I'm so happy you're here! The weekend, that is. Well, all of you who are visiting and reading, too!
Yeah, I'm thrilled to have the weekend off, but it sounds like this could be us in the coming hours:
I doubt if we'll be going out dancing, though! It's supposed to be VERY cold here, and for Saturday night, I'm hearing that we'll have windchills of 20 below zero. We were talking about running a couple of errands on Saturday, but after a brief planning conference this morning, Ken said he'd go to the bank on his way to work, and I'd stop at the grocery store on the way home from mine. So errands are done, and I don't have to poke my nose outside all weekend! Although it looks like some of the bird feeders are getting low...darn it! I didn't have a lot to get at the store, but I had to get my eggplant! I also indulged in some fresh mozzarella, and I will grate my own Parmesan.
Traci, Indigo, and Itsallrelatv have all left comments about how my remarks about cooking have inspired them a bit. That's so cool, and so nice of them to say! I'll be the first to admit that I'm far from a gourmet, but I have learned to be a little more adventurous in what I try. I also used to not be interested in cooking at all, which is surprising, because my Mom and her sisters and their mother are (or were--some are no longer with us) all wonderful cooks, definitely in the southern style. I'm not sure when my cooking switch flipped from off to on...maybe when I was once again on my own several years ago, and it became a bit of a hobby. In fact, Ken and I have a joke about that. When we started writing to each other, I was in experimental cooking mode. At that time, I was really collecting and trying eggplant recipes. I had mentioned that to Ken, and when we met for our first date, he handed me a box with a rose on top of it. When I opened it, there was an eggplant inside! I cracked up! But he wasn't done. At our wedding reception, he handed me a box...inside was a little teddy bear--and an eggplant. Every so often, I'll get an eggplant as a present, and it always makes me smile. :)
Anyhoo, after a couple of cooking classes in New Orleans, I was really getting into the cooking. I have no qualms about changing a recipe--leaving out things we don't like (I usually omit green peppers, because Ken isn't crazy about them) or adding more of something we DO like. Don't do this when you're baking, though. As Emeril said, when you're cooking, a recipe is a guideline. When you're baking, a recipe is a formula. You need to have things in the right amounts. We also eat at home probably 98% of the time, unless we're on vacation (even then, our timeshare has a kitchen, so we usually cook then, too!). It's not always exciting stuff--we sometimes fix frozen pizza and have it with a salad--but I usually manage to whip up something. I don't make bizarre or complicated things, either, but I'll try new things if it sounds like something we would like. Ken has written on his blog about how instead of a guinea pig, he's "Kenny-pig." When he first said that, I cracked up! He's a great sport, and is always willing to eat what I make, as long as it's sans eggplant. He's also great about cooking dinner on the weekends that I work, and makes some really good stuff, like shrimp or scallops. When the weather is nice, he grills.
Yeah, we enjoy our food, and we enjoy cooking. It's almost therapeutic at times. It's also saved us a whole bunch of money--eating out has definitely become a treat, because we do it so rarely.
So enjoy your dinner tonight, everyone! I'm doing something easy tonight--Zatarain's Red Beans 'n Rice (I think it's quite good) with sausage added in. A little more "real" cooking going on this weekend, with baby back ribs Saturday, and my Eggplant Parm Sunday evening, since Ken will be in Dallas. Perhaps more later...Happy Weekend!
I just looked out the sliding glass door, and there are 8 deer in the back yard! They're munching on grass. Aww, I just love our deer. Nice to see them banding up and sticking together. They all look fat and healthy, too. Apparently, word has gotten out among the local deer: "When you go to Nutwood, the eatin's good! (And they don't shoot you.)"