Friday, March 19, 2010

Derek, Nicki and Virginia

Hmm... doesn't sound quite as catchy as Julie and Julia...

Lets try: Friday Feast

We are cooking French food, even some of the same dishes as mentioned in Julia Child's cookbook!

Derek and I love to cook! We both enjoy being in the kitchen and playing with our food to see what outcome we get. When we first got married it was such a great bonding experience! We started finding our distinct individual tastes. However, we were pretty limited (both by budget and by time). After Anna-Kate was born we resorted to the easiest, simplest meat and one, maybe two basic vegetables. Eventually we were able to put more into our meals but it wasn't until I discovered Pioneer Woman's website and cookbook that we really started enjoying food.

I don't know why I'm so obsessed with this woman or her recipes! I just love the way she writes! If I ever had the opportunity to meet her... I'd be pretty embarrassed by how cool I think she is! I know it sounds crazy, but I usually cook something out of her cookbook or blog three or four times a week!! I believe that most newly-weds need this cookbook. It's such a great way to learn the basics of cooking and how to really play with herbs and foods in their natural state. Not only are her recipes simple and delicious but she just lays it out so well. She photographs nearly every step so you no longer have to be afraid of the beef short ribs... or any other meat! (Okay, I am probably the only person who is afraid of cooking meats!) At this point I am probably driving you nuts with all of this harp on Pioneer Woman, so just click here to see for yourself.

Where was I? Oh yes, so I discovered Pioneer Woman and starting discovering my inner kitchen diva. Haha or so I like to think! I have never seen Derek act so grateful! It really is true that the quickest way to a mans heart is through his stomach! Since then I just started making my way through the cookbook and just really experimenting with food. It never occurred to me that Derek might feel a little left out.

Poor Derek.

Lucky for you we have a really fun solution! I know you felt bad for him.

More on the solution in just a second!

So now that I've really started coming to my own with this whole cooking thing, my Aunt decided to lend me one of her cookbooks. I was really excited... until I saw the cookbook! It's a French cookbook! Well French with (American) South influence. Thanks Aunt Susan...

Bon Appetite Y'all
By Virginia Willis

I flipped through it and I actually love it. As I flipped through it I decided that it was a little too advanced for me. I did want to at least make one or two recipes. I was especially interested in making my own vanilla extract!

If you would like to check Virginia Willis out (she's pretty cool too) just click here.

After staring and drooling at this cookbook for 2 weeks and after realizing how left out Derek had been an idea hit me! Completely original too. ;)

What if Derek and I cooked "through" this book and blogged about it together? Cheesy, I know, but we really have nothing better to do... Plus, the recipes don't seem quite so daunting when there are two of us to figure things out.

So this week was Derek's choice.

Chicken Fricassee.

After a good 30 minutes of trying (and most likely failing) to pronounce it and laughing at each other we agreed that would be our first recipe!

I'd like to be really cool and even more original and take pictures along the way but I forgot this week. A tired 2 1/2 year old, a hungry 5-month old and a Tasmanian devil husband in the kitchen don't make for good memory. Lets face it, probably wouldn't make for good pictures either.

So on the menu this evening:
Chicken Fricassee, Green Bean Bundles, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

And because my life wouldn't be complete without Pioneer Woman

I started the chicken and Derek finished it. Then Derek made the green bean bundles and I made the garlic mashed potatoes and breakfast puffs.

Wow!! Was I blown away! This chicken looked delish, was easy to make and tasted better than I would have ever imagined!! So much so that I wish I had cooked more chicken!

Derek rocked the green bean bundles too!! Yummy! Basically we just took fresh green beans, snapped the ends off and then wrapped them in a piece of bacon. There was a glaze of sorts but I'll let Derek post that recipe!!

The only alteration I strongly recommend with the breakfast puffs is to make them mini size!! They're so much easier to eat but they are a little more difficult to make since you have to dip so many in butter and cinnamon sugar. But beware- they're super addicting!

Oh and how did everyone else like the chicken? Anna-Kate loved hers!! She asked for more of everything!

Look for Derek's take on the recipe and all coming soon!!


Ashley_E_2009 said...

That chicken looks so good! I'm looking forward to the recipes and your little blogging adventure!!!

sara said...

Yay! I'm so glad you guys are doing this. I can't wait to read about your cooking adventures. You are such a good writer. I'm thinking I should make it down for one of these dinners... yum! Love you.

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