When I moved to New York in 1975, my culinary repertoire mostly consisted of Fried Chicken and Protestant Pizza. Shortly after I moved, Bob Christgau planted the idea that one could make almost anything simply by following cookbooks. I picked up a very elementary cookbook, which covered things like hard boiling eggs, but I don't recall producing anything very notable while in New York. This changed, however, when I moved to New Jersey. I especially missed the Indian restaurants in New York, and wanted to try my hand at Indian cuisine. Results were mixed, but my occasional forays into Chinese turned out to be quite noteworthy.
For me, the breakthrough was Barbara Tropp's The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking, which convinced me that I could dispose of my wok and dispense with peeling ginger. Irene Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking added the concept that vegetables could be nice simple side dishes, instead of the one-pot ad hoc conglomerations that I had experimented with in NY days. By the time I left NJ, I was a fairly accomplished Chinese chef. In subsequent years, I've broadened out, especially to various Mediterranean cuisines, and I've even had some success with Indian.
As it stands, I don't cook often, but sometimes I cook to excess. In particular, five of the last six years I've indulged myself on my birthday, cooking up 10-20 dishes for show-off feasts, each spotting a cuisine: Chinese, Turkish, Indian (twice), Spanish, Thai, Moroccan.
The recipes I've written up here are things that I've done at various points over the years. Most originated in cookbooks (cited), but have been hacked over and annotated in a manner that (I hope) constitutes fair use.
The recipes are currently accessible through several indexes. (One of these days I'll add a keyword search.)