I have a great background. My mom's side is Creole-french and my dad's is full-blown Irish. Lot's of fun melting-pot dinners growing up, crawfish on one end of the table and Whiskeyed Chicken on the other. I grew up in a small town (about 500 people) in California, and moved to Oregon about two years ago.
My favorite things to cook
As unheathly as they can be, I love cooking southern foods. All the spices and attention to detail are divine. Breads and pastries are mad fun, especially if you've got someone to bake with, but gumbo is by far the most enjoyable. There's so much you can do with gumbo! Cooking a full meal is really enjoyable as well. There's something very calming about the whole planning of it, as well as the cooking.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every Chirstmas my family would make the three-hour drive to either my home or my grandparents home to have dinner together. Each person would help with a dish, including the kids. While the grown-ups did the then-"boring" tasks of making pie and cooking poutltry, the kids got to decorate cookies and tiny cakes for dessert. We still have that tradition, even though the family who started it have long passed.
My cooking triumphs
My grandmother always made pecan pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Being the family matriarch she was expected to make the best dish, and her pecan pie never let us down. This year I tried my hand at making it for the first time. The pie was an overwhelming success with everyone, including my fiance's picky vegitarian sister. I'm very proud of that (especially since that was my fist pie I made by myself!) but the one moment from that night I will never forget was my mom hugging me, telling me how proud grama would have been that I could make such a great pecan pie.
My cooking tragedies
One of the first meals I cooked for my fiance after we moved in together was a ravioli in cream sauce. The ravioli turned out fine, but the sauce was so incredibly salty! The worst part is that I still don't know what I did wrong. He still gets a little uneasy whenever I bring up making a cream sauce...