I will miss the actual State of Virginia mostly for FALL. Fall is my favorite season & I’m fairly confident that Florida doesn’t have it. Brisk days that require a sweater, but still feel so good & invigorating that you have to spend the majority of the time outside….the colors the leaves changing, crunch of the leaves under your feet….the smell of your neighbor’s fireplace (or yours if you’re not lazy like me)…& pumpkin patches, butternut squash soup, roasted butternut squash seeds…ahh…. Virginia has a pretty spectacular & long Fall. Anyhow, this weekend was a little ‘fall pre-lude’ in Richmond. It was nice. I’m excited for fall.
The other ‘yummy’ thing about this weekend was that I had 2 very fun & successful cooking experiences. Why is this ‘blogworthy’? Well, first of all, it’s my blog & i care about it, so there. Second, I just wanted the world to know what a trooper my husband is. He has put up with my learning curve in the kitchen for about 7 years now with little complaint. I love new (weird) foods…him?….not so much. Maybe at a really nice restaurant on occasion…but not for his main course. So he has suffered through my attempts at cooking “fun” new things (a stuffed chicken in red wine sauce…w/Blackberry Arbor mist as the ‘red wine’…) & still allows me entrance to the kitchen. So saturday while he was out buying his jeep I got a pound of ground lamb out of the fridge & decided to get adventurous & make “lamb pastries” for dinner. I called him & told him he could invite people over if he wanted & told him what I was going to make. This is my other…thing…I get excited to try something new & think we should share it with others….those poor others…. I detected skepticism in his voice as he declined the “invite others” option. Then I started to worry b/c I pretty much just used the recipe as a loose guideline (which is the root of all my massive cooking failures). Anyhow they were quite good & Ryan even mentioned something about “next time…” Ahh…that’s when I know something worked. There can be a next time.
The other success was that I recently found a Ryan approved “healthy” chocolate chip cookie recipe. it’s made from whole wheat flour (I mill my own so I can use a certain wheat variety that comes out very close to white flour) & no ultra-refined sugar (so by healthy I mean, not super sugar loaded, whole grain & no hydrogenated oil). Sounds terrible right? Well, after 2 years of searching for a recipe &/or use-able ingredients (Ryan stopped ‘testing’ my cookies about a year ago), I finally found it. After he watched a few friends be my guinea pigs at a cookout here one evening, he finally made the plunge & tried a “healthy Jenn cookie”. The next night I caught him in the living room with 2 cookies & a glass of milk. Anyhow, I made some of those this afternoon. Not to….well…ok, yeah, to ‘toot my own horn’….I believe the words from the cookie critic were: “Perfect!” ahh….music to my ears.
Of course I just follow a recipe. So i’m not some amazing baker or anything. Not to mention 2 (or 7..) years of trial & error.