Hi Bluejeans cook-- thanks for the introduction. I think you'll get a kick out of the monthly food challenges we have here. This month it's rice; last month it was eggs. We take one ingredient and see how many interesting ways we can use it. The challenges are in the Food and Cooking forum. That's the closest thing we have to a competition here, and it's a lot of fun.
How did you get into cooking? Was there someone who inspired you? Did you discover food on your own and explore it yourself? It's fun to hear people's culinary stories. Interesting you should have cream puffs for your avatar; here in Wisconsin the cream puff is one of our treasured "state symbols" along with dairy cows and cheese. Our Wisconsin State Fair (which is held just a few minutes east of my home) features cream puffs as a traditional treat.
The discussion forums are chock full of great stuff, and all of them are open to home cooks like you and me to read. But we mustn't post in the professional forums; they're reserved for those who work in the industry. Everyone (including the pros) posts in the general forums, so your questions can be posted and responded to there. Don't miss the great cooking articles, cookbook and equipment reviews, photo galleries and other features here. Because we've been here 14+ years, you'll want to make use of the search tool to help you sift through it all.
I hope you'll join in the discussions, ask your questions and add your knowledge to the mix. We look forward to seeing you here often.