i'm picky, therefore i cook! :) cooking is fun and it's my creative outlet. i think i learned to cook from my parents. my dad cooks without recipes, just throws stuff together that tastes great. my mom pretty much hates cooking, and would somehow manage to sneak out of the kitchen whenever someone (me) came in to help. i also used to read a lot of cookbooks, but discovered the food network when newly married and learned a ton from sara moulton and alton brown. i have always enjoyed dining out, but lately, we dine out less and less. most things are just better homemade, tastier and healthier, too. of course, i can make it MY way at home, i am picky remember? i enjoy browsing recipes on the internet, and get plenty of ideas from the AR buzz, too. it's nice to have a place to come and talk to other foodies. but, oh so many recipes and so little time!
My favorite things to cook
i love to make desserts, pastries, and breads. i have even completed a baking and pastry course at a small local culinary school. i was sure i was going to be a baker, but the hours stink. so instead my family, friends and co-workers get treats. i don't have much of a sweet tooth, but i love the aromas of vanilla, butter, and sugary sweets. i really enjoy cooking, but baking is my passion.
My favorite family cooking traditions
i feel that food is a very important part of family. i have fond memories of the foods i grew up with. being married and away from my family, i try to keep some of those recipes a part our lives. mexican food from my mom's side is truly my comfort food. my favorites are still carne guisada and rice, with (OMG) homemade flour tortillas. from my dad's side, my favorites are giant cinnamon rolls, spaghetti, and swedish meatballs. my filipino inlaws introduced me to lumpia and adobo, which are wonderful. for me, the holidays are the best time to enjoy food memories.
My cooking triumphs
i have always wanted to make flour tortillas like my gramma. she makes them so well, she sells them. of course mine don't compare to hers, but they are pretty good. also, since i love cheesecake very much, when a dear friend told me she cannot find one better than mine (even at Cheesecake Factory), i was thrilled. honestly, anytime someone enjoys and compliments my cooking, i feel great. my kids eat their veggies, and my MIL has handed over all cooking responsibilities to me. these are also compliments in my book.
My cooking tragedies
i think a tragedy would be something totally inedible? i tend to experiment often, and rarely follow recipes, so there have been some things one or all of us didn't love. but i taste as i go and can usually tweak accordingly. IMO you can always throw some cheese or sauce over something that isn't great and learn from those mistakes. the most embarrassing thing i can remember was a thanksgiving dinner when i was still in high school. i read "condensed" and "milk" on a green bean casserole recipe. since i'd never eaten any of it, i didn't realize the recipe called for condensed soup, not sweetened condensed milk. :P it was unusually sweet, but everyone was polite and ate it anyway. i guess if you are going to follow a recipe, you should read it carefully first! LOL