I'm a full-time human resource professional for a large company in the midwest. Our child has a family of her own, so I only cook for the two of us.
My favorite things to cook
As we love to entertain, I love to make appetizers and snacky type finger food for our friends. I also love to make casseroles, stews and especially soups. I love the smell a simmering soup can leave in your kitchen. The aroma wafts throughout the entire house. Plus my husband loves the leftovers. He's the envy of all the guys he works with when he walks in with leftover chicken marsala, wild rice and cooked asparagus... while they're eating McDonald's or bologna sandwiches.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am always trying new recipes to add to my repetoire. However, there a several old tried and true stand-bys that will never be replaced. I make a Ham & Egg breakfast casserole that is made the night before so the bread soaks up all the savory custard. We do this on Christmas Eve so no one has to slave over the stove cooking breakfast Christmas morning. Also, several soup recipes have been handed down through the years... bean, vegetable, split pea and my favorite, Reuben Soup. We eat roast pork of some sort on New Years's Day and make the usual fudge, cookies and candies for the Christmas holidays. 'Tradition' is what the holidays are all about.
My cooking triumphs
Nothing to speak of... just putting creative, tasty meals on my family dinner table for almost 30 years... with no one getting poisoned or sick.
My cooking tragedies
Other than burning the a roast back when I was first married, not too many. Made a chicken recipe from an Indiana Bed & Breakfast from a Midwest Living magazine... followed it to the letter... and it tasted horrid. I even called the B&B to see if there was a misprint in the magazine and they went to the kitchen and we compared recipes. There were no mistakes. It just tasted horrid. Made it THREE times and it tasted horrid all three times. Everyone that had recommended the B&B (personal friends) raved about the chicken... I could never duplicate the recipe. A personal cooking failure...