Category: home cooking

April 13th, 2014 — 8:15pm

The best Rx when you’re feeling under the weather is a girls night in. That’s exactly what I enjoyed last night with my good friend Crystal.

Crystal greeted me with a beautiful flower arrangement that, along with her effervescent smile, immediately cheered me up.

This beautiful bouquet feels like a touch of spring

We snacked on prosciutto and melon as Crystal whipped up a delicious meal – poached salmon in butter and her yummy answer to potato pancakes: grated butternut squash with Italian cheese. Heavenly. A refreshing spinach salad with toasted squash seeds and grated cheese rounded out the perfect dinner.

Dinner a la Crystal: delish!

As we enjoyed the meal, Crystal and I talked about getting older, learning from past mistakes and the miscommunication that happens all too often in texting conversations more appropriate for talking. How I miss the days of hashing out differences using your voice instead of your smartphone keypad…

After dinner, we settled in for a movie, About Time. The recent rom com had all the wit and poignant charm you’d expect from writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, etc). And it was a powerful reminder that every day is a gift. Especially when you’re sharing it with a dear friend.

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July 19th, 2012 — 9:31pm

Readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of girls nights out. Once in awhile, though, it’s nice to kick back indoors with good friends – and that’s exactly what I did last weekend.

Girls Night In: Crystal, me and Sara

Saturday night, I invited galpals Sara and Crystal over for a meal prepared by yours truly. It marked the first time since falling in love with cooking a little over a year ago that I shared my budding culinary skills with more than one guest. To minimize the potential for a kitchen disaster, I kept the menu simple – opting for a starter I’d never made before and main dish that’s become a favorite.

We began with a , which thankfully ended up being well worth the time required to prep, simmer and puree it.

Chilled broccoli potato and leek soup: Yummm!

For our entrée, I went with roasted rosemary chicken and potatoes, using an and pre-measured seasonings courtesy of McCormick’s.

Over dinner, Crystal, Sara and I fell into easy conversation about career transitions, summer adventures in the city and staying open to romance. Then, taking advantage of the clear, breezy weather, we adjourned to the roof deck for after dinner drinks.

Back in my abode, Crystal demonstrated her talents in the kitchen by creating a heavenly fondue dessert concoction – hot melted Ghirardelli chocolate, freshly whipped cream atop strawberries, raspberries and pineapple. In a word, delish.

Happily full from our sweet indulgence, we made like couch potatoes and went retro by watching “Sixteen Candles.” The classic John Hughes film remains an 80’s classic, not to mention the perfect way to end a perfect night.

I’m already thinking about the menu for our next girls night in. Stay tuned!

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July 9th, 2011 — 8:55am

One of my major resolutions this year was to finally learn how to cook. As I reach the five month mark of sticking to my goal, I find myself appreciating that it’s never too late to discover a new passion.

Yesterday, I was reminded twice of how far I’ve come as an amateur chef.

My next door neighbor stopped me to say—

“What have you been cooking? It smells great, and I keep wanting to knock on your door so I can have some!”

I was still smiling when I logged into my email and found a note from dear high school friend Heather. Her friend James, who is an excellent cook, has been reading my blog.

“He wants me to tell you that he is very impressed with your progression.”

The positive reinforcement echoes what I’ve heard from friends and family who’ve been brave enough to try what I whip up in the kitchen. I have a whole new appreciation now for home cooked meals – and how they are truly an expression of love. And I am proud to admit that I’ve become one of those geeks whose pulse quickens at the sight of a new cookbook, who makes a beeline to the kitchen gadget section of any store.

I come from a long line of great cooks, so it feels wonderful to honor my DNA and try to carry on their legacy.  As Glamour editor in chief writes in the magazine’s (a favorite go-to source for me)—

“Cooking is one of life’s great pleasures. I discovered that chopping and stirring and mixing and mashing could dissolve all my daily stresses. ..Many cook just to see what happens. And sometimes what happens is life-changing.”

Life-changing indeed. How delicious is that?

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