My mother was never much of a cook, and my dad only cooked very simple dishes, so I taught myself to cook and bake. When I was 11 or 12 I started with microwave recipes and slowly worked my way up the culinary ladder. Now I share my recipes with my friends and my parents' friends too! Since moving to Israel, which is a true melting pot, I've been exposed to so many different cultures and ethnicities. I enjoy learning about the different foods the different cultures here eat. I cook eastern european food (lots of Russians here) like krepelach or "pilimeni" and I cook traditional Middle Eastern food as well, such as majadera (rice with lentils & spices)... I hope to continue to encounter new cultures and that their traditions will permeate my kitchen and broaden my culinary repertoire.
My favorite things to cook
Chicken dishes, pastas, soups, salads, cakes, cookies. Every Friday night we have a sabbath dinner, which I love to cook. It always includes soup for first course, salads, chicken, a carb, a cooked vegetable, and dessert. It's a lot of work, but it is rewarding.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother isn't much of a cook, so no traditions there. My dad is Yemenite, so he often makes Yemenite chicken soup, which is chicken soup with cilantro and lots of spices like cumin, tumeric, etc. Apart from that, we don't have much of a tradition, so I'm in the process of making the traditions for my future kids and their future children! Since I never got those old-fashioned homemade slow-cook dishes, I've begun to take an interest in recipes from my mother's old cookbooks (which she never really used). I make stuffed cabbage and other Eastern European recipes (my mother is part Czech, part Polish)which I imagine my mother grew up on. I have also taken an interest in traditional Yemenite recipes, as my father was born in Yemen. I have made the traditional "jahnun" or "ajin" pastry which cooks in a pot overnight in the stove. I suppose I'm exploring my roots through food.
My cooking triumphs
1) My orange roast chicken stuffed with orange rice.
2) My low fat cakes- fruit cocktail cake, banana cake.
3) My cookies- every type of cookie including chocolate mocha, PB cookies, chocolate filled with PB, oatmeal cookies, etc.
4)My lemon chicken with whole garlic & potatoes.
5)My soups- sweet potato, lentil, chicken, etc.
6) My pizza dough
Those are just some of many. I like to try new recipes.
My cooking tragedies
I once found a citrus chicken recipe with grapefruit, lemon orange juice. When I took it out of the oven tasted the liquid, it was SO bitter that I was tempted to toss the whole pan out. I had guests coming in an hour. I poured the bitter citrus juices out, poured over a can of some ready made tropical fruit sauce I had on hand. My guests each had 3 pieces & loved it! Luckily, the citrus juices had made the chicken tender w/o the flavor penetrating the meat & the tropical fruit sauce gave it a good flavor! Whew!