I was diagnosed with Celiac in 2012. Being somewhat of a foodie and part italian, it felt like a death sentence (no bread, no pasta), but things have been changing. I found a lot of great things on this website that I could modify to make them gluten free and the gluten free market is expanding so I no longer notice that I'm gluten free at home.
My favorite things to cook
I like to try and cook new things when I have the time. Its exciting to make something that you have never tried and see how it turns out. Of course I have my default recipes... mostly italian (fish, chicken, pasta) but I keep frozen shrimp, veggies and coconut milk at hand for curry if I'm in a pinch and don't want italian. Ingredients for chili are easy to keep around so I can always whip that up as well.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Growing with an Italian grandfather around meant I was going to learn to cook Italian. He taught me how to make the sauces, soups, pasta, etc... Measuring was subjective, it all went by taste. He would grab a small piece of bread, dip it in the sauce and ask me if it was ready. He would then ask what else it needed to be ready if it was not. I got very good at tasting flavors because of him. The only difficult thing about knowing how to make great Italian food is that my husband has a hard time taking me to an Italian restaurant that I will truly be impressed with.
My cooking triumphs
Typically my grandma makes Thanksgiving dinner and everyone goes over to her house. I've helped her make it before and even made my own turkey, but all with the family. The first year after I got married, I was asked by my in-laws to make Thanksgiving dinner. We would have to drive quite a ways to their house so they asked what they should buy so I could start cooking when I got there. I felt really nervous, especially since they declared that they didn't like turkey because it always turned out too dry. As soon as I got there, I threw the turkey in a brine and did a bunch of prep work for the next day. I don't know exactly how it happened, but it turned out great. The turkey was very juicy, cooked perfectly and the sides were great. My husband declared a love of brussel sprouts after that meal and my in-laws said they never had turkey like that before. They couldn't believe how good it was. I was just relieved that it all worked out somehow.
My cooking tragedies
When I was a kid, my grandfather was just teaching me how to make a basic tomato sauce. I was alone for lunch and was hungry so I decided to make it on my own. I still didn't have a good concept of what goes into a sauce since he had only showed me once or twice, so I dumped a can of tomatoes into a sauce pan, added a few random spices (I think I added dried orange peels too), heated it all up and tasted it. It was one of the worst tasting things I have ever eaten. My grandfather came over later that day and when I told him how horrible it was and what I had used he just laughed softly, took me into the kitchen and helped me make a basic marinara sauce. I have never cooked anything that bad since.