I am a high school teacher living in Northeast Florida. I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember, but it’s only been in the last five to ten years that I’ve felt comfortable enough in the kitchen to experiment with my own recipes. I love to cook, and I’m always looking for new dishes to try out at home.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook authentic ethnic recipes, whether they be Mexican, Italian, Asian, Indian, etc. I like to experiment with tastes and flavors that I didn’t grow up with here in the U.S.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I cook pretty healthy foods throughout the year, but the holidays are my time to make loads of candies, cookies, and desserts to share with everyone. Every year I make my old favorites and try out two or three new recipes. The recipe that I must make every year is the caramels recipe submitted by Barbara. Ever since I tried it several years ago, it has become a family tradition. I make at least two batches, and there still isn’t enough to go around.
My cooking triumphs
My biggest triumph was the day I realized that I no longer relied on recipes. Most nights I never use a recipe. Instead I just bring together the flavors that I think will work best. Even when I’m making a completely new dish, I rarely follow a recipe to the letter. Sometimes I'll just make my own variations. Other times I’ll find several different versions of a recipe on-line and borrow a little from each to create my own.
My cooking tragedies
When I was in my late teens and still very much a novice cook, I attempted to roast a whole turkey all by myself. Who knew there were giblets hidden on both sides of the turkey? I removed the large packet of giblets from the main cavity, but I didn’t even think of looking for a second one. My family tried to assure me that everyone makes that mistake at least once, but I’m not so sure about that!