I'm someone who still follows recipes, but is beginning to identify flavors and tastes that work well together and is feeling more comfortable making additions and substitutions. It's fun! I don't try many things that fail, which is good, because I refuse to eat bad food.
My favorite things to cook
Soups, dips and snacks, comfort food, desserts
If we lived closer to either coast (we're land-locked here on the prairie) I'd cook more with seafood.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Just starting to establish some traditions, and of course most revolve around the major winter holidays. Last year we tried doing fondue for Christmas Eve, which I enjoyed. My husband makes a killer pumpkin pie with pecan crust for Thanksgiving. Since I make an equally-killer pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce, we usually wind up with lots of desserts around the holidays. New Year's Eve I usually make a choclate tart with a yummy whole cranberry topping ... a huge hit and very pretty and festive.
My cooking triumphs
I made a wonderful birthday dinner for my dad this past year: individual meat loaves smothered in a mushroom gravy and a mashed cauliflower side dish. For dessert, a mocha-rum bundt cake. My mom declared it the best meal she'd had all year!
My cooking tragedies
Happy to report I haven't had many, and not in several years.