I love spending time with my family & friends - it can't get any better than that!! As a full time working Mom to two teenage girls, and having my hubby work out of town half the time, my life is quite hectic. Now that our girls are older though, I've gotten back to one of my favourite past times, cooking! While my older daughter is the baker in our family - I'm the cooker! I love having family and/or friends get together at our place and serve a really nice dinner or drinks/appetizers. I have my "tried & true" recipes but I like trying new ones out too - my girls are my best critics for anything I make. I too like making more health conscious choices in the recipes I cook; we always have salad or fresh veggies/dip at dinner. We recently went on a winter vacation to Grenada, the Spice Island, and discovered a whole new world in cooking with spices. I brought back a huge variety of fresh spices and am trying to incorporate them into my dishes as much as possible.
My favorite things to cook
I have so many foods that I love to cook! We eat a lot of chicken, so I love to cook that. My girls say my specialties are: any type of chicken I cook, especially my Teriyaki chicken and Blackened Raspberry Vinaigrette Chicken, my Mexican Wedding Cake, Japanese coleslaw/Caesar salad/Greek salad, Lipton onion soup potatoes, lasagna, salsa pizza, hmm the list goes on :) I really enjoy cooking any type of meal! I also love to make stir fries, my signature smothered pork chops, Sicilian Italian spaghetti and meatballs, pull-apart pork, and am slowly making my family's traditional recipes - I'm Austrian and Croatian - so I've gotten into the Wiener Schnitzel, Knedli, Fleclitze, and Strudel.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Since I come from a European background, and my husband is half Italian/half Polish, I love it when I can make traditional recipes that both my Mom & Mom-in-Law have handed down through the family. I love spending a Sunday making perogies with my Mom and girls. I'm big time into family celebrations - birthdays and my favourite holiday Christmas! I've had my family over for 14 years consecutively for our Annual Christmas Eve dinner, where I'm easily cooking for anywhere from 20-30 people. It's crazy/hectic but I love it!
My cooking triumphs
I'm really happy that I've gotten my Mom/Mom-in-Law to write down their family inherited recipes, so in turn, these can be handed down through our family's generations. I think my chicken recipes that I make are wicked - awesome tasting! My Mom, I think, is by far the most phenomenal cook there ever is! I've learned/am still learning her cooking secrets & make sure I replicate any of her awesome recipes. I have a batch of my "Keepers" recipes, from both my Mom and Mom-in-Law. Two of my favourites are Mom's Smothered Pork Chops and my Mom-in-Law's Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs! If my family loves a recipe I make, then I know it's good to go! Oh one of my strangest yet a great tasting recipe though, was salmon (seasoned with spices and lemon), wrapped in foil & cooked in the dishwasher - go figure!
My cooking tragedies
Yikes, my baking! Like I said, I'm a cooker and not a baker. I have, literally, about 10 baking recipes that I use over and over again.