Sunday, October 9, 2011

In the kitchen

It has been a day of excellent cooking qi! I can't take full credit. I started by mooching qi from my neighbor and dear friend, Kat, as we made and jarred green tomato chutney and white wine/oregano jam. It was a task of obligation, largely, as our gardens were packed with green tomatoes and herbs yet the first snow of the season slammed us this weekend. It was time for the last harvest. As it often does, obligation delivered greatness, as the flavors were simply smashing.

From there, the kitchen adventures landed me in the middle of a fantastic Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe for dinner. Bonus: the kids actually ate the stuff. Alright, they needed mild bribery, but it wasn't much. They did great.

The day ended with a batch of my awesome chocolate chip cookies. Tough to beat that.

I am pretty excited about today's cooking, actually. We did go out for lunch today, but we have been working hard to eat at home more often in an effort to control spending. It seems we have seen some success too after a few weeks of this. It is only encouraging to find the preparations from our own kitchen to be delicious. It makes it seem less like cutting corners and more like expanding our horizons more economically.

As I was baking cookies tonight, I remembered my mother baking cookies when I was a child. She would add just half of a 12 oz bag of chocolate chips to the batter. It wasn't until I had an oven of my own in which to bake that I realized the recipe called for twice that amount. People had said I was a spoiled child, but clearly my childhood was riddled with deprivation! A cookie with twice as many chocolate chips was pure luxury!

As I thought on this tonight, I considered that Mom reduced the chips in order to make them go further. Stretching the ever critical dollar to one more batch of cookies. I appreciate her frugality. Interesting though that reducing the whole recipe by half was never the way she handled this. We had plenty of cookies. It was always just the chips that were reduced.

Well, whether I am trying to cut corners now or not, I have seen the light. Once you've tasted luxury it's hard to go back, and while I can sacrifice dinner out 2-3 times a week, some 'quality of life' decisions can not be compromised. The chip count stays true to the recipe.

So, we will see what the coming week in home cooked meals brings. At least I can rest assured that dessert will be spot on!


  1. alright...i'm hungry again. :-)

  2. Your meals are always spot on. I try to cook at home most nights. Still "cooking at home" sometimes entails frozen pizza or jarred pasta sauce. Still it's healthier and cheaper. Last night I made "Quick tomato soup" from my Eating Well cookbook. They have a great Web site, as well. And an RSS feed for dinner ideas. Good luck with the home cooking. Let me know if you need us to come over and taste test anything. ;)