I've always enjoyed cooking with my mom, but now that I'm married and on my own, I'm a full-time cook. I love cooking too much though...my husband and I often have too many desserts or leftover around because I'm always wanting to make something new! As an English teacher, I have a good amount of time evenings and weekends to experiment and shop for groceries (which I love to do!). We love having friends over and I love cooking for people, just as long as I get to cook myself without sharing my space.
My favorite things to cook
I absolutely love pasta and Italian food in general...maybe because it's quick, easy, and cheap. But on the other hand, I was first drawn to baking and I really love to try new recipes that awe my friends and family.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother makes a potato dish for holidays that is easily reproduced, yet it always tastes best from her. And no matter how many times I sit in my mom's kitchen and watch her make doughs or cookies or other treats, her baking always beats mine. My favorite thought-memory growing up is from all of the countless times that I spent time with just my mom in the kitchen, helping her and learning the basics.
My cooking triumphs
The first dinner that I made for my in-laws was a simple fish dinner with a spinach salad, but it appeared to be more elegant than it was time-intensive and I got rave reviews for a virtually error-free meal. Plus, my husband helped me with dessert so he felt good for helping and I got kudos for a beautiful meal. I love desserts the most because they often have the biggest impact and the greatest "wow" factor. When I get involved in carry-ins or potlucks, I almost always turn to desserts for fool-proof recipes that almost literally pop off of the table and have people asking me for recipes.
My cooking tragedies
I've learned a few basic cooking rules via trial and error. For example, cookies don't bake without flour, rather, they run. Flour cannot be substituted for Bisquick. Baking soda and baking powder are vastly different. And my favorite...plastic brownie pans do not work well when trying to make brownies in the oven.