Near 50, so I've been through the stages. I was the newbee, with hubby and kids to feed (on a shoe string budget). Then single parent with teenagers to feed. Now I'm down to the last, a teen girl, a vegetarian. I've had to down size the dishes and figure out protein from non-meat sources. Often I'm cooking for myself these days also. I'm semi-vegetarian myself. Luckily I did listen to my Mom, and learned some of the recipes from the old country and ways to stretch the grocery dollars.
My favorite things to cook
Quick breads, & soups. Some casseroles. I enjoy making one pot or pan meals.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Figure out how to use it, all up when you have it. (don't tell the kids what it really is, be vague) Thats how I used to serve beef tongue to them.
My cooking triumphs
Feeding a growing family with many guest children on a regular basis on a budget that would make Family Circle Magazine cry. Having those same children grow up healthy.
My cooking tragedies
Gravy paste, pizza mush and mashed potatoes that were more like a potato soup. But I learned.