Many years ago I left my hometown in sunny southern California for Linz, Austria to marry the man of my dreams. Eighteen years and two kids later, we all still reside in this unique little alpine country! I just started a site for expats in Linz: http://expatslinz.ning.com
My favorite things to cook
I like cooking American cuisine because it teaches my kids about foods from the US. It is also familiar, comfort food for me. I don't always get the ingredients I need (vanilla extract and some things that require convenience foods like canned soup, etc.) so I've learned to improvise over the years or, during visits home to Ca, I stock up on certain food items and lug them over in our suitcases.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Austrians make very special, small, unique cookies at Christmas time but my kids I still stick to making big sugar cookies with lots of colorful frosting and sprinkles! It raises some eyebrows here but we love big, bright Christmas cookies!
My cooking triumphs
I am very proud of the fact that over the years I've learned to organize and make a great Thanksgiving dinner! My other American friends here and I celebrate at our house and as we are so far away from family friends in the US on this special day, it really means a lot to celebrate Thanksgiving here. We cook a whole 22lb turkey with all of the fixin's and I sometimes still can't believe I can really do it!
My cooking tragedies
When I first got married I couldn't even boil water without cookbook directions! We ate tough, chewy roasts, overboiled soggy vegetables, cakes that were burnt on the bottom, and dried out roast chicken. My poor husband spent lots of time scrubbing burnt food out the of the bottoms of the pots. But live and learn and keep on cookin' because now we laugh thinking back at those early years!