What Have You Conquered?

So, on Friday night, I put together a side of mashed potatoes to accompany my rack of lamb and was pleased beyond belief to realize that I had finally done it. I finally got mashed potatoes exactly how I always wanted them. I used white potatoes instead of red and I think they made all the difference. Heavy cream, sea salt and garlic also went in.

Then on Saturday night, I made what was easily the best red sauce I have ever made (it was actually a sausage ziti dish). Herby, a bit spicy, not too tangy... the long simmer helped, for sure, and is likely the answer, but I think the imported Italian tomatoes were probably also a good touch.

I've been smiling all weekend about these simple accomplishments in the kitchen and thought this would be a perfect Serious Eats topic. That is, has anyone else has ever struggled with seemingly simple dishes? If so, have you conquered them? How?

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