I love to cook for family and friends. My brother-in-law and nephews love when I cook too much and they get to enjoy the leftovers. My mom was the main cook in our home, but my dad liked to cook special dishes from all over the world. I was the pickiest eater and didn't always appreciate his creativity. My biggest cooking accomplishment, hmmm, probably the fact that I will now play with recipes to make them my own, adding or subtracting ingredients. My sister used to make my kids' birthday cakes and now I do for my nephews. I made one cake that looked like a beach scene, complete with Teddy grahams with swimsuits.
My favorite things to cook
I have some family favorites - lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, stew. My kids' favorite meal to request, especially when they have friends over, is tri-tip and pilaf. I had never heard of tri-tip until I moved to the central valley. I've perfected my recipe and it turns out wonderful every time. I also make some killer oatmeal cookies using different kinds of chips, chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch. These are probably my favorite things to cook because they make my family happy.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas Eve was always French Dip sandwiches, potato salad, etc. Thanksgiving and Christmas traditionally is turkey with sausage stuffing (don't try to add anything or the family will revolt), mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, cranberry relish and pumpkin pie. Christmas morning we have scrambled eggs with sausage, and cinnamon pull-apart.
My cooking triumphs
One cooking triumph was when I was 9 months pregnant. We went to my mother-in-law's house and she wasn't up to cooking the turkey dinner, so I got on the phone to my mom to get the family recipe for cooking a turkey and pulled together Christmas dinner. Another triumph and joy was preparing all of the food for my daughter's graduation party. She and I made all of the food. It was quite a production and we had a great time doing it together.