coconut cheesecake with a knockout ganache glaze.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Growing up, our biggest tradition was Eggs Benedict and mimosas on Christmas morning. (The children were always served "faux" mimosas with sparkling grape juice.) My mother also made homemade mayonnaise, chocolate truffles, and Russian dressing to give to her friends every Christmas, always saving plenty for the family, of course.
On New Year's Day, my mother never failed to prepare a fabulous batch of Hoppin' John. Somehow, in my childhood, I discovered that Hoppin' John tastes great doused with Russian dressing. Try it. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Any time I cook something that gets "oohs" and "aahs" from spectators, I consider it a triumph. I love making food that not only tastes great, but looks beautiful. One really spectacular-looking recipe that I've prepared is Emily's Famous Tiramisu from this site. It is truly impressive.
My cooking tragedies
My husband loves egg custard pie. When we were first married, I decided to make one for him, homemade crust and all. I put sooo much time and effort into it, and when I pulled it out of the oven and started cutting it, I realized that I had forgotten a very important ingredient-- the cream. So, basically, I had a pie crust full of sweetened vanilla-scented scrambled eggs with nutmeg. Bless his heart--he ate it anyway.