Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Special Dinner for my Love

I got my first reader question!  Yea! You should get a prize, but I don't know what that would be.  Oh wait, your prize is...the ANSWER.  For those of you not obsessively reading each comment posted on the blog, the question is: are you cooking through the Pampered Chef cookbook or is it just a coincidence that almost of the recipes have come from there (paraphrased)?  The answer is yes, I am cooking through the cookbook more or less.  Because I cook so many new recipes, I am on a constant search for the next great cookbook and, once found, figure the best way to get to know a cookbook is to cook through it.  This helps with my monthly menu planning (I am sure I will fill you in on that at some point in the future) and it helps not to have  a bunch of cookbooks cluttering my kitchen workspace.  I am currently working through the Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner 2 cookbook.  I highly recommend the first incarnation of this cookbook and look forward to wholeheartedly recommending this installment.  The key to "cooking through" a cookbook for me is to look through it and weed out the things that Drew and I will NEVER eat.  Then I go through and find the appetizing ones and put them on my menu plan.  I just stated that like it is a process, but it really all happens at once.  You will also notice in the future that some of my recipes are from the Fix it and Forget it slow cooker cookbook.  I have been slowly working my way through this one because I challenged myself at the beginning of the year to use my slow cooker once a week.  I have not always made it on that challenge, but that is the reason it is called a challenge. 

Wow, readers, I hope you were ready for that exhaustive answer!  On to tonight,  We had a special dinner, because we are looking to head out of town for the weekend for our 5th anniversary!!!!  I had planned, without knowing we were going to be out of town to make one of Drew's favorites and I left a night open for whatever, so I just moved my special dinner to tonight - now that is flexibility (wink, wink)!  So for dinner tonight I made a new recipe (yes, I know I said it was a favorite of Drew's, but I meant favorite ingredient): Seared Scallops with Creamy Parsley Pesto.  Be warned, I am not a fan of scallops, but because they are one of Drew's favorite ingredients I made them for him.  Here's the review:
Really quick.  I am discovering it is best with this installment's recipes to have everything out and measured before beginning the recipe.  I know this sounds like common sense, but this is not the way I normally operate in my kitchen.  Everything in this one comes together fast.  I did swap out cilantro for the parsley, because I can't handle parsley (I dislike it more than any food item I can think of at the moment), but I love cilantro more than some people love their children.  The resulting cilantro pesto, I cannot say I was a huge fan of.  I have never put half and half in pesto and I don't think I will again (chalk it up to experience).  The cauliflower was good, but I think could use a little more seasoning.  The scallops seared nicely, but I don't think I had my skillet hot enough when I first started.  Drew liked the scallops.  I would also like to mention here, I am in desparate need of a good food processor.  I will not go into the woes that haunt me each time I use mine; but I will say one would think that having 2 food processors of different sizes would result in "good food processing."  Lets just say, I think Drew enjoyed this one more than I did. 

After our "romantic" one candle lit dinner in the dining room, Drew helped me clean up the kitchen in under 15 minutes (quite the accomplishment, at least I think so because I have never clocked it), then we went upstairs to play Guitar Hero before coming downstairs to what I am sure will become our must watch night of television this fall.  So You Think You Can Dance and Glee, how happy can one couple be?

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