I grew up in a single parent, single child household. My dad raised me on chicken breasts. He would grill a bunch at the beginning of the week and we would eat chicken breasts for lunch (on sandwiches) and for dinner (usually on a salad). I was 18 when I moved out on my own, curious about other foods and how to make them. I started experimenting on my own with anything I could find. I am now 27 and living in an apartment with my boyfriend. We LOVE to cook at home. He is the master meat marinader and I am the produce chef. He makes fun of me because of my obsession with allrecipes.com. I make at LEAST seven different recipes from this site a week. It is most definitely a serious hobby of mine. I love it! I just started taking pictures of the recipes I make from this site, which always amuses my boyfriend.
My favorite things to cook
I am better with veggies, sides and appetizers than with meat. I love to cook the sides to accompany my man's awesome meats (he makes the most incredible steaks and seafood... check out his Orzo Delicioso, posted on this site. It started as Calamari Delicioso, but he was nervous about making it public!). I especially enjoy using ingredients that I have never used before. I am of Czech ancestry, so I love trying new Czech dishes. We especially love the Mexican Bean Salad from Karen Castle on this site, and we make it often in the summer. SO GOOD! Try it!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother is from the Czech Republic and makes a Christmas bread that I know as Bolka. She's made one every Christmas for as long as I can remember. I slather butter on a slice and melt away... Also at Christmas time my dad used to make his famous burritos. He would make a HUGE batch of filling, then roll it up in tortillas, cover them with red and green plastic wrap and hand them out to friends and neighbors. As soon as he trusts me with his recipe I will post it on this site! When I was little, Sundays meant my mother would bake a whole chicken with strips of bacon laid across the top of the bird. MMMMMM... I can still remember fighting my father for the last piece of bacon!
My cooking triumphs
I can make a perfect egg over easy, which is probably because I love my eggs this way. Any recipe that turns out deliciously is a triumph for me. I am always thrilled when I make a dish and my boyfriend can't even tell me it's awesome because he can't stop eating. Breads are especially fun to make, from scratch, and I am always amazed that I created a loaf myself. I find the kneading to be especially theraputic! I don't know what I would do without Allrecipes... the ratings that other cooks provide are my guidelines, much more than the actual recipe. When all of the leftovers are gone the next day (or the same night), I know it's a triumph!
My cooking tragedies
I'm no dessert expert. No real tragedies, but cakes, cookies and I don't mix. Fortunately I don't have much of a sweet tooth.