I'm a fairly new cook, though I do have a decent grasp on the basics. It was only last year I really began to cook in earnest, as a way to keep busy (I usually just brought anything I made in to work), and I discovered I really enjoy it. Now planning that next meal and looking up the perfect recipe is one of my favorite pastimes.
My favorite things to cook
Desserts. Definitely. Everyone knows when their birthday rolls around, they can expect a cake from me - or pie, or cookies, or whatever they prefer. I think receiving a store-bought cake on your birthday is a little sad, especially when a simple homemade one is easy AND thoughtful.
My favorite family cooking traditions
It's not Christmas in our family until we've decorated the Christmas cookies. My mother keeps all kinds of cookie cutters so we can individualize them, and even the mistakes are celebrated - and then eaten.
My cooking tragedies
The first time I tried vegan cheesecake - ugh! The crust came out lumpy and uneven and the cheesecake tasted like tofu and sugar. NOT a good combination. I've tried since then and gotten better results, but it still doesn't taste like cheesecake to me...