I grew up in a small Mennonite community where meals at my grandparents always included sides of fresh homemade bread, Swiss cheese, and applesauce. In the summers fresh produce was always plentiful - green beans, cantelope, berries, sliced tomatoes. I still love cooking things starting from scratch - the fresher and closer to earth the better. In the summer, I enjoy finding creative ways to cook using fruits and veggies from the garden.
My favorite things to cook
I love baking bread, muffins, cobblers, etc. Since getting married I have also started trying out rich desserts because the hubbie loves chocolate! I enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients. We don't live in a big city, so "fresh" means from my garden or my mom's garden, or the Amish produce stand. My local grocery store, unfortunately, does not have the best or freshest variety of produce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanksgiving was always a big one. We'd eat at my grandparents' house they'd always cook the turkey, and all of the siblings (they had 7 children) would bring a side dish or two - dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, bread - it is quite the spread!
My cooking triumphs
Most recently it would be making some chocolate custard desserts that hubbie adores. I've also made German chocolate cake from scratch and a flourless chocolate torte that were super yummy! I think recently my triumphs have been finding ways to incorporate veggies on a regular basis...
My cooking tragedies
When I first started cooking for myself back in college, I went through a period where I accidentally doubled the black pepper measurements on a couple different recipes. Blech!! Most recently it would be the Chicken in Black Bean Sauce recipe from allrecipes - it turned out way too salty!