I am a married mother of three little boys. My oldest son has autism, my middle son says he "knows everything" and my youngest is "into everything". So, life certainly isn't dull around my house! I stay at home, but I also run a cute online baby onesie and tee shirt store called snugfits.com that I take great pride in. I love to cook - but gourmet is out (for now) and quick & easy is in. I love finding simple recipes that taste like you slaved in the kitchen all day. I also enjoy working on tweaking a recipe until it is perfect. My potato salad, for instance, took a whole year to finalize. But, boy is it good!
My favorite things to cook
Southern comfort food, hands down. Everything from pimento (menta) cheese to country fried steak & gravy over mashed potatoes. Green beans simmered in bacon all day...Carolina-style BBQ, fried okra...I could go on and on! But, I also enjoy a more sophisticated gourmet challenge here and there when time permits. And, I love BIG casseroles that are cheesy, super yummy and make enough for two nights with leftovers. That provides me with a break on the second night!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas Eve, for sure. Classic oyster stew, chili soup and hors devours. Along with hot spiced wine, hot cider, eggnog and cocktails, of course!
My cooking triumphs
Hmmm...that's a tough one. I consider being able to master recipes that taste just like my grandmother used to make my most precious triumph. Such simple ones, but the memories while eating them and watching my own family enjoy them is priceless. I am also thrilled with the recipes I have come up with on my own that have gone on to become classics for my family. Like my awesome pico de gallo dip. Make it all the time to rave reviews! And, lastly - I take pride in being able to take whatever is in a kitchen (even when others are claiming there is nothing to eat) and come up with something fabulous without any recipe to follow at all. That sure makes you feel like a well-seasoned cook!
My cooking tragedies
Baking. I am just not a good baker. I really don't even enjoy it that much - as it can be so messy. I've had a few things turn out alright - and was pleasantly surprised. But, overall I am generally disappointed in what I create after a seemingly large investment of time and effort. Pie crusts have always been a disaster. My grandmother used to make award-winning crusts. She tried to write down the recipe for the family before she died (she never used a recipe, of course). I have not been able to replicate it, thus far. There is something about "cutting" cold butter into flour "just so" that I can't seem to grasp. I have the same problem with biscuits - I over mix them or something. But, alas, I keep trying!