I love to cook for others (oh trust me, I love to eat as well). Experimentation is my favorite and hit or miss usually. I grew up in my grandmother's kitchen so measurements aren't exactly customary, but more a pinch of this and a dash of that. When I'm not in the kitchen, I'm hanging out with my daughter being silly. I feel that the best educator is experience itself, so, we walk and talk and just DO. I love music, movies, nature, driving, hiking, animals...pretty much anything that takes me outside. I also love working on my "fixer-upper" house, always a challenge.
My favorite things to cook
I love anything pasta because it allows for some great inventions. Anything on the grill is another favorite from meats, to veggies. A big hearty breakfast to take me through the day...and some blanched asparagus to munch on. Fish is great too, any way, baked, grilled, seared, broiled...
My favorite family cooking traditions
This goes back to grandma's kitchen. Every year at Christmas we make tamales which tends to be quite the chore, but it's fun to give them away to co-workers, friends, family, and neighbors. Throughout the year we make other traditional meals like pozole, menudo, paella, oh...too many to go through. I have taken over Thanksgiving dinner in recent years and have become quite the master (brine is key). It's wonderful to have the entire family packed into the house bumping into each other and sharing stories and dreams. Christmas, Easter, and the summer cookouts are also great times.
My cooking triumphs
Yes, the Thanksgiving turkey is my slave! Tender flavorful meat and a scrumptious brown skin that everyone wants. Brine works wonders. Crockpot chipotle chili and lasagna...Mmmmmmm...good stuff and easy to make. I also have a knack for making gravies, all sorts (rue is key for my gravies). Everyone always raved about my grandmother's gravy, but I always thought it was either too runny or too thick and it was always too light (almost grayish), but the taste was wonderful. So, while watching Alton Brown go through his thoroughly entertaining explanation of Rue, I fell in love and perfected the gravy making process in my own home (even my grandmother does it now...hehehe).
My cooking tragedies
I'm terrible at grilling porkchops!! Unless you like them CHARRED! Sometimes we reuse them as charcoal brikettes for grilling (just kidding), but it never fails...I burn them. Also, I'm not good at cold pasta salads, perhaps it's because I don't really like them myself, so I don't know how to combine flavors to make them taste good, it's either too much or too little, but never just right. Any suggestions...all are appreciated.