Mother of 2 boys (ages 10 & 3) and 1 girl (age 5), and a wife of nearly 15 years. We're a Navy family stationed overseas, and the things I enjoy cooking the most are the dishes that remind us of home.
Growing up as an only child I ended up spending a lot of time with my parents in the kitchen. My mother is a very good cook, but my dad's even better ~ though he can bee a little too inventive at times. When we're together we watch the Food network the way jocks like to watch football, and when we're apart we're constantly sending recipes back and forth.
My favorite things to cook
Desserts (the more chocolate, the better!)... Mexican, Italian, Chinese, homemade soups, and I love to grill steaks & chicken. I also enjoy preparing a wide range of breakfast items, so we make a big deal out of Sunday morning brunches when we can really relish the time together as a family.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Decortating cookies with the kids definitely tops the list ~ just as fun and creative as dying eggs but a lot tastier. Not to mention it's something that is better suited for year-round fun!
Cooking with my mom and dad during our too-infrequent visits is also a huge treat! During the holidays I love to make the cookies she made when I was growing up... helps remind me of my wonderful childhood!
My cooking triumphs
I frequently prepare amazing fajitas, shredded pork, and fresh guacamole that all rival our those of our favorite Mexican restaurant (ironically enough it was in Hawaii). I've also prepared some truly outstanding roasted turkeys over the years, as well as countless mouth-watering steaks.
Since we spent 10 years in Hawaii and have been in Japan for 2 years, we sorely miss the flavors of some special restaurants in the states, so some of my biggest triumphs have been knocking off famous restaurant fare to enjoy at home (best ever is my pasta e fagioli soup!).
My cooking tragedies
Not too many, but those I've had are usually caused by life intervening (i.e. the kids needing help while I'm in the middle of cooking will result in me scorching something).
My husband had a humorous cooking "tragedy" that turned into a family favorite though... He wanted to surprise us one morning by making popovers. He had made them once before and knew the kids liked them, so he was confident as he started out. But he mistook my canister of powdered sugar for flour. I followed my nose to the kitchen where the smell of vanilla was amazing, but he was worried they weren't rising. When they were done we tested one and discovered his accidental substitution had resulted in mini vanilla custards. Yum! We've since modified the recipe to use less sugar, but what a treat!