Friday, August 26, 2011

Chopping, Shredding,'s just a part of my life now.

Rachael Ray's non-pretentious persona continues beyond her show.  It is evident throughout her cookbook(s)...oh yes, I have since purchase quite a few.  One of the things I love is the fact that the titles of her recipes actually give you a clue as to what you are going to make.  Love that.

I picked out a few recipes that sounded good and it was time for me to start cooking

Honey Nut Chicken Sticks 
This recipe wasn't too scary...I've breaded chicken before.  It was fun to realize that I was seasoning it myself.  The boys loved it! Yippee.

Salsa Stoup and Double Decker Quesadillas 
In the past I've avoided making soups, stews, and anything else that would require the use of a deep pot.  I don't know if it is because my mom made a chili that was like a bean stew.  This is one meal that I did not like at all.  So why would I finally cave and try a stoup (kind of like a stew and a soup)?  Maybe it was the fact that I was going to learn how to make quesadillas and I really like salsa.  Result?  Simms and I liked it.  The boys tried it - thought is was kind of like a more spiced up and thicker tomato soup.  My Dad LOVED it and told me that he would be happy to help me with leftovers whenever I make it again.

Chicken with Sweet Raisins and Apricots 
This recipe took a little more time but it was worth it.  The entire family enjoyed it.  This was one that we labeled as a keeper and everyone wants me to make it again.  I've just had too many other recipes to try first that I have not had the time to go back and make it again...yet.

Rosemary-Orange Pork Chops and Lemon Butter Broccolini
Is it too repetitive to say that my family liked this?  Well it's true.  They did.  The boys weren't thrilled about the broccolini but they are not huge broccoli fans to begin with.  Point is - they still tried it like they try all of the other veggies.

It has been over a year since I began this new journey.  Have you ever seen the movie Julie and Julia?  Well, I'm living my own version of me and Rachael - by the way, I totally love the way she spells her name.  Random.  I know.  But true.

I actually enjoy cooking.  And I'm not getting bored.  So far, I have only repeated a handful of her recipes.  Not because the others haven't been good - quite the opposite - they are so enjoyable that I cannot help but look forward to trying out another yummy-sounding recipe.

You may not be a fan of Rachael Ray.  I guess I am.  She catalyzed the opening of a whole new world to me.  One filled with flavor and lacking in boredom.  Exactly what I was looking for.

And that is why I couldn't help but smile when Jeter said that his Momma was an expert in cooking.  And when I take a bite of something new and comment "mmm...this is really good" I am not offended when Simms replies "I'm sorry but you just don't surprise me anymore".  That is truly a compliment.

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