I am an active duty Army officer living in Hawaii. We have two kids, one an autistic boy who loves to eat, and the other a picky little girl. I just decided after the last deployment that I will dedicate my spare time at home to teaching myself how to cook for the family in order to give my wife a break and develop some dudely gourmet skills.
My favorite things to cook
We are trying to cook low carb, and when possible substitute glutein free foods. Therefore we tend to eat a lot of meat, vegetables, and fruit. I love grilling because it's easy to clean and a good excuse to drink beer outside. I like anything that I can fry in the black iron skillet because it's old fashioned cool. I like theme food because that gives me an excuse to play different music. You play mariachi when cooking Mexican, Country and Elvis when cooking Southern or grilling, or the Godfather soundtrack when cooking Italian. I don't like Asian music so I play heavy metal or Hawaiian when cooking Asian food. Its best when the dish has a component that the kids like, such as a mixer blade to lick clean, or a piece of fresh pineapple, so you can bribe them to stay away.
My favorite family cooking traditions
When I was little, I remember my parents both cooking together in the kitchen, and making a lot of things from scratch. There was a lot of fresh ingredients, cutting, and mixing going, on. the result may not have looked perfect but it always tasted great. At some point that stopped and we started eating a lot of easy to make quickie stuff. I miss people making their own food. I think that when they took the extra time to make it, they appreciated what went into the product a lot more.
My cooking triumphs
In order to accompany my first batch of home made salsa, I decided that the family would have tacos, but I had nothing besides hamburger. I looked up a recipe online, and the result was so good that I figured that I should never get store bought kits again.
My cooking tragedies
I like cilantro, so on my third batch of home made salsa I decided to just cut up the whole bunch and toss it in. There was so much cilantro in the bowl that, even though it was the only green ingredient, it actually turned the salsa green. I love cilantro, so that can't be a bad thing, right? My wife soon disabused me of that misconception.