Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
MG emailed me yesterday to point out that we had exercised for three consecutive days, so why not keep the dream alive and go for four? Since I've actually been in a pattern of losing, rather than gaining weight (as would be typical this time of year), I was on board with the plan. Last night we (BF, KS, MG and I) went to a Pilates class. Other women were shocked at our age, after assuming we were in high school (which I took as a compliment), and after an hour of torture our instructor pointed the four of us out and said that we need to be sure and make it back next week. Something about inflexibility and inability to hold the plank position for very long... or maybe it was the pained faces we were making at each other the whole time. Not sure.
I gave myself a break last night and after we returned home from class (followed up with a stop at Chipotle, let's be honest), I watched Twilight and read some of KS's magazines while she made homemade pecan pie. She is supposed to be delivering it to a very lucky young man today but it did not escape without us sampling it. Had to.
While reading recent issues of House Beautiful and Real Simple, I realized that I really have not taken time to explore the designer haven of Etsy. I like the idea of people being able to start out small with an online storefront as opposed to investing in actual real estate. It makes starting a small business more accessible. I love that.
In my reading I found out about a similar website, Foodzie, and now my eyes have been opened to all sorts of amazing gift ideas and things to try. Who wouldn't want an assortment of cheesecakes in jars, or skillet bacon jam? There is even a tab called "Discover" which finds you geographically and tells which vendors produce things locally in relation to you.
I leave tomorrow night to go to Houston, where I plan to see a few friends, enjoy a Friday off then head to College Station, where I attended college at Texas A&M for four years. I visited once after graduating but am sad to say that I have not been back in over two years now. AV, BF and KR will be driving down on Friday, so I'll meet them there in the evening for dinner, drinks and a favorite tradition of mine: Midnight Yell Practice. I cannot wait. College Station holds great memories for me and fostered a group of friends that has continued to grow and stay close even 2 1/2 years out of college.
A near afterthought is the fact that New Moon comes out this weekend and I have friends all aflutter with the ongoing Team Edward vs. Team Jacob debate. It's very heated and there are many compelling Vanity Fair photos making the case for each.
With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Most of what I cook is inspired by something I have had at a restaurant or someone's home.
I love to recreate dishes I have enjoyed and I search cookbooks and online recipe sources and menus for what I want. Even then I add and subtract ingredients as I see fit because I love herbs, spices and all things garlic-related. If you ask me for a recipe I'll be able to recite the ingredients but never the amounts- that's not how I operate. The exception to this would be baking, obviously, and anything my paternal grandmother made, God rest her soul, especially around this time of year for Thanksgiving. Homemade cornbread stuffing and broccoli cheese casserole are not walks in the proverbial culinary park, and I don't take liberties with her old recipes because they are sacred and already perfect.
In addition to enjoying time in the kitchen, I am also a cookbook junkie. I was at my friend LS and her husband's apartment recently and while she and other friends were whipping up chocolate peanut butter cupcakes for football-watching men-folk, I was pouring through the enviable collection of Williams-Sonoma cookbooks she received as weddings gifts.
I know you're thinking I need help but you've probably never tried truly delicious chilaquiles verdes, have you?
Anyway, in the interest of shelf space and reviewing my options, I also enjoy finding good online sources for recipes. For example, I recently discovered that the magazine Texas Monthly has a great online archive of recipes; many from Texas chefs.
One of my favorite online recipe sources for over a year now has been The Pioneer Woman's blog. KS and I made a variation of her breakfast burritos for a hungry crowd at literally four in the morning after our friend HA's wedding and the party-fatigued people were pleased.
Pioneer Woman has a huge following and just had a cookbook published, which I obviously took care of pre-ordering weeks ago from Amazon and received with glee from the hands of my postman on Saturday morning. Most of the down time I had this weekend was spent sitting on our couch with her cookbook in my lap, reading all of her hilarious commentary about her family and their life on a ranch in rural Oklahoma. I'm still deciding which recipe to try first and hoping that the Grocery Store Fairy will magically stock my kitchen with all necessary ingredients to make PW's great-looking lasagna. I'm getting over my fear of failure with recipes involving yeast and specific measurements, so hopefully I'll get to her cinnamon rolls one day soon as well.
The Pioneer Woman may never know this but she is a bit of a celebrity amongst Dallas girls my age. Something about being unfailingly funny and having a great husband and four kids; finding a sense of humor in everyday situations and loving food.
Yeah, suddenly her appeal makes perfect sense.
She probably also doesn't know that we'll be at her book-signing in Dallas next month, but if she's wondering about the 20-something clan of girls staring at her with star-struck awe and saying "you are my hero!" I can pretty much guarantee that's us.
Anyone hungry yet?
I hope you get a kick out of this book of mine. I hope it makes you smile. I hope the recipes bring you recognition, accolades, and marriage proposals. And I hope it encourages even the most harried urban cook to slow down, relish the joys of family, nature, and great food, and enjoy life.
-Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman Cooks