Sunday, November 7, 2010

Let's Get Cooking!

For a lot of us, cooking is a chore, approached with the dread of getting out of the warm, cozy covers on a cold morning: we don't want to do it, but it needs to be done so we do it anyway. (And often, it's done without grace or maybe even clean language.)

For me, it's something to which I look forward with the anticipation of producing something people will like. It taps my creativity most nights, even if it's a simple recipe we've seen before. I'll turn on the radio, pour a glass of wine, and work barefoot, singing (badly) with the radio.

I like to present it, family-stye, on pretty matchy-matchy plates and platters, and I like to combine colors and flavors on a plate that please the eye and the palatte. Okay, but it's not like the super-chefs you see on tv. This is real food, it's not obscure finds from remote fish markets or farmers' markets. And I rarely garnish. But the other day as my eight year old was sitting down at the table, he said, "it's like a restaurant!"

My point is this: it doesn't have to be like taking off a bandaid: quick, painful, over fast and unmemorable. Cooking for a family can be fun and rewarding. And the best part is our family sitting together every night, laughing and talking and eating: enjoying each other.

Sunday: OUT (my sister-in-law has invited us for dinner; she is a good cook and a wonderful hostess. My mom is in town as well, so it will be a fun night!)

Monday: French Toast with sautee'd apples, yogurt
There was a lot of chatter on facebook this morning about using the extra hour to make a yummy breakfast...It sounded good for dinner too!

Tuesday: Pecan-Crusted Tilapia, Steamed Green Beans, Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday: Grilled Whole Cider Chicken, Homemade Applesauce, Steamed Broccoli

For the chicken, brine as directed in recipe, then place in greased foil roasting pan on indirect heat on grill. Grill 15 min per pound or until juices run clear. Alternatively, fill a clean empty soup or beer can with cider, and place chicken "beer can chicken" style upright over can and onto grill.

Thursday: Sauteed Chicken with Apples, Salad

Shred yesterday's leftover chicken, and substitute it for the chicken breasts in the recipe.

Friday: Cracker Chicken, Tater Tots, Honey Carrots

Saturday: Pizza night