When I was first married, I didn't live near any family. I spent the first 8 or so years winging it. Occasionally I would call another one of my aunts, Aunt Marshmallow, or my cousin Jules. Then 4 years ago, we moved back to San Diego, where we were surrounded by family. Tons of family is all within 5 minutes or less of me! All of us sudden I was required to cook on a whim for anyone who might stop by, or cook for 30 or more people for any given birthday or random-for-no-reason-at-all get together! I would stress out and become anxious at the thought.
Luckily I had my cousin, Serena, who loved to cook and also loved hanging out with me and we cooked alot together. We even had or own imaginary cooking show that we did every night. It was called Sexy Bitches Cooking. We were the stars. It reminds me of that new show that is on the Oprah Network. The one where the two girls cook things out of a cookbook and are seemingly pretty bad at it. We weren't bad though. There was a lot of dancing while cooking and a lot of back and forth bickering and bantering about how things should be done. It was a blast and there is no one in this world I love cooking with more than Serena. I have learned so much about cooking from Serena and AGG, I think they've learned a few things from me too.
Tonight's DinnerLately we've been having a lot of dinners like the one pictured above. Lots of fish and lean meats, those are tuna patties (Agg's recipe actually), always at least two veggies, and sometimes a rice or pasta side.
But as always I digress, my point is AGG was here and I started preparing dinner. She sat and watched while we talked. She asked me how I prepare my butternut squash, and I told her. She asked me about my squash preperation. There is no bigger compliment to a cook than someone asking for your recipe, right? Especially when it's someone you respect and idolize. She actually went home and prepared the squash like I said.
I've turned into a very
My biggest goal and accomplishment I think is timing and being efficient. It's important to have everything timed right so it's not cold, and it's soooo important to clean as you go. Also a little advanced planning and you can think of how to use less dishes while you cook! Me being the one who cooks AND CLEANS up after dinner, this is very important!
HOW I MAKE IT:For the butternut squash, you just peel, clean out the pulp and seeds, and cut it up into squares. Place in a glass baking dish and drizzle with EVOO. Add some salt and mix it up. Add about 2 tbls. of water and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees or 400 depending on your oven. Stir every 15 minutes. When it's done add a tsp. or two of brown sugar. You can also just slice the squash, leaving it unpeeled, remove pulp and place flat side face down in the dish with water. Then when it's cooked, just cut it in quarters and serve in the skin.
For the Sprouts, rinse and peel off outer leaves. Boil them for about 5 minutes in a pot of water. Meanwhile, cook some chopped bacon pieces in the microwave in a baking dish, covered with a paper towel. Remove the sprouts and when they've cooled a bit, trim the ends and cut them in half lengthwise, from top to bottom. When bacon is done, remove it onto a papertowel and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon or so of the bacon fat. To the fat add the Brussel sprouts and toss until covered with the drippings. Bake at 375 for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and stir in the cooked bacon pieces.
Who inspired you to cook,
who did you learn from?