Thursday, May 10, 2012



Last week I purchased a new cookbook. This is a pretty big step for me because, as we all know, I do not cook. I found a mug recently that made me laugh out loud. It said, "If it fits in a toaster...I can cook it."

The cookbook sat there for a week, glaring at me. I glared back.

So, over the weekend I sat down with it, a pen, and a piece of paper. I found several recipes that looked promising, and made up my shopping list. On Monday, I went to the grocery store. I made a few on-the-fly substitutions, because shiitake mushrooms and sugar snap peas have prices that make me choke and I'm pretty happy with button mushrooms and frozen peas. I'm a simple girl.

A few nights ago I dug out a wokish pan we own yet never use and made stir fry. Yesterday I created Italian salad dressing from scratch. Today I unpacked the Cuisinart Pro that we received as a wedding present nearly 15 years ago. Today was the first time I ever used it. When I say I unpacked it, that includes peeling off all the sharp blade warning stickers and giving it a good scrubbing. Please know I am suitably embarrassed that this fine example of kitchen power toolage sat silent for so long. Please also know that I am perfectly fine with placing some of the blame on my darling M who has been primarily responsible for our meals the majority of our marriage.


I dug it out because today's recipe called for pesto made from scratch, which requires food processing. I didn't relish the idea of digging pesto out of the blades at the bottom of my blender, so out came the Cuisinart. I actually had to go out to my file cabinet in the garage where I keep all warranty and instruction paperwork because I had no earthly idea how to get the damn thing apart, much less use it.

I got it all figured out, and pureed my little heart out (well, okay, fresh basil, fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh garlic, a bit of olive oil, and parmesan cheese) while boiling my noodles and cooking up fresh tomatoes and broccoli in a skillet. It. Was. Awesome. I pulsed. I minced. I did whatever it is that people who actually cook do with Cuisinart machines.

And at the end, Zozer and I had another great, healthy meal made with fresh ingredients. I am really digging this cooking thing.

(Let me know if you would like the recipe for Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Tomatoes, or rather, my version which used basil instead of arugula and had the addition of fresh broccoli. Because I'm discovering that you can throw fresh broccoli into everything and it's pretty good. This education came courtesy of the 3 lb bag of broccoli florets I picked up at Sam's this week. Turns out that 3 lbs of broccoli is a LOT of broccoli.)


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