"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Todd's in the Kitchen!!

As some of you may remember, Todd lost a March Madness bet to me six or so months ago!  If I won, he had to cook me dinner and dessert and choose a wine pairing!  For the last several months, he made excuses like, "It takes me a long time to plan a meal!"  He would be eating cereal every night if it took me months to plan one meal!  I was really over it, and had come to the realization he was not going to pay up, he would probably never cook a meal for me, and that I should never wager a home-cooked meal when placing bets with him in the future! 

However, he surprised me when he offered to go to the grocery store for me yesterday, and had 4 pages of printed recipes in tow! 

He came home with scallops, mixed baby greens, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, a bottle of wine, and green onions among other things!  I was so impressed at this point, I don't even think it required him to actually cook the food he had brought home!

He started making dinner last night, and I have to admit it was very entertaining.  I sat at the bar with the camera and a glass of wine! 

I tried to stay out of it, and let him do it completely on his own.  Todd seemed a little bit perplexed as to how to time everything, and forgot about the asparagus he planned on cooking and the noodles for his sauce until I reminded him (like a good wife - ha).  So, he let the scallops sit in his simmering wine butter sauce until the aspargus was ready, and the scallops were nice and rubbery!

I was still very impressed, since he was very ambitious with his meal and the sauce, salad, and asparagus were great!  This is how it turned out (notice his plating and setting of the table):

Todd did find some yummy recipes, but has no idea what websites he got them from!  He made a dressing for the salad that was great!  I will have to use it again....2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp honey, and 4 cloves minced garlic.  He tossed the mixed baby greens in the dressing and topped it with shredded parmesan and dried cranberries. 

Todd also found a wonderful macaroon recipe that he paired with ice cream for dessert!  The dessert was a comedy of errors including not being able to use the cookie scoop, and thinking the cookies were gluten free when the recipe called for wheat flour, but the cookies turned out amazing!  For this recipe, he was supposed to whip the egg whites in one bowl, and mix the dry and wet ingredients seperately.  I caught him in time, as he did not whip the eggs, and was ready to start dumping all the ingredients in one bowl to simply mix them together!  Unlike many things in life, he was very disappointed to find out, he actually had to read the section of the recipe that says 'directions'.   Maybe baking is not his forte!

So, now that I know Todd can cook, I am looking forward to a night or two off each month!  Even if it's not a great meal, I know I can plan on some pre-dinner entertainment! :o)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Southern Hospitality

I wasn't born in the South, but I like to consider myself a Southern girl after spending a large part of my childhood and adult years there.  I love many southern traditions, style, and character -- and embrace them as my own.  One of the things I particularly love, is the hospitality. 

Every once in a while I have a slow Sunday afternoon, and like to plan my meals for the week by browsing through some of my less-used cookbooks.  Today was one of those days (and add rain), so while Todd is at the gym I've been digging through recipes and making my grocery list.  Last year, while Todd and I were engaged, I was given favorite recipes from the guests at two of my bridal showers in Atlanta.   I was given a recipe binder at one of the showers, so I compiled all of the recipes shared with me on cards, hand written notecards, and printed papers within the pages.  I decided to go through the binder today -- which is appropriately decorated with pineapples, a symbol of Southern hospitality.  I was so excited to find recipes ranging from spitfire shrimp to caramel corn and bourbon chocolate pecan pie to black eyed pea soup and breads.  I think when I was given these recipes, I was in wedding planning/moving/working/invite addressing/registering/thank-you writing/to-do listing mode, and because I could barely find time to pick up take out and didn't even have a kitchen since I was renting a room, I didn't fully appreciate the wonderful gift that these recipes are!

After looking through my recipes from family and friends that have shared in my life, I felt so overwhelmed by their love.  It is such an intimate thing to share a meal with someone, and especially to share a beloved family recipe.  I realize that the southern women who surrounded me at these showers were not just sharing a recipe for food, but instead sharing their family traditions and giving me a piece of their kitchen and dining room tables.  The kitchen towels, aprons, and pot holders I was given at these showers will wear and fall apart, but these recipes will be shared with friends at our table, be favorites of our children, and provide nourishment for our grandchildren in the years to come!  What a wonderful, and thoughtful gift!  How could you not love the warm and giving hospitality found in the South?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Where have we been?

Where have we been???  New York City!!!

Since my last post, we celebrated my birthday, went to New York City, and celebrated Todd's brithday yesterday!  It has been quite an eventful week, and we have enjoyed being able to play hard...just the two of us!  We had an amazing time, and I can't wait to go again...after my feet get rested!  I don't know that I can quite put our trip into words, so I will let the pictures do the talking! 

Posing with the bull in the financial district
Showing our love :)
View of the NYC skyline from Liberty Island
Dinner at Park Ave Summer - wonderful restaurant!!