I'm not sure why I have recipe books, I tend to use them as "loose guidelines". I search by main ingred. and will use preportion quidelines (for approx. amts of spice to ingred. to sauce, etc), general cooking method, and approx cooking times-- then I take many creative liberties! I have been extremely lucky so far. My one regret, I need to write things down as I do them!
My favorite things to cook
Chicken dishes, desserts, stir fry, "fun for kids" (cooking and/or eating) I have recently been cooking with beef alot more often (to the delight of my son-- he's eating me out of house and home!!)
My favorite family cooking traditions
No really huge traditions, the usual. Baked, stuffed turkey for thanksgiving, home made gravy (my grandmother is known for her ability to make gravy from "anything" that gives a juice) mashed potatoes, 7 layer salad (my personal favorite!)
My cooking triumphs
I don't know why, but everyone always wants me to cook ANYTHING, even as a kid, my siblings preferred and requested I make their grilled cheese sandwiches instead of my mom! I guess my biggest triumph must be some "given touch" (I can only thank god for that!). I haven't made it for awhile, but I used to make a rolled, filled spinach bread that, I was told, was much better than the pasta shop bread my dad purchased that inspired me.
My cooking tragedies
I "fudged" a little too much on a yolkless deviled egg recipe. The recipe used garbonzo beans (chick peas) as the bulk ingredient to replace the yolk filling. I had made this recipe, with my usual "not written down" adjustments to give it some real tang (I HAD made this recipe several times with incredible results)-- this time I "over-tanged" it. It wasn't so bad nobody ate it, but comments did note it was not as good as previous batches, and I ended up taking over half of them home. Now, if only organizational skills came with my "touch", I would be set!