Lately I’ve been jonesing to cook. Maybe it’s the excessive trips to Crate & Barrel that Jefe and I have been making. Maybe it’s all the other bloggers out there who are always posting some awesome deliciousness they had time to make. Maybe it’s the fact that I want to continually rewatch “Julie & Julia.” Or it could just be that damn Pinterest. Nevertheless, I’ve decided that not only can I organize and decorate, but that I can, in fact, cook. World, meet Martha Stewart 2.0.
This week’s feast was thanks to a belated “Christmas” gift from Jefe. It went a little something like this: he saw me fawning all over this particular cook book every time we walked by the display at C&B or West Elm for the last 3 months. It got to the “I just want to touch it” levels of desire. So the other day, he surprised me with it after I had stroked the cover for the umpteenth time. So naturally I had to cook him SOMETHING in return.
So I leafed through and after having more hunger pains than I could stand, I picked a) some of the easiest reciples I could find in the book that I thought I couldn’t screw up and b) something that wouldn’t totally destroy my diet (I’m back on the Weight Watchers wagon). So here was the menu:
- Stuffed Chicken with Tomatoes & Arugula (one can never get enough goat cheese)
- Dressed Green Beans (I’ll take my veggies with BACON)
- Baked Apple Streusel, Weight Watchers style
I admit to not being a food blogger and I’m still trying to figure out all the settings on our new digital camera so excuse me for the lack of exact focus. Here we go, step by step:
And now for the sides…. and what else was I supposed to do with 4 extra strips of bacon?!
I have to say, for a very occasional cooker, it turned out pretty damn good. My kitchen, however, may or may not have looked like a war zone (yes, it was 3 hours later before I actually managed to scrub it all down). And now, the finished product:
(Insert picture of baked apple streusel awesomeness that I was too tired and Jefe was too impatient to wait to take pictures of)
The meal tasted pretty great. A few things to note for those that are interested in trying: maybe I didn’t brown the bacon enough on the chicken but it really didn’t add much to it (and was admittedly a little limp). I could have used MORE goat cheese and tomatoes though and been perfectly content.
The green beans could go just bacon, just dijon or with both. It was admittedly a *little* much because you lost some of the essence of the green bean and were just overwhelmed by bacon and mustard. That’s not always a bad thing, but if you’re looking to feel more like you just inhaled a cup of green veggies, maybe lay off the bacon (I can’t believe I just typed that…)
And I have to admit, every time I channel my inner Martha in the kitchen, I discover some other kitchen gadget I can’t live without. Like a knife specifically for cutting tomatoes. We just got a great knife set from Crate and Barrel (thanks to Jefe’s parents) but I still haven’t found which one will do the job of slicing without smooshing (or inadvertently slicing myself in the process…I’m not looking to make a trip to Cedars twice in one year for that particular injury). Anyways, my overflowing kitchen cabinets seem to indicate that I will NOT be purchasing more kitchenwares anytime soon. But how I long for the days of my future dream kitchen with an overabundance of counter space and cabinet storage….