I am a mother of two who comes from a family that came from Hawaii. I recently introduced the rest of my family to jujitsu, which I started when I was twelve. Now the whole family loads up twice a week and heads to the dojo. We're pretty active and enjoy camping and walking together. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen - when you put the hour and a half of dinner prep together with the hour of morning breakfast/lunch prep, I guess I'm a pretty dedicated cook.
My favorite things to cook
I'll cook just about anything... I don't really have many 'staples'. I like to 'play' in the kitchen, so I can't guarantee that I can duplicate a dish that I've made up. I love hawaiian comfort food and I'll cook Loco Moco or Spam, Eggs and Rice every once in a while. One thing that's a hit with my family is 'gourmet ramen'. On busy nights when I don't have time to prepare a proper meal, I cook several packs of Top Ramen and add baby bok choy, grated carrots, water chestnuts, snow peas and leftover cooked chicken. I like to take things that would be considered unhealthy and put a healthier spin on them.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I cook New Year's dinner for our friends and family. It's the last night of the year, so we indulge a little bit. Okay, we indulge a lot! I cook a prime rib and a potato casserole that we only have once a year (the recipe is posted on allrecipes as 'potato casserole'... it's a ton of calories, but it's soooo good). Naturally there are other side dishes and dessert, but I think people look forward to the potatoes the most. They're already talking about New Year's and it's only September.
My cooking triumphs
My greatest triumph has to be baking chocolate chip cookies. I had given up on baking and was convinced that I could cook, but not bake. Everything I put in the oven turned into a gloppy mess. About a year after we moved into our new house with our brand new oven I gave some chocolate chip cookies a try. They were perfect! Crispy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside. Who would've known that I've just managed to have a bad oven everywhere I've lived before.
My cooking tragedies
The first dish I made up was HORRIBLE! I made a kung pao chicken stir fry when I was a teenager that could've peeled the paint off of walls. My poor mom and dad sat at the dinner table with tears streaming down their bright red faces, determined to eat the monstrosity that I created!