I'm the mom to two little girls. My husband's job brought us to the Caribbean. Up until then, he traveled constantly. I was not used to making a sit down dinner for four everynight. Big adjustment. All the meals I knew were things that sat on the stove all day or baked in the oven. Too hot to cook like that here. So, I had to learn a whole new way to cook.
My favorite things to cook
Anything spicy. I love spices. Love to learn new ways to use them and new combination. Cilantro is King! I like Mexican and Southwest dishes best - as long as they do not have a lot of cheese. I also love to make yeast breads. I had a bread machine once, but I gave it away. I prefer kneading the dough and watching it rise. I also like slow cookers. Hubby thinks meats are too dry with the slow cooker, so I like to find soups and vegetarian dishes for this method. I am also in search for the greatest chocolate cake recipe in the world! I also love to try various cole slaw recipes and new corn bread recipes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I come from a large family in the midwest. When I was growing up, my mom had dinner on the table everynight, and we sat down as a family and ate together. I think this is missing in a lot of middle class families today. Whenever I came home from school or an afterschool activity, dinner was on the stove and the house was fragrant with a meal being prepared. In my present family tradition, my mother in-law passed away a few years ago. Every year on her birthday we make one of her favorite foods with a chocolate cake. We always eat the Chocolate cake first which was something she loved to do when we would go out to dinner. Every New Year's we make conch chowder. My little girl and I make dinner together every Wednesday - she picks the menu and we do it together. One last tradition is my birthday dinner - BBQ ribs with potato salad and corn on the cob followed by Coconut Cake. Also looking for the greatest coconut cake recipe in the world!
My cooking triumphs
Any vegetable I can cook that my daughter will eat. I think my greatest cooking triumph was when I made fried chicken that came out like the best of the southern grandmas'. Or, my first Thanksgiving turkey that I made cuban style with lots of garlic, butter and lime juice. It was perfect!
My cooking tragedies
One Christmas about 15 years ago I was making thumbprint cookies. The jam caught fire in the oven. Ever since it has been a tradition to make these and call them "cookies flambe". I used to cook till the smoke detector went off. I have definitely improved over the years.