Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My First Test

After a long day at work I made my way home with two goals in mind. The first was to finish mowing our yard which is no easy task because we live on a corner lot and have a hill in our front yard. My second goal was to complete two recipes from The Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook.

The yard was a failure as I mowed only a small section and left the mower out overnight (which I’m sure that I will hear about from Matt when I get home today). After trying to become motivated, for the last week, to complete the lawn I have decided that we need to hire someone else to do the mowing. To me it would be worth paying a neighborhood kid or even a landscaper. The rain this spring and summer make it impossible for us to stay on top of it ourselves. I would much rather spend an afternoon at the pool with Emma!

When it came to my dinner goal I was 75% successful. On the menu for last night was Crab & Corn Chowder with Bacon (p. 71) and Spaghetti alla Carbonara de Zucchini (p. 212). Both items surprisingly lived up to the “Fast Easy Fresh” promise in the cookbook title and I found myself with time to spare before Matt came home from work. I had Matt call when he was five minutes away so that I could start to boil the spaghetti and by the time he was home dinner was ready and on the table.

The chowder was great! I discovered a little too late that I did not have as much clam juice on hand as the recipe called for but it was no big loss. The taste was still delicious and when made again I would include just 1 cup, as I did yesterday. The Spaghetti alla Carbonara de Zucchini was just okay to me. The fresh Zucchini from the farmers market was great but I do not think that I am a fan of Carbonara sauce in general. There is just something that does not seem right to me about tossing raw egg, parmesan cheese, and hot spaghetti together to make a sauce. The idea is that the heat from the pasta cooks the egg but I’m just not feeling that method of cooking…

I have a busy schedule tonight… starting with a walk through of a wedding space (Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C.) with an old co-worker/friend. I will be acting as her “day of” coordinator for her upcoming July wedding! Wedding/Event planning is where my heart is so I am excited and honored to help out. After viewing the space I will pick up Emma from her swimming lessons and get home to cook. Tonight we will have Layered Chicken Enchiladas w/ Salsa (p. 264). This recipe allows you to use a store bought rotisserie chicken which should cut down on cooking time and make it perfect for a busy evening like this one!

2 recipes down 498 to go… wow that seems like a scary number

Monday, June 29, 2009

Let the Cooking Begin...

So as obvious by the fact that you have made your way here… I have decided to start a blog. A few weeks ago I received a gift card to one of my favorite stores (HOMEGOODS) as a birthday present. As I began filling my cart with things I didn’t need I came across a cookbook.

If you ask anyone who truly knows me, cookbooks are my weakness! If I see a cookbook or even a cooking magazine in a store I HAVE to buy it. After the cookbook or magazine has been purchased I typically can be found camped out on the sofa or bed with paper and a pen flipping through each page, looking at all the pictures, and creating weekly menus that I plan on one day cooking for Matt and Emma. As Matt will tell you though I have too many cookbooks to ever cook all of my planned menus.

However, this cookbook was different. As my mom exclaimed “There are no pictures!” only 750 pages filled with “1,100 quick dishes for everynight cooking” as the cover proudly displays. I sat on my bed for hours writing down the names and page numbers of all of the recipes that I would want to try out. As I was finishing up my third or forth page I exclaimed to Matt that all of the recipes sounded so good that I should just try to cook everything and he suggested that I could write a blog about it. I have to admit that the blog idea was not truly an idea that we came up with on our own. Just the day before, at the movies for my birthday, we had seen a preview for an upcoming movie Julie & Julia http://www.julieandjulia.com/ where a young wife cooks her way through Julia Child’s legendary mastering the Art of French Cooking while writing a blog.

While the idea for my blog can be partially due to the preview for the upcoming movie mostly it is inspired a cookbook unlike one that I have ever purchased. As a former co-worker would say it is an “aggressive” cookbook and while I will not be cooking “Filets de Poisson Bercy aux Champignons and Poulet Roti” like the Julie in the movie cooks I am now vowing to cook 500 recipes within a year from The Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook.

This blog will not only reflect on the dishes prepared but also my everyday life acting as a mother to a beautiful 5 year old little girl, Emma, and girlfriend of 2 ½ years to an amazing guy, Matt.

So here it is... my Menu for the first week! It is still a work in progress as I will be adding a few sides, breakfasts and July 4th plans are still up in the air. I will update the menu as things are finalized.

Monday 6/29:
- Crab & Corn Chowder with bacon p. 71
- Spaghetti all Carbonara de Zucchini p. 212

Tuesday 6/30:
- Layered Chicken Enchiladas w/ Salsa p. 264
- Guacamole

Wednesday 7/1:
- Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa p. 343

Thursday 7/2:
- Ginger-Soy Grilled Steak p. 375

Friday 7/3:
- Bourbon-Molasses Chicken Drumsticks p. 249
- Grilled Corn with Smoked Paprika p. 469