I have been married for 10 years and have two beautiful kids, ages 5 and 7. I have been a stay-at-home mom now for about a year and a half so I've have more time to experiment with cooking. My husband is from Texas so we love southern-style recipes.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake! I am the person at the party who runs around getting recipes for whatever it is I really liked. I also do most of the cooking at home so I'm always looking for great dinner options. Luckily my 2 kids are pretty good eaters and will eat just about anything I put on their plate. Probably because I've always tried new recipes so they're just used to it! My husband likes to cook as well so he tends to take over the grill on the weekends. And he will also get in the kitchen every now and then and whip up a good meal.
My favorite family cooking traditions
None! My parents had 5 kids and my dad was always at work, so my mom didn't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen! But even if she did have the time, she would have chosen to spend it in her garden instead of the kitchen. (That's okay--she's passed down raspberry plants and rose bushes instead!) But my mom basically rotated the same meals over and over again. I never knew a steak could taste so good until I went camping with some friends and had one that was cooked medium. Another funny thing--if we were having anything other than chicken or fish for dinner, we were having 'meat' (and it was always well done as mentioned above!). I only remember my mom baking one cookie: applesauce chocolate chip. So the only family cooking traditions we have are the ones passed down from my husbands side of the family. Lots of Christmas cookies (ranger cookies and Ruskie cookies are a favorite!). Perogie and clam chowder on Christmas Eve. And corn bread stuffing for Thanksgiving! Yummy!
My cooking triumphs
When I worked the company hosted an annual Valentine's day bake-off. I won't first place 3 or 4 times in a row--chocolate cream puffs, peanut butter pie, white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. Whew whoo!
My cooking tragedies
I made banana bread and didn't realize that my shortening had gone rancid. I actually tossed out the first loaf and made it a second time before I finally realized! Needless to say, fresh ingredients are a must... There are many more dishes that didn't turn out quite right, but they were all worth it because every now and then I find one that retains a permament place in my recipe box!