So, a fellow photog friend of mine, F, likes to post various meals on his instagram account. He travels quite a bit for work and usually finds out of the way, hole in the way spots in whatever city he finds himself. The insta.gram snaps of his meals are worthy of a coffee table book of their own. Occasionally, he hits up old tried and true places like Chipotle and of course, the 'bucks for a java fix. I had joked with him that we needed to do a Starbucks version of Flat Stanley, where we take pictures of our Starbucks cups in various locations (perhaps even precarious positions). Of course, as the new year rolled around, we both figured for the sake of our waistlines and wallets, we needed to table that idea for a bit.
Still, that didn't stop F from tagging me in his various posts when food was involved. I guess about a week ago, he posted a series of pictures where he took some 4 day old French bread. Chef Boyardee made bread pudding out of it. Then he tagged me in the picture of the finished result.
Now, who am I to back away from a challenge? I mean, not that he said specifically "Shall-awnge!" before slapping me in the face with an oven mitt, but I can read between the lines.
So, I saw that as an opportunity to see him and raise him. And what better way to do that? Double down on some cookies. Last week, I introduced you all to the mash-ups of Blueberry Rosemary Sugar Cookies and Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Maple Glaze. I'm pretty sure I changed some lives in the process.
Not to be outdone, F came back at me with some homemade cheddar potato cakes with sour cream for his toddlers. Then he threw down the gauntlet with this little gem, and I quote, "@curly_girlie78 POW!"
Oh, okay. . .it's like that?! To which I replied, @F Alright, I'm coming for you, son *buttons up chef coat*
And yes, I do have a chef coat, complete with an pocket on my arm for my pens and meat thermometers! Thanks, Mom.
A while back, I happened to to be watching a very buxom chef making some kind of peanut butter silk pie in an intimately lit kitchen complete with red hooded pendulum lights. Who cooks like that? Nigella Lawson. I have never seen anyone be so intentionally sexy while cooking and have it NOT be a movie. From the whipping of the peanut butter and heavy cream with an immersion blender to her scraping the sides of the bowl with a silicon spatula, for some people, the whole thing rose more than the oven temperature, I'm sure.
That episode was immediately followed by another, more family friendly set-up. She introduced a chicken dish created by her mother called "Praised Chicken". The directions were easy enough, and after she had prepped and prepared, she ladled it out to her family. Sure, they may have been paid actors, but they tucked into that dish with gusto. I'm sure the white wine and crusty french bread helped, too.
I want to see my kids eat with gusto! I like white wine and crusty french bread! So, I pulled the recipe off the 'net and planned to make the dish at my next opportunity. Enter F and our food smack down.
Last Sunday, I threw open the pantry and the fridge and assembled my ingredients for this task. At first, I was going to go with the crusty baguette, I opted instead to make some homemade beer bread. Buttery, yeasty, and crusty. Loaf vs. baguette. You really can't lose.
|food prep for bread on top, for chicken below|
|bubble, bubble. . .fire burn and cauldron bubble.|
|et le dîner est servi!|
I did sub out the leeks for onions because. . .I forgot to get them from the store. Leek and onions are in the same family, so I don't think it was such a stretch. That sauce you see on the chicken? That's some champagne dijon mustard and a little bit of clipped dill. Both went over well as complements to the flavor profile. Mo and Co really liked the mustard; Mo was pretty much spooning it from the jar directly into her mouth. Even V got in on the act; the Hubs mashed up some of his beer bread into the broth from the chicken and fed it to her. While V hasn't quite mastered baby sign language for "more" and "please", we had an idea of what she was saying when she started banging her hands on the table and grunting towards the Hubs' plate.
Altogether, dinner was a success. This one is definitely going into the rotation and I think I may have silenced F for a while, or at least until he comes back from wherever it is he's been. I'm looking forward to what he's going to throw down next. With the Super Bowl just around the corner, I know insta.gram is going to blow up with pics of party food. Oh the possibilities!
Happy Friday, y'all!