I eat about a 90% raw diet, so I'm always looking for new and interesting ways to use fresh, whole foods. I don't eat processed or refined foods (such as sugar, flour, etc.), so the best bet is to cook at home. I make lots of substitutions when I try out new recipes on this site, but it's almost always for health-conscious reasons. I actually enjoy the challenge of "converting" a recipe to make it raw and/or more healthy.
My favorite things to cook
Besides raw food, I enjoy making ethnic foods, especially Asian and Mexican, and I love using sea vegetables. I've recently moved to New Mexico, which means I have access to a variety of chilies, so my new goal is to experiment with recipes that use them. I can't bake to save my life, but I love experimenting with my dehydrator and making healthy sweet treats. I also enjoy cooking vegetarian cuisine that doesn't rely on processed-soy products.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family didn't really have any cooking traditions, except for my grandmother's cheesecake, which no one can duplicate, even when they use her recipe. It was just that special Grammy touch. I had young parents, so I grew up eating a lot of tuna casserole, Hamburger Helper, and "weenie wraps." All comfort foods, but stuff I never eat as an adult (and things my mom never even makes anymore).
My cooking triumphs
My special slow-cooker vegetarian black-bean chili. Extra hot and with a unique ingredient: cinnamon sticks.
My cooking tragedies
I had two male roommates, and I thought I'd surprise them with dinner one night (I was in my early 20s and really didn't cook at all). I had a recipe from the Garlic Lovers Cookbook for Sage and Garlic Chicken. The recipe was for bone-in, skin-on chicken basted with corn oil, and the baking time was about 50-60 minutes, but I used boneless, skinless breasts and didn't know I needed to adjust the cooking time. I ended up with what my roommates fondly called "chicken jerky." They'd be shocked to know I actually can cook now.