I grew up in a house where dinner was never a big deal, and my mother never made anything from scratch. My husband's mother, on the other hand, made EVERYTHING from scratch and is an "ingredient elitist" of sorts in that she won't accept anything less than real butter or whole milk. Now that I'm married, my goal is to find a balance between the rich, wholesome meals my husband is used to and the quick and easy preparations that I like.
My favorite things to cook
I like recipes that require only a few ingredients to make something spectacular.
My favorite family cooking traditions
There are few times when I will go all out and make something that takes all day and a pantry of ingredients, but I will always go out of my way for good Mexican food. Although my mother didn't cook much, my dad's side of the family always made a big thing of it for any family gathering. We would arrive hours before the meal was due to start just to help with the preparation of everything, and then we would dine on enchiladas and tacos until we just couldn't eat anymore. Although for everyday meals I like "quick and easy" recipes the best, the occasional all-day Mexican feast is definitely one tradition I would like to share with my children.
My cooking triumphs
The Jello-shooter brain! This was the first recipe I ever came up with all on my own, and it was so realistic-looking my nephew was afraid if it (which is fine because it was alcoholic anyway).
My cooking tragedies
One year for Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law's house I volunteered to make yams from scratch. It was a disaster! The end product was crunchy and unedible. It wouldn't have been so disheartening if it hadn't taken all day, but the whole experience reminded me why I don't like to make things from scratch.