My dad taught me how to cook when I was ten. The very first thing I made was a heart-shaped cherry cheesecake from scratch, which I specifically remember being fantastic. The older I got, though, the more often my parents had to work. As a result, they bought packaged dinners. And then in college, I ate at the cafeteria because I had no kitchen. So I didn't get to really start growing as a cook until I graduated and moved away from home.
My favorite things to cook
As far as meals go, I love soups and casseroles. I'm all over the place with desserts--they're my absolute favorite to cook, though I don't do it often because I REALLY don't need the calories. =P
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom and I bake thumb print cookies every year for Christmas. I also make my in-laws thumb prints and chocolate covered Ritz crackers with peanut butter on the inside. They're very easy to make, but my father-in-law loves them.
My cooking triumphs
My husband really dislikes apple pie (and pie in general). I was once experimenting with different pies, though (crusts to be exact), and the first one I made was apple. He took one bite of it and said it was the best apple pie he had ever had. He now begs me to make it for him. I'm pretty proud to have completely changed his opinion of pie on my first try.
My cooking tragedies
I made a turkey casserole once that called for rice in the dish. I was paying NO attention and dumped the rice into it UNCOOKED. The very second I did it, I realized what I had done, yelled a bunch of curses, and just prayed I had enough water in there that the casserole wouldn't be as dry as I anticipated. ...It was. -_- I try not to cook in a hurry anymore.