There is no catsup in my house, we do not eat out of cans and it is a rare occasion for us to eat at a restaurant. California is the Land of Plenty when it comes to fresh food and that is what we eat, every day.
My favorite things to cook
Baking nummies for the Man-ski, I love to make soup but I don't because he doesn't like hearty soups, simple dinners and I will get creative and tease the meat with a half dozen spices in the rack just to see what happens. My husband cooks quite a bit; we eat simply.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner completes the holiday for me. I do the same thing every year: turkey with stuffing, sweet potatoes, carrots and onions cook with the bird. Steamed green beans and mashed potatoes. The only thing that varies is dessert - pumpkin custard, cookies, cake; everything made from scratch. On Christmas I make a non-alcoholic wassail with fruit juices and spices, let it sit on the stove on the lowest possible heat to serve as people drop in. I married a Polish gentleman 4 years ago and he brought several beautiful Christmas Eve food traditions that I am still trying to grasp; it's filled with special meaning and spiritual significance, including an empty setting for the Guest.
My cooking triumphs
Two and both were cakes. Three layered coconut cake from the Los Angeles Times - my first attempt came out perfect and it turned out that it was the 38 year old birthday girl's favorite cake and it was incredibly delicious!
Mexican Chocolate Cake which was also a first run for me. The big challenge was that I was taking it to an office BBQ and our staff is approximately 85% from Mexico. The cake got raves and was devoured within 20 minutes of delivery. I was so proud.
My cooking tragedies
Last Thanksgiving I forgot bread. I made some biscuits (the bane of my baking life) and they were absolutely pathetic. They ate them, there wasn't a crumb, but I did not make enough of them and I was embarrassed to serve them. I have some type of biscuit block - I can make bricks, disks, pucks and rocks out of dough but I'm better off buying the biscuits.