I am a do-it-yourself-figure-it-out-with-ingredients-on-hand kind of cook. I like the "learn by doing" method best. I like to add to prepared mixes, etc. and make them a little better. I learned most of what I know from my Dad, who is the same type of self-taught cook and who really can't fail. EVERYTHING he makes, even his experiments, are delicious.
My favorite things to cook
grilled meats with dry rubs
salads of all kinds
vegetable side dishes
cookies and brownies
appetizers and snacks
My favorite family cooking traditions
Mexican and Tex-Mex food (Dad is from Texas)
Southern food (Mom is from Missouri)
a few of the favorite family recipes are fried chicken, barbecued beef brisket, a plethora of amazing traditional holiday cookies, light and fluffy chile rellenos, fresh tomatillo salsa, I could go on and on...
My cooking triumphs
A vegetarian dinner party for 8 (I am not a vegetarian)
A mexican feast for 10, complete with carne asada and carnitas, which both turned out great the very first time I made them
My cooking tragedies
Trying to make a quiche-like baked breakfast dish with leftover salmon and bagels. Trying to substitute any pre-baked bread good (bagels) for actual pie crust is not effective.
Also, candy-making, especially trying to make toffee or peanut brittle will not work well without a thermometer. The caramel will revert back to being sugar if overcooked.