I cook because I love to eat and also to make my hubby happy. My greatest cooking influence is without a doubt my mother-in-law -- she inspires me to try new things and make a recipe my own.
My favorite things to cook
I love slow cooker and one-pot meals. I also love to bake, especially yeast breads because I find kneading (and the smell!) therapeutic.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Baking LOTS of Christmas cookies to give away.
My cooking triumphs
Thai food. We love Thai curry and beef salad. Over ten years ago, I tried many times to get the curry flavor right, but finally Cooking Light published an article and recipe. I was missing Fish Sauce and brown sugar. This was before all the Thai canned, packaged, and jars started appearing on grocery shelves. Once I used the fish sauce and brown sugar it was perfect! (Even though it smelled like feet at first!) The beef salad was a similar path to success - trying several things before finding a good Cooking Light recipe for it. And I combined it with a fantastic marinade for beef from Allrecipes: California Thai Flank Steak.
My cooking tragedies
There's been a couple of times when I've obviously forgotten an ingredient in a recipe. Or when I'm doubling a recipe and forget to double one of the ingredients (like sugar - that dessert was icky). The worst was when I added WAY too much pepper to pan-seared pepper scallops - my husband and I still laugh about that.