I am married and between my husband and I, we have 3 adult children. I have been cooking since I was about 20. I was never adventurous, mainly cooking your basics – spaghetti, meat loaf, fried chicken, that sort of thing. I am a good cook; I just never did any experimenting or entertaining. Then I met my husband. Having our families over for dinner became a regular occurrence. Suddenly I was entertaining, and had to learn very quickly more than just my basic, every-day type meals. I have learned a lot from the cooks on TV and from the reviews on the recipes from Allrecipes that I have tried. My cookbook file on my computer is mostly a compilation of recipes from Allrecipes, and some from the Food Network. It is fun for me to try new recipes and stretch out of my "cooking comfort zone". I can now master most recipes and friends and family love my cooking!
My favorite things to cook
I've been using a lot of recipes from this site, and now enjoy making more "gourmet" and "from scratch" type meals than I used to. I have even stretched into making meals and soups that I would not have tried a few years ago. I like to search out new appetizers and side dishes for the times we have company over and/or barbecue. And of course, I have always had a good time making wonderful desserts!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My favorite family tradition is having Christmas Eve dinner for our family at our house. We try to serve an elegant meal, such as prime rib, or crown pork roast, or maybe smoked turkey or ham. Then on Christmas morning, we have all the kids over to open gifts and my husband makes Belgium Waffles with ham or bacon for everyone.
My cooking triumphs
My greatest accomplishment was making the Special Occasion Stuffed Crown Pork Roast for Christmas Eve dinner. I also got brave and made Creamed Corn from scratch. I roasted baby apples sliced in half with the roast, and put them around the platter when the roast was served. It all looked very elegant; especially with the little foil bone caps on the roast! The family now asks me "are you making the crown roast again this year?"
My cooking tragedies
I was attempting to make Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake by Paula Deen. The cake portion of the recipe was supposed to be 1 yellow cake mix, 1 egg, 8 tablespoons butter, melted . I made the cake according to the box (note the ingredients for the cake I listed here are not the same as on a cake box). I didn't really read the recipe well enough and when the instructions said to make the cake and pat it in the pan, mine just poured in, no patting required. Then when making the filling mine was runnier than it said as well, the instructions were to spread the filling on top of the cake. When I poured my filling on top of the cake, it just slid right under the cake mixture! I had used a large can of the pumpkin instead of the small, again, not reading the recipe well. I frantically tried to scoop the pumpkin back on top of the cake mixture, what a disaster! I decided to bake it anyway. It took a while to cook, and the middle never really baked up all that well. I now read recipes carefully!