I am a stay at hom mom with 2 kids and a wonderful husband! My son is 6 and my daughter is 4. I like to try new recipes and I often tweek them to my families likes and dislikes. I have a few cookbooks that I use often because they have tried and true recipes that I have been making for years. One of the things I will do when I try a recipe out of a cookbook is make notes in the margin about substitutions I did, whether or not I liked it, and any temperature or time changes. Everyones ovens cook differently, regardless of how new they are or what temperature the recipe calls for. By making notes, I don't have to make the same mistakes twice or try a recipe I didn't like the first time, again. I cook and bake a lot when I get bored. I actually would be quite happy cooking and baking all day and then just giving the food away!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook lasagna, pasta, casseroles and Mexican food. I like experimenting with stir frys, trying to find something my picky husband will eat! I love to bake cakes, pies, (although I must admit I am not too fond of making crusts!), cookies and anything with chocolate.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I have all my mom and grandma's recipes. A lot of the recipes are just things that I remember and try to do the same way. I especially remember the holidays at home. My grandma lived with us and she was in charge of pies, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. No one has ever done a pie crust as wonderfully as she did. I even have the recipe for it that she gave me, but for the life of me, when I do it, it just doesn't come out the same. She would make pumpkin pie and always had a little too much filling so she would make a small pie. The small pie was just enough for she and I to share before our big holiday meal that day. I loved doing that with her. I know that I will be the same with my kids, passing on my skills and little tips that I have learned over the years. I hope that they will take those into their grown up lives and teach their own kids as well.
My cooking triumphs
I have to say that I can make a great lasagna. I worked on this for several years until I got it just right. My family raves about it. I try not to make it too often though because I want it to remain something special and yummy that they can look forward to. I can also make better chocolate chip cookies than anyone I know and better than store bought or gourmet cookies. I have finally found a homemade brownie recipe that is better than any box mix. I have always thought the box mix brownies are hard to beat, until I found this recipe. Not too sweet but very chocolate and rich.
My cooking tragedies
I don't have too many cooking tragedies because I am not a risk taker in the kitchen! If I think a recipe is too hard, or I don't have all the right tools to make it, I won't attempt it. I follow the recipes closely and try not to do anything different if I am making something for the first time. My mom always made fried potatoes, not fried like in oil or french fries, but sliced potatoes that she would cook in a cast iron skillet. I have tried repeatedly to do this and have failed everytime. I just don't bother with it anymore! The worst time all the potatoes ended up stuck to the pan, burnt and yet somehow also not cooked! I had to throw the whole pan away because I couldn't unstick them! I have never had a fire from anything I was making so that is something to be proud of! I am sure there are cooking tragedies still to come though. No matter how much of an "expert" you think you are, there are still mistakes to be made! You just have to power through the bad ones and not quit!