Tuesday, January 21, 2014

on eating.

did y'all know that my brother is a chef? 

like a real, classically trained at a REAL culinary school chef? 

yup. that's right. 

he's actually a bartender now in dallas at a restaurant called bolsa. it's a great place in the bishop arts district and they have awesome food. if you're in the area you should definitely give a try. 

anyway. back to my brother. 

a few months back i had mentioned to him that what i wanted for christmas was for him to come over, take me to the grocery store, look through my pantry, etc. and teach me the cooking basics. 

i'm really good at preparing elaborately planned meals from recipes. pioneer woman & paula deen are my favorites. real women know how to use butter, can i get an amen? 

but it's those tuesday night dinners that shauna niequist talks about in her book that i struggle with. the everyones-hungry-the-laundry-isn't-done-but-i-have-to-cook-something meals. the ones where everyone's had a long day {including YOU} and you just want to order a pizza but you know what would be best for you would be a yummy home cooked meal. 

you got me? 

and for Christmas, as my littles were handing out all of the presents,  c comes over with a small, flat tissue-wrapped package for me that said "from cam."

i knew what it was. 

as i opened it up, he had printed a sweet picture of us cooking together in destin right after i had b. he wrote a sweet note on the back offering to teach me the cooking basics for chrismtas. 


and so, of no doing of my own, he came out here last monday and hung out all. day. long. 

it was so fun. 

he taught me how to properly chop an onion. 

how that if i chop all of my vegetables up right when i get them, i'm more likely to use them and through them into meals. {umm, he was right.}

to not be afraid to use fruit with vegetables. {brussel sprouts, tiny pieces of bacon and sliced green apples. 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. yum.}

that most things can be prepped ahead of time. throughout the day. 

that a rotisserie chicken is one of the most versatile things you could ever use. if you want to stretch your dollar that is definitely the way to go. 

and to not be afraid to fail. so what if it tastes awful. you just don't cook it the next time. 

for example, i tried spaghetti squash this week. cam & i made this sauce for the squash on monday and were going to use it tuesday. the sauce wasn't bad, but the squash was. 

don't get me wrong - it came apart just like it was supposed to. i honestly felt like i was experiencing the parting of the red sea when i took my fork to it. i could NOT believe that it comes apart like spaghetti noodles. i mean, seriously? God - You are amazing. the end. 

but i don't know if i just didn't cook it long enough or what, but the texture of the 'noodles' weren't great for me. or j. we both didn't LOVE it. 

i will try it again. one more time. maybe next week, but if it's yucky next time too, i'll probably be done. 

and that's okay. 

i grew up such a picky eater that i never even knew brussel sprouts could taste so good. because i refused to taste them. or cook them. or TRY them. so i'm branching out. try it with me!

he suggested this book for me. he said every restaurant has one. if you get stuck one tuesday night with random ingredients and don't want to go to the store, this book helps you put something together. 

one of my goals this year is to not consult recipes for weeknight dinners. now, i don't mean to use a recipe to base something off of or get ideas from, but don't use them to the T. but use what i like and go with my "gut". the problem is that my kids {and my hubby} don't necessarily have the same "gut" i do. 

but we're getting better. 

they're trying new things & i'm trying new things. 

like this recipe. 


i made a version of this thursday night and i was SHOCKED at how good it was. i marinated my tomatos first, like you would in bruschetta... and i used my mandolin to cut the eggplant. but it was yummy. even my daughter who doesn't like tomatoes - went back for seconds. 

cam - thanks for spending your day with us. we LOVED it. {he's building angry birds legos with b above. little did he know when he bought it that it gets torn down with every blow.}

what are your go-to weekly night meals? do you enjoy putting things together on a whim? any successes??? any failures? :) come on... you know you have them. 



  1. I am so jealous of this! I am out of town so much, that I try at least one fancy meal a week for the husband with way too much carry out in between. I went to some Wildtree events and still have some ready to go freezer meals. I need to branch out (and learn how to properly chop an onion!)

    1. katy! i should make him do a video on the onion. he was being so polite asking me "you know how to chop an onion" and i said, "i have my own version...." ha. and he showed me how to sharpen my knives! who knew it would make that much of a difference!! freezer meals are the best!!!! xoxo.

  2. Love it. Can you believe I’ve never been to Bolsa? I need to change that ASAP.



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