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I live (with my husband and our beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Maggie) in a tiny town not far from the Canadian border. However, I was born in Los Angeles -- and it was a very circuitous journey that took me from one end of the country to the other (with stopovers at various points in New York, Pennsylvania, Iowa, North Carolina, South Texas, and New York again -- this time upstate)! Downeast Maine's regional cuisine, while delicious, is quite bland, and we're a long way from good ethnic restaurants. Thus, anything highly seasoned is likely to get my attention. However, I'm not a technical cook; I like "throw all this stuff together"-types of recipes, hopefully without *too* obscure ingredients (as our local market is not likely to carry them).
In my neighborhood I'm well-known for my West African Chicken stew (http://www.recipezaar.com/peanut-chicken-from-niger-390062). I'm also partially responsible for turning Downeast Maine on to the joys of kugel (both sweet and savory), as well as hominy as a useful ingredient in soups and stews (cf. posole!).
My favorite restaurant of all time is, sadly, long gone. Tucked into a corner of downtown Culver City, California, once upon a time there was a small Thai restaurant called "Chuladul's" -- the first Thai food I ever ate (back in the mid-1970s): what a revelation and *still* the best in my book! Perhaps it's appropriate that Chuladul's was just 'round the corner from the Culver Hotel, where the "Munchkins" stayed during the filming of "The Wizard of Oz" -- eating Thai food for the first time was like going to the Emerald City, especially at a time when almost all Chinese restaurants still served only Cantonese food!!!
Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken soup w/ coconut)
Chicken mole (sauce not too thick or too thin)
Korean barbeque (beef or pork) all those lovely pickled sides!
Kosher dill pickles (speaking of pickles, the newer the better!)
Poached salmon with dill sauce (wish my hubby liked it too....)
Pumpkin cheese cake (the ultimate dessert)
Not that I can cook many of these.....