Sunday, March 10, 2013

Home: To Cook and Be Sane

I have been working 6 days a week the past two weeks. I have lived in a hotel this past week and stayed awake 26 straight hours to complete a project started in December of last year. After I slept for 13 hours, all I wanted to do was cook, at home, in my kitchen, with my stuff. I wanted to eat with non plastic silverware and on non styrofoam plates.

In true Cook Crook fashion, I opened the fridge and the pantry and created a dish: asparagus and pancetta pasta. I found a loaf of garlic bread in the freezer and popped the cork on a chianti. Honey, I'm home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dinner? No I am sorry, we have the plague.

I have missed my little corner of the food world! Honestly, I believe my family has too because I will admit in writing, that as of today, I have not cooked a meal for my family in over a week! Shameful, I know. The person who believes every person can find time to cook a meal has failed miserable to accomplish that...the nerve right?

Well, let's put this in perspective. My real job has kept me hopping, and I mean 12 hour work day hopping. I have thrown a few things in a crock-pot here or there or re-purposed freezer leftovers a couple of times. But the real cause of this latest culinary drought? The plague. You read that correctly. I am convinced that short of dipping my entire house in bleach my family is doomed to a cycle of co-pays, medicines and sick days. I myself am home for the second day in a row after succumbing to bronchitis...this after being sick last Sunday with what my local doc-in-a-box called an "upper respiratory infection" and promptly gave me decongestant.Yesterday, my family doctor consequently shook her head at me "tsk, tsk" while she rubbed my lumpy lymph nodes and wrote me a prescription for amoxicillan. Now, did I mention last Saturday my little boy was diagnosed with Strep Throat...which in turn my husband caught and was home with for two days last week? Prior to that, my husband was sick with what we thought was the flu and was instead a yet to be named virus everyone else has had at some point judging by Facebook statuses.

What does this have to do with food? Well, the motivation to cook diminishes significantly when everyone including the head chef is ill or not getting home until 7PM at night. Hubby stepped it up and made dinner a few nights, our favorite local Italian place has received our online order a few times and last night for fear my small son would be subjected to pizza or grilled cheese again, I went and picked up take-out from a steakhouse chain. Sometimes, it is NOT about a culinary journey but survival. We have been surviving. I am definitely ready to move past survival and start cooking and enjoying eating again.

I am starting today by trying out a new recipe. My cough is still keeping me awake and my culinary creativity is in a Nyquil fog so I found this tasty recipe that I had pinned a while back for honey sesame chicken. I think I can manage the intensive labor it calls for....wish me luck and maybe one day I'll get back to meal planning and cooking...right now I am working on breathing.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Food Trucks!

I love the idea of food trucks. My mom ran a restaurant when I was an infant and I worked in restaurants for almost 10 years so the idea of a brick and mortar was never appealing. So I jumped at chance to take my family to our local Whole Foods for the food truck rodeo. It was a vegetarian theme, check out my burger!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year and New Opportunities

Happy New Year! 2013 is here and I am still in denial (thus the January 7th post I suppose). I am done with school for the first time in almost 3 years and while my work life is ramping up, my time away from home (and unfortunately the kitchen) will only be for a little while so I am constantly thinking about all the things I want to accomplish this year food wise.

Lucky me, my year got started off in a great direction when I submitted a recipe and picture for Fabio Viviani's Kitchen Academy Challenge. Now clearly I have mad love for Fabio already so I subscribe to his blog, and his Facebook.. and his Twitter and a newsletter...anyway, point is, he gives 5 ingredients you must use and whatever other ingredients you want. Then, you make a dish, snap a photo and submit it and your recipe. I missed Week #1 but Week#2 was carrots, mozzarella, mint, pine nuts and ham. So I made this:
Carrot and ham soup with a mint pesto and mozzarella croutons. And guess what?

I ended up on his Pinterest board: Fabio's Kitchen Academy Challenge #2

Okay, it is a contest...but I did not enter it just to have a chance to win (and looking at the competition, holy smokes there are some creative folks out there and winning is probably not an option!) but to prove my culinary chops. And that is among my resolutions: get better in the kitchen and take risks and put myself out there. It may not be my full time job, or even a part time one, but I love it. The only thing I enjoy more than cooking and creating recipes and making food for others is being with my awesome family and friends. So, I raise my tongs to you readers...this year is going to be tasty!