I never really did much cooking (raised by a stay-at-home Mom who was a great cook) until I went away to college and waitressed at a great steak house in town. I started catering with the owner of the restaurant and learned how to not only cook, but present foods in a way that was pleasing to the eye as much as the pallet. I've been hooked on cooking and entertaining ever since!
My favorite things to cook
My favorite things to cook are Americanized dishes-- nothing with crazy foreign ingredients that you can't find at a regular Supermarket-- but not plain either. I love using fresh herbs and lots of garlic. And like I said, I enjoy making the dish look and taste great, but healthy at the same time. I love cooking roasts, stuffed turkies, bite-size appetizers and dishes that are easy to make for large groups of people. I also love making anything kid-friendly with my young nieces.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I really didn't do much cooking when growing up other than baking. I can remember making Christmas cookies with my mother for the entire weekend and then giving them away to friends and family (all the while telling them that I made them all, not my mother). I want to start new traditions with my kids (someday, I have none yet) and bring in some of my and my husband's heritage (I'm French and Polish and he's Finnish) into cooking. I've been finding some good Finnish recipes on this site but not many Polish ones! (have yet to find a good pierogie recipe so if anyone has one, let me know!)
My cooking triumphs
I consider anything that I make that people enjoy eating to be a triumph. Nothing makes me happier than when people go for seconds!
My cooking tragedies
I was making an awesome chicken dish that called for white wine one night and I was in a rush and poured white wine VINEGAR into it instead. I thought it smelt strong but didn't realize it until it was too late. Luckily I was just cooking for my brother. We took out the brocolli which had soaked up most of the vinegar and attempted to eat the rest but had a horrible stomach ache the rest of the night. The moral of the story-- READ YOUR LABELS and don't be in a rush! :)