My roommate is a chef at a local restaurant and he is always cooking at home too. Recently I started cooking at home and found I am not a bad cook either. Growing up, I ate a lot of packaged and processed foods, but I have found that cooking from scratch tastes so much better and is worth the time and effort involved. I'm a very messy cook! But my meals usually come out pretty well most of the time.
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking with wine... sometimes I even add it to the food! A few years ago I decided to try making an Italian Herb and Cheese recipe from scratch from this website, and I have been addicted to bread making ever since. I also like making roux's and sauces, Asian cuisine, and pretty much anything from scratch. I love using fresh produce from the garden- there is something about using the food you've grown from seed in a recipe that is mind blowing. Growing up I hated mushrooms and olives (until 2 years ago, actually), and now I use them in just about everything- along with garlic, onions, and peppers.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family growing up lived on casseroles and 3 part meals (i.e. Meat, Veggie, Starch). Casseroles are a nice way to blend flavors for a quick weeknight dinner. I find the 3-part-meals are often boring and inevitably end up complicating it until it is either a triumph (that i can never recreate) or a disaster. We ate a lot of ziti and lasagna, and I enjoy revamping them into new and unusual variations.
My cooking triumphs
I prepared a home-made-from-scratch Thanksgiving feast of Turkey, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, home-made savory sage bread (which then became stuffing), home made gravy from the turkey drippings, cranberry sauce from fresh New England cranberries, leek mashed potatoes. Once Thanksgiving was done, I was able to use the leftovers for a week afterwords in new recipes like potato croquettes, thanksgiving sandwiches, thanksgiving pie, turkey dumplings, turkey bolognese, turkey malinese, fried stuffing bites with cranberry pesto, turkey and string bean pot pies, etc. Cooking for less than 2 years, I was amazed how delicious everything was!
My cooking tragedies
There have been several. The worst one was this past Christmas when I decided that- since money was very tight- I would make baked goods as gifts. It was a disaster. I didn't want to make anything ahead because I was afraid they would be stale, so I spend literally all day Christmas Eve and Christmas Day rushing to get everything made and nothing turned out as planned.
My most recent flub involved pasta and a crock pot. You'd think that-since the water isn't boiling- the pasta would take a long time, right? Added all of my ingredients INCLUDING the pasta- and 6.5 hours later on high... I was eating glue. Lesson learned!