I'm 30, from Arkansas, and moved to Portland in September 2010. I've been (about 98%) vegan since May 2010. I'm always looking for new recipes to try. My main hobbies are cooking, yoga, gaming, and working on my cookbook. I started my personal cookbook when I was about 11 and it has grown into a massive 3-ring binder since then (and a small one that I moved the meat recipes to). I'm trying to catalog everything into my recipe box on this site. I miraculously acquired a taste for beer, so I've been enjoying trying and learning about new local craft beers and checking out Oregon wineries. My newest challenge (that I haven't been able to work on much due to limited kitchen space in our apartment...grr...) is veganizing my huge collection of non-vegan recipes, and making it tasty. Veganizing isn't necessarily hard, but making it work well and taste good is quite a challenge.
My favorite things to cook
Mediterranean, Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern, comfort food, desserts, casseroles, breads, as much organic/healthy as possible. I love trying new recipes and I hate eating the same things over and over. I try to keep dinner interesting.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Trying to replicate or veganize anything my Mom makes. Mom cooks a lot of Mediterranean food and should probably run a restaurant. She's definitely where I get alot of my cooking influences and early cooking skills. The challenge is trying to lighten her recipes up but still make them taste like hers.
My cooking triumphs
Making a New Orleans bread pudding recipe, that I found on the internet, for my New Orleans family members on Thanksgiving. They said it was the best bread pudding they'd ever had (and they know their bread pudding)! I said, "If I can impress you guys, then I know I've done a great job."
My cooking tragedies
Spanikopita appetizers or just about anything having to do with phyllo dough are of the devil. I've never been so mad at a recipe...My ex had to help me finish making them because I was crying and just wanted to throw it all away. The corners ended up burning, too.
I also made sushi for my ex's birthday one year. It took 5 hours. The rice took longer than anything. Not sure I'll ever make it again...I'd rather leave it to the professionals and just go buy it.