I'm a mom, as are so many others here, hunting to find the next meal to make for our families, and make them happy. I get bored easily, making the same thing over and over is not for me. The start of a new season is exciting, using fresh ingredients of the season is what is the most rewarding when cooking. Allrecipes "ingredient search" helps me use up everything in my fridge, and prevents waste. I used to enjoy Fine Cooking's website, now I pretty much exclusively use this site along with some magazines, a Fine Cooking and vegetarian cookbook.
My favorite things to cook
I used to love to make cake. Now that I'm watching my weight (increase, it seems), I don't bake often. Meat used to completely stress me out, but I have come to understand it better these days and can put together a decent homemade stew now. I love to roast veggies and come up with different combinations of them. Prep was an issue in the past, but I have improved in my skills. I still cut my fingers a lot. I don't like to feed my family lots of prepackaged foods - ok, cereal and I wish I had a bread machine, but beyond that, it's pretty much whatever I cobble together. We eat pretty simply because I'm not a great cook, and I don't like to buy too much because I try to avoid wasting food (so much food goes to landfills!).
My slow cooker was my BFF for five years, but now it's taking a back seat as I got tired of the taste. However, since we are always out and about at some sport or musical event, it is a challenge to come up with recipes that will work.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Kids like making holiday cookies and cakes. I could pass on it because I'm not that great at it. We like experimenting with dough in the fall, which is when the thermometer dips below 70 (ha ha).
A really great tradition is our holiday dinner, where we bring together our favorite dishes. That's always a treat.
My cooking triumphs
Eclairs. Yum! Anytime I actually complete a recipe without botching it is a triumph.
One Christmas I made an amazing beef tenderloin with a liver, currant and mushroom stuffing and even my kids loved it, and the phone calls I got for days made me very happy. Made me even happier because the butcher and my mother warned me against butterflying 'a perfectly beautiful tenderloin'. Hey I like simple as much as (if not more than) the next person, but sometimes you have to branch out - especially for the holidays.
My cooking tragedies
A lot. I have a tendency to talk and try to read recipes at the same time. On Easter, we had to throw out a batch of batter because I doubled some of it because I was TALKING and not paying attention. It's o.k. though because I ended up making a fab shortcake instead, and it was delish.