Cooking is fairly new for me, although I have lots of cookbooks and love reading them. I am also a huge Food Network fan, except when football is on! Maybe I am just a food addict! I think my many years of reading about food and watching cooking shows gave me a leg up as I began to cook more and more. My cooking is growing from simple, go to dishes to more extravagant faire. I can be pretty creative and am not afraid to modify a recipe based on personal tastes. Being on AR and, especially the Recipe Buzz, has also helped me to expand my cooking. I am very glad I found this great network of cooks who are willing to share!
My favorite things to cook
Until recently, I have generally cooked fairly easy dishes, but am starting to try more complicated recipes. I am comfortable with Mexican and Italian food and want to start trying more Asian and Indian recipes. The last few years, I have started cooking more and now tend to look at a bunch of different recipes, then combine ideas to make my own. Because of my obsession with food, I have realized that I really like to cook. I finally have a hobby that I can do on a regular basis!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom did not cook very often and I wasn't exposed to cooking much as a kid. My brother and I ate a lot of TV dinners. When mom wanted to treat us, she took us out to eat! Our extended family all lived 3000 miles away, but when we visited, Grandmama always made black eyed peas, lima beans, rice and collard greens. Yum! My grandfather also made his special chili - it was very sweet, so sweet that I have never tasted another one quite like it! He loved to make it for us and we would always rant and rave. When I was about 19, I remember my other grandmother (who was also a good southern cook and loved bacon and tomato sandwiches) saying, "Honey, you really don't know a thing about cooking, do you?!" I now cook for my mom sometimes and will start my own traditions!
My cooking triumphs
I am recently most happy with the Backwards Prime Rib (from Ken in CA's personal recipes). It really was delicious! I do make great roasted Cornish Game Hens. I use those cute little hen roasters I got from a restaurant I worked at a long time ago. They were famous for their Prime Rib and a cook once showed me how they made their sauteed zucchini (I told you I didn't know much back then). I remember making it for a date and being so proud!
My cooking tragedies
The first time I made collard greens, I added too much bacon and put soup base in it too! So salty and yucky, I threw it out. I had to try again a week later 'cause I was still craving it - done the right way!