I love to cook tried and true recipes, as well as venturing into new ones. I'll try anything twice (in case, I mess up the first time:) I feel a home-cooked meal gives more pleasure to my family any day over eating out, from bonding to quality to money saved. The only thing I then have in it is my time...and the time I spend in the kitchen is a true escape for me. Living in such a fast-paced world, I feel like there's never enough time. But, standing in my kitchen, for some reason, I feel as if time stands still. I am able to be creative, feel accomplishment & serve others in that time, whether it is a seven course meal or quick & easy recipe I am preparing.
My favorite things to cook
Soul food: homemade chicken & noodles, stews, stroganoffs
Indian: chicken dishes(makhani, tandoori,tikka), roti & naan (breads), any subzi (vegetable dish),biryanis (rice) & dals (dried lentils, peas or beans)
Any Mexican, Italian or Chinese dish!
Slow-cooked meats (pork loin, brisket, roast, chops)
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother, sister, aunt and I have always gotten together for a Runza Day. We prepare a delicious German recipe made of homemade bread dough, filled with meats, cheese, onion & cabbage. As far back as I remember, we always made no less than 60, and sometimes up to 120 runzas in that day together. When anyone in the family, and eventually friends, heard we were making them, the phone would ring all day with requests for some. Then srangers to us, but friends to others, would try them, and then they became our friends too! If you know what I mean:) This has been a long-lived tradition with us girls and now my 14-year old daughter is part of our "Runza group" and I couldn't be happier to share in this tradition with her!
My cooking triumphs
Having owned my own restaurant in the past, I cooked for large dinner parties and the public in general, with only a couple faux pas. The majority were successful & quite a triumph no matter what dish I prepared. I realized then that the pressure & risks of cooking so much for so many made me perform even better.
Making my first Indian dishes perfect (according to my fiance' who's North Indian). They were chicken biryani, chicken makhani, aloo gobi, pav bhaji, rajma, bindhi, chole bhature, & naan. This encouraged my love & appreciation for Indian cooking, which I had never eaten, let alone cooked until I met my fiance'.
My cooking tragedies
Burning over 20# of homemade beef & noodles to be ready to serve in my restaurant. Might I add, it was a dish customers would wait each wk for! In the last 15 min, I decided it needed to be thicker, so as I was bringing it to a boil to add thickener (and mashing potatoes as well), it scorched on the bottom. It still looked delicious, but the "burnt" smell overwhelmed my senses before I could even put it in my mouth...what a disappt for me & for others.
Roti, roti, roti! I'm a perfectionist by nature and I watched how easy my Indian friends made roti. For the life of me, I couldn't get this flat bread to turn out. Used proper ingred, utensils, heat, everything! I got so frustrated, but tried it every night(most of the time burning it before it would puff up)& yes, I adj heat to every temp. After a few wks, I realized my friends were all using gas or elect stovetops (WITH coils).I was using a smoothtop w uneven heating.So I got rid of the tawa,changed pans & Wa-La! Roti is perfect!