I am in the final semester of my last year in college, majoring in Political Science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (talk about a scary point to be in one's life!). Living in a house with 3 other guys, none of whom can cook, has certainly forced my cooking into new creative heights. I have to make healthy food (for me) that is still interesting and tastes good, isn't too "weird" (for the guys), and won't bankrupt our house's food budget (sorry, Mario, we can't all get our food airlifted from some remote village in Italy).
My favorite things to cook
Having a mother who lives in New Mexico, a part of me will always love Mexican food. I also (like any college student) love Asian cooking with a wok as well as Italian dishes. For the most part, however, my dishes are a potpourri of flavors and ingredients that spurn classification.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Growing up with a family that owned a health-food deli, our culinary traditions never paralleled with the other families in the neighborhood. In particular, I look forward to my father's "tofu turkey" that he makes every Thanksgiving. It actually gives the real stuff a run for the money if they're competing for plate-space!
My cooking triumphs
In my tradition of genre-mashing, one of my personal culinary triumphs was a cheesy tortilla soup, served with beer-bread. For desert, I made horned-melon (a fruit I saw on sale at Whole Foods) mousse, served in the chilled spiny husks of the fruit. What a strange hit!
My cooking tragedies
After roasted garlic for an hour, my roommates came home to find that the ENTIRE house reeking of the stuff. As delicious as roasted garlic is, none of us enjoyed having our entire wardrobes (yes, it even got to the closets) pungent with the smell of it for the next two weeks. The following evening, they came home to smoke pouring out of the kitchen as I incinerated the garlic bread that I was making with the roasted stuff- meaning we never even got to enjoy the fruits of my... odor.