First of all, I am a 65 year old male. I grew up watching my mother make cookies, cakes and pies. She began cooking for her entire family at the age of 13, after her mother died. There were 9 kids and dad.
My mom was a good cook, but also a phenominal baker. Her baked goods were well known around town. She could have opened a bake shop and done exceedingly well. Mom was old school, so most everything we ate was from scratch.
Many of the baking basics, I learned from watching her over the years.
I began cooking and baking when I was about 23. I have been the primary cook/baker in my house ever since. I just enjoy doing both, so what woman is going to object to that?!
My creative juices flow quite freely. I have several original recipes (noted below) that people really enjoy.
When I find a recipe that sounds good, I will see what's in it, what I like and don't like abut them, and come up with my own version. I've found that my instincts are pretty good.
My favorite things to cook
Meats: BBQ ribs, steak, marinated skinless chicken breasts, chops.
Soups: Potato, chili.
Casseroles: Mac & cheese
My own original recipes:
"Italian Chicken Pasta Casserole"
"Chunky Chicken & Potato Casserole"
Deserts from scratch:
German Chocolate Cake
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Waffled French Toast
Custard Bread Pudding
Homemade Ice-cream (vanilla
Sugar cookies, soft/cut-out
Molasses cookies, Ranger cookies
Candy: Turtles, Buckeyes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Our family always gets together the Satuday after Thanksgiving for the "Johnson Family Favorites".
These are our favorite recipes mom made when we were growing up. It's not for those dieting! Each of us kids (5) would select one or two dishes and make them the way mom did. My specailty is Apple Dumplings and Spice Cake with homemade (boiled)caramel frosting.
My cooking triumphs
Friends and family say my ribs are awesome! Same goes for cakes, pies, cookies, deserts listed above. But, my candy is where I have found a huge fan base. I began making them as a one time thing for a New Years Eve party several years ago.
I made some for the people in the office where I worked, and for friends. They were totally blown away by them. People told me to open a shop and sell them. I began doing that (in a very small volume)out of my house, mainly at Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. People say my Turtles are "world class". That makes me smaile!
There are a lot of good recipes out there; which I typically change to meet what I am looking for in a recipe. But I also have made up several of my own which people seem to really enjoy.
My apple dumplings are (according to family, friends and many others) without equal.
I just enjoy cooking and baking for poeple to enjoy. While some people "eat to live", I "live to eat".
My cooking tragedies
I've messed up a lot of dishes over the years. Who hasn't? But I can't think of any occasion whereby it has caused me mental anguish.
I try to learn from my mistakes. You have to have patience, and don't take short cuts!
The more often I make something the better it turns out.
P.S. There is no way to make liver taste good!!!!!!! :-)