Day 177–MasterChef

One of the cool things about getting to help Jordan Swim with his Food Creates Community ventures is that I get to see someone very VERY good at what he does operate firsthand.  Cooking shows and canned demonstrations at clinics, festivals, and supermarkets give some insight, but actually watching as something goes astray (such as our vegetarian friend last time) or as he decides to change things on the fly is valuable experience.  It’s also a tremendous crutch when you’re just the helper; someone else plans menus, makes choices, and ultimately takes credit for success or failure.

Tonight, for the first time, I really flexed what culinary muscle I have (which mimics my physical muscle…weak and underused…) for people who aren’t my family (at least not in the biological or legal sense) with multiple courses and the whole show.  It was a great experience, lots of fun, and most importantly, a rousing success.  Check out dinner for details.

Breakfast–I got some pretzel chips at the store the other day, and they’re really quite good.  Paired them with some peanut butter for protein and it was a solid, filling start to the day.  So solid in fact…

Lunch–I’m not sure I even ate lunch.  I honestly can’t remember.  I’m going to go with no…a big weight-loss screw up, but not nearly as stupid as it could be? (Grasping at straws people…straws.)

Dinner–Here’s the fun stuff:

Appetizer: Jumbo scallops seared off in bacon drippings with granny smith apples, bacon bits, fried sage, and whipped ginger sweet potatoes.

Entree: No picture here, because frankly the finished product was a bit rushed and ugly, and because most of us ate it before I could remember to take a picture.  We had lemon-rosemary grilled chicken with grilled asparagus, topped with crispy pancetta and lemon zest, and then roasted balsamic vegetables (zucchini, red onion, and yellow pepper).  It was very, very good…especially since I hadn’t ever done any of it before except the asparagus.  The balsamic vegetables were out of this world delicious…new favorite.

Dessert:  This one’s an old stand-by; chocolate pot de creme. Jason and Casey had never experienced the joy of creme brulee in any fashion, so we decided to share.  Creme brulee also happens to be Audrey’s favorite dessert and one of the few fancy things I can make easily, so it was a win/win/win.  And it was incredible…not a bite left in the house.

So there you have it…a successful evening of cooking, lots of fun, and I got my butt handed to me in Settlers AGAIN.  Oh well…can’t win everything.





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