I have loved cooking since I can remember. I have fond memories of watching my mom, grandmother--and my dad and grandfather cook. I learned even more when I became a vegetarian and my mother said she'd buy what I needed but I'd have to cook my "concoctions" myself.
My favorite things to cook
Gosh, I wish I could pick one. I make a rice casserole that I love. I like baking pies too. There's a veggie version of puttanesca sauce that I make from scratch. And I'm pretty proud of my greatly-reduced fat version of Alfredo sauce.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My cousins and I talk about watching our grandmother make "tagelach," a Jewish dessert made of sweet fried dough nuggets held together with nuts and honey (the Italians make something similar, but I don't know their name for it). Potato latkes and different "kugels" are also fond memories. My family's recipe for chopped liver is legendary. I make a vegetarian version of it.
My cooking triumphs
I am pretty dam proud of my vegetarian chopped liver. My other triumph is my stuffed mushrooms. The recipe I am proud to take credit for is my vegetarian stuffed red peppers. It's complicated so I haven't made it in awhile.
My cooking tragedies
I began looking at the cookbooks lying around the house when I was about nine. I decided to make my father a sardines and canned peas omelette. He got sick and the dog wouldn't eat it. Then there was the chocolate cake I baked with my cousin, to which we added 4 bananas. The cake deflated before our eyes. But the one that comes in second, behind my omelette, is the eggplant I roasted in the oven, without making slits in it first. It exploded in the oven and I spend days cleaning it off. The explosion caused the rests that the oven racks went on to bend, making the racks in the oven rest on a slant (interesting when trying to bake cakes).