Hi ladies and gents!
I’m just stopping in quickly to say that I’m so thankful for the friendship, encouragement, kind comments, and constructive criticism you all have offered me over the past few months! The blogging experience has been full of surprises for me, and the network of people that regularly read and comment and engage in conversation with me is simply amazing. If I think about it too much, my brain starts to hurt. With a good kind of pain.
Today is going to be a whirlwind of fun and frolicking: I’m cutting out of work early today, and will soon be making a massive grocery store trip with Cassia to get all the supplies for our cooking class tonight. Mr. Dominick’s, beware! A 2-woman tornado will soon be touching ground at your store! And if there happens to be a cheese-sampling station, watch out–I stalk those things. It’s my version of smoking behind the barn.
With our groceries (and skillets and knives and Dutch ovens and microplane) loaded into Cassia’s car, we’ll be heading to Traci’s house, where our mission is to cook and photograph the Roasted Red Pepper soup and Fruit Pizza components (to be assembled later) before everyone arrives at 6:30 pm.
Here’s a peak at our practice run from last Saturday–Cassia is about to put together the Fruit Pizza.
Isn’t it beautiful?
So let’s be honest–the Fruit Pizza gets a little ugly once the red syrup goes on.
But as long as it’s delicious, who cares?
The Roasted Red Pepper soup is so creamy and satisfying . . .
It’s topped with lime cilantro sour cream and broiled corn. Oh joy. And I promise to photograph it again in a non-yellow bowl. Maybe even a non-chipped non-yellow bowl–but let’s not go hog-wild here, folks.
Part of the process we’ll be teaching people tonight is how to beat up a chicken.
But this chicken was really asking for it, so it’s okay. See all those bruises? They’re an intrinsic part of the roasting process.
Just kidding! It’s an olive tapenade, rubbed under the skin. Hideous, but oh-so-good. I’ll have to find a photogenic way to present it when I officially share the recipe with all y’all. Because as it is, looking at that picture is actually subtracting from my hunger quotient.
Oooh, a new weight-loss technique! Whenever you get hungry, just look at that ugly olive chicken picture and you’ll never feel like eating again. Hunh. I stand to make millions.
Anyway, once we get to Traci’s, we should probably lay out groupings of ingredients and the implements needed for each dish in advance so that I’m not scavenging in the fridge for a sprig of rosemary at the last minute while everyone looks down at my crouched and contorted form, doing earnest battle with the crisper drawer with one hand and tugging at the back of my jeans so that they remain appropriately hitched up with the other. It’s these new cuts of jeans, people! Sometimes they don’t stay up all by themselves! Does anyone else have this problem? Bueller?
Knives and cutting boards will be laid out, snack food and drinks both available and out of the way, recipe packets ready to be handed to each lady–we are going to be ready.
I can’t wait to create this creamy polenta . . .
Okay, I’m hungry again.
Hi Cassia! Can’t wait to see you in a couple hours! And thanks for doing so many dishes at my house! Maybe you should come over more often.
Anyway, friends, I just want to add that I wouldn’t be teaching this class if it weren’t for this blog that chronicles my cooking adventures . . . and I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it weren’t for your presence, support, and kindness. So–thank you! To each and every one of you–my silent readers and my regular commenters and my sporadic commenters and that weird person who ended up on my blog after googling “wrestling mud twinks.”
To that weird person: I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my mother wrestling a pig in the mud–and I also hope you find whatever it is you’re truly looking for.
I wish you all were here in Chicago for our shindig this evening–and if you decide to magically travel through time and space, appearing on Traci’s doorstep in a whirlwind of pink and purple sparks, I promise to feed you delectable treats and roasted chickens up the wazoo.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend–and Monday the first cooking class recipe (the Shredded Brussel Sprouts) will be up and running!