I work as a medical laboratory scientist for a couple of the Milwaukee area health care organizations.
My favorite things to cook
What I cook is dictated by my schedule. When I'm working I love slow cooker recipes and things that come together quickly on the stove. When I'm off and have the time I enjoy cooking more complicated dishes and even baking (which I'm still getting good at). Due to dietary restrictions (gastric bypass in 2006) I lean towards lean protein, whole wheat, and fresh veggies and sub healthier ingredients in when I can. I'm usually in charge of the cooking and my husband the cleanup, but when time allows we love to cook together.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom did a great job teaching me the cooking basics early on, and I still rely on some of her staple recipes - my mom is cooking tradition for me. On Christmas night we all sit down to a prime rib roast feast, with all the trimmings. My husband and I cook seafood for Christmas eve, and one of my favorite summer traditions is grilling out with him on our deck. Lots of meat, tasty sides and cold drinks - perfection.
My cooking triumphs
I'm just happy cooking has turned from a necessity when I was a poor student to a hobby that I choose to do now. I am pretty proud of how impressed my relatives were with the food when I hosted a Christmas party for all the extended family at 19. They later told my mom they never expected I would have kept up with all the older aunts and cousins in the family in terms of food quantity and quality. Hah!
My cooking tragedies
I was making a black forest torte back at home to surprise my mom with, and I didn't want to wait for the cake layers to cool completely before adding the cool-whip topping and cherries. The whole double-layer dessert came sliding down, all over the plate and into the fridge. Ever since I've always let the cakes sit hours before frosting. Or try to... there is an incident dubbed "The Chocolate Moat Cake" that happened much more recently than I care to admit.