I am married with two kids. I am from Western New York, spent 10 years living in Louisiana where I learned to cook authentic cajun meals(which is more than simply adding cayenne to a food) and am now living in Illinois, where red meat is king.
My favorite things to cook
I love to attempt gourmet things. However, money & availability of ingredients often get in the way, although I find myself perusing unique and out of the way grocery stores more and more. My two new favorite places to be are Mexican and Asian groceries. Sometimes I will buy something that I have no idea what it is or how to cook it, just to try it out... and to see the look on my kids' faces when I serve it.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Almost every year, my family & I bake 500-1000 Christmas cookies to give away as gifts. Is that tradition or torture?
My cooking triumphs
My biggest cooking triumph has been mastering seafood gumbo. Being from Western New York in a predominantly Polish background, cajun cooking was completely foreign to me. When I moved down to Louisiana, my mother-in-law took me under her wing and taught me everything I needed to know. One year for a Christmas party, I served my gumbo and heard, "This is better than mine!" from authentic cajuns!! And that is HUGE!
My cooking tragedies
Cinnamon rolls are my nemesis. I can follow a recipe just as well as anyone else, but for some reason, my cinnamon rolls never rise properly. Never. Ever. I have attempted them 10+ times now. And every single time I end up with cinnamon & raisin tasting driveway gravel.