I started cooking about 12 and have found the best thing is trial and error. Look at the ingds. and if you dont like or want something in it, change it. I love to put on the radio and just have fun. Best tips, start with good stuff & make sure for a large group you start with the meal recps, then ingrds, and then make a detailed list, make tons of lists for everything from the dishes so you do not forget something in the fridg, for the store, for cooking and when, etc! Favorite staples to add in; nuts, garlic, celery, paparika, seasoning salt, tabasco, brown mustard, onion (green for sld). Bst tip, never try a new rcp for company!
My favorite things to cook
Mashed potatos with sourcream, a bit of dry onion soup mix and butter. Shrimp wrapped in bacon with waterchesnuts marinated in terriake then broiled.
BBQ chx, slow cooking is the secret. Duck with Mango marinade. Broiled split pita bread with margerine, italian herb and parm. Pork roast glazed with apple preserves, then baked with apple sauce.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I go back home so work in another's kitchen. My favorite trad. is to just hang loose and have fun with it no matter how tense others seem to get. If you are not going to all have fun with it, you might as well just go out and save the dishes for the restn. Enjoy the company as is that not really why you are all there?
My cooking triumphs
I have cooked for as many as 25 and had just the right amount for leftovers, the huge birds came out great and I did not kill anyone in the process : ) I made a standing rib roast for xmas when I was 15 for the first time with all the fixns and it was, I hate to brag, but one of the best dinners I ever had. First time I did duck, I did not screw it up and it came out so crisp I could not believe it. And of course, was flattered when my inlaw who is a french chef complimented me on some of my own recipies.
My cooking tragedies
Working so hard the day before I fell asleep with stuffing in the oven! Use a timer instead of the fire alarm to wake. Jello, I can never get it to jell, lol. Who cant make jello! Meatloaf that should have taken about an hour and a half, took 3!! The biggest thing I am guilty of is not getting everything on the list at the store and having to either send people out or improvise. I once was making spin. dip and allot of other things, but completely forgot the 4 boxs of spin.! How does someone do that, lol.