I'm happiest when outdoors doing something that involves moving myself around as in gardening, running,hiking, biking etc. Having my favorite music playing while I cook is lovely. If someone is helping, that's even better.
My favorite things to cook
I love mediterranean foods. Almost any kind of ethnic food will get me cooking, as long as I can find the ingredients on this tiny island. When I make something that can be frozen, I'll make extra so I can pull it out of the freezer when I'm busy and have a special meal. Trying new recipes is exciting and I rarely find one that isn't good.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Making tamales with my son, Dave is the most fun. He has also taught me how to make great babaganoosh and hummus. His masala is awesome. We don't get to cook together much now as he is on another island. I'm ready for a new kitchen buddy.
My cooking triumphs
Babaganoosh, egg fu yung, soups, anything baked. I'm doing well with Asian foods, also, as I can find the ingredients here on Kauai. I'm good with deserts but don't eat them much myself. Fruit cobblers are fun and with fresh locally grown fruit, very exciting with cream or ice cream.
My cooking tragedies
It's only a tragedy if I try to substitute an ingredient with something that isn't of good quality or not appropriate for the recipe. I enjoy gathering ingredients for a special recipe over time and then, when everything is perfect and on hand, whip it up. I once made pineapple confit that my guests laughed at. It was served with ice cream and ground telecherry pepper. I used the wrong salt, left it stand too long, didn't rinse it off or something. The basic taste was amazing because it was carmelized, but the salt ruined it. I've lost the recipe so can't try it again but will try to find it. It was in the Honolulu Advertiser food section.