I have been helping in the kitchen all my life, and the best way I can think to express my affections for friends and family is by feeding them and making them all pudgy. Just kidding. About the pudgy part.
My favorite things to cook
Anything Eastern European, especially Polish. My passion is really baking, but I love anything that requires intricate cooking manueveurs and minimal decoration. I like simple foods and flavors. I really don't like foods that make people feel stupid because they can't understand "complexity." If it's bad, it's just bad.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Making pierogi, hands down. This is an all day affair if you're not a pro, but it's a great excuse to get a bunch of people together, drink some beer, and make an excellent dish.
My cooking triumphs
Managing to concoct something tasty almost every night, even on a graduate school budget.
My cooking tragedies
One time I tried to make a frittata without enough eggs. It ended up being this gooey, spinachy, cheesy mess that was less than appetizing.