I've loved to cook ever since I was little. I used to tell people I was going to be a "cooker" when I grew up. Many of my favorite memories involve helping my Grandma in the kitchen. The first dishes I mastered on my own were spaghetti with meat sauce and potato salad. In college and early adulthood I didn't cook much due to space constraints and that cooking for one person seemed like a waste. Now that I'm married, my love for cooking has been brought out once again. I love cooking for my husband, our family, and friends.
My favorite things to cook
Soups, chili, and stews are lots of fun because you can throw in whatever!!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Besides the potato salad, stuffing, and deviled egg recipes that were only made for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I really enjoy trying to duplicate my grandmother's recipes, many of which were never written down.
My cooking triumphs
I consider a true cooking triumph anytime you are able to ask yourself "How can I do this better?" and take steps to make those improvements. As a novice cooker you often aren't aware of little tricks that can turn an okay meal into a great one. My biggest triumph has been developing instincts about cooking and learning to listen to them.
My cooking tragedies
Some things just don't turn out. If it doesn't seem right, it probably isn't!! I've had a few bad experiences with recipes off the internet (e.g. copycat Benihana Japanese onion soup, sausage and mixed vegetable stew). The internet is great, but can't always be trusted!