I grew up in suburban Wisconsin in a supportive and extensive family who value traditions and being together. When my grandmother was alive, she was the cook of the household, and when she died, she passed on her recipes to my mother and my aunt. Now, my mother cannot cook. She has begrudgingly alloted me some of my grandma's recipes, but, for the most part, I've created or adapted some of my own, in order to carry on some of that culinary tradition in my own family.
My favorite things to cook
I'm more of a baker than a cook. I love recipes, I love altering recipes, and daring to fail in the kitchen. I am lucky enough to have friends and family who agree to try my creations, and most of them work well. I love making breads and desserts, and am especially proud of my attempts at holiday fare, such as last year's homemade preserves and bread pudding.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My uncle's pulled pork is heavenly, as is my aunt's triple-layer cheesy taco dip. My grandmother made a dessert that should be deemed illegal, called 'gooey butter cake'. It's fantastic, and I've only been able to recreate it once. My non-cook mom makes "Mexican Caviar", which is actually yummy, a mix of hot salsa, corn and black beans.
My cooking triumphs
Banana bread (with chocolate chunk topping, of course), "baby pies" (rolled dough filled with homemade jam and topped with hand cut 'lattice' strips), shrimp salsa, cookies and brilliant vanilla icing.