I don't think I've ever followed a recipe to the word. I almost always make it my own. I'm a wimp when it comes to heat in food. I take my Thai at a 0 - how lame is that! I don't even use pepper. :) I have two girls, 7 & 8, along with DH. I don't know where exactly chicken nuggets and mac & cheese became their food of choice. Honestly, I don't remember even introducing it. It's like it was just there one day and that was that! I've taken cooking classes from excellent chefs, but after all is said and done, I haven't moved from my intermediate cooking level. I think part of it is the cleaning up after yourself thing. The less cookware the better! So I keep my dishes simple. That, and I would prefer not to have a power struggle with the kids over their meal. It's hard enough to get vegies in 'em!
My favorite things to cook
Grilled - steaks mostly (t-bone is the fav, rib-eye, filet, and NY.) Pasta - any kind and almost any way. But more than anything, though I don't do this as often as I'd like, is baking. I have always been of the Sandra Lee (semi-home cooking on Food network) perspective. So 'from-scratch' is a point of view. Anyways, I guess I can say that comfort food is my favorite thing to cook. Not too heavy on the cream and buttery sauces though. But I do subscribe to the French diet thinking, eat what you like, just don't 'biggie size' it. :)
My favorite family cooking traditions
I wish I had more. But our cooking traditions are mainly at Christmas time. Each of us in our family are into some form of art, craft and such. So making gingerbread houses and decorating cookies is right up our familie's alley. It's something we really look forward to. Oh, my 7 year old tries to get me to use the pasturized egg white powder instead of raw egg. Can you guess why? So she can lick the batter-of course! :)
My cooking triumphs
I make a great meaty spagetti sauce. Otherwise, most of my food is good to average.
My cooking tragedies
It's not a single episode or time. Mostly my problem is that my spice intuition is underdeveloped. And so when I'm whipping something up, based on what's in the fridge & pantry, I can't bring it all together like I'd like. I mean it's usually good, but it leaves me feeling like I missed something.