Wednesday, January 12, 2011

die Küche

i'll be honest.  i love to cook.  but, i just really don't have that much time.  at least, i always thought that.  i think what i was really lacking were three things:

1.  decent cooking "hardware" (utensils?  i think hardware is a better term.)  i don't mean just the spoons and spatulas and stuff.  i had just never cared enough to invest any money into my kitchen appliances and pots and pans, etc.  these "hardware" issues were obviously resolved when we got married.  probably 90% or more of our registry was kitchen stuff.  i actually ended up with a TON of stuff.  stuff i hadn't even bothered to get out of the boxes until recently.

2.  lack of planning.  i've tried this before, planning out meals in advance so every morning i can look at the list and be like "oh, i need to set out chicken for dinner."  but it would only last a week or two and then it would just go on the back burner.  but this week, for some reason, it's really clicked.  let's hope it stays that way.

3.   i got bored with my old recipes.  but, kyle got me the america's test kitchen cookbook last year for christmas.  it's the bible of all cookbooks.  it's massive and just full of great tips, just like the show.  (does anyone else watch this show?  we loved it, but no longer get PBS...the signal isn't strong enough at our house.  so sad, but true.)  another thing i've recently discovered (please, don't laugh) is the pioneer woman.  i read her blog a long time ago and for some reason had completely forgotten about it.  well, over my holiday break i read through her black heels to tractor wheels series and loved her blog all over again.  if you haven't read it, please do.  don't worry, i'll wait...

okay, that's a lie, it took me about 3 days to get through it all, it's a long one.  she even made it into a book.  *hint hint for anyone looking for a gift for yours truley* 

but i digress.  i had never bothered to look at her cooking blog or the tasty kitchen

i think i just died and went to food heaven.

okay, i'm back.  just trust me, it's a great resource for all things tasty.

tonight, for the very first time, i used one of my enameled dutch ovens.  it looks a little sumptin' like this:
from tarjay, of course.  i mean, you HAVE met me, right?

okay, that's actually 6 quart one, but i have that one, too.  (thanks, coworkers*!!)  i used the 4 quart one tonight.


why did no one tell me how awesome these are?!?!  seriously!  i'm in love.  it's quite possibly my new favorite kitchen item.  only time will tell.

tonight's dish was a variation of this recipe and served it with gnocchi.  (i'll tell you what i chnaged if you are actually interested.)  quite tasty.  i put the whole thing in the oven as the first reviewer mentioned.  loved it.  and i think kyle actually liked it, too.  then again, he'll eat anything.

true story: he once ate an entire plate full of burnt pancakes i made him in college.  i'm sure it was to make me feel better, but he did.  i've also seen him eat a sandwich covered in grease.  from his hands.

*my awesome coworkers threw me an amazing penguin themed bridal shower and showered me with amazing gifts, both of these dutch ovens included.  i actually had to go back and add ridiculous amounts of gifts to my registry after my shower, because they bought the majority of the items on there.  this is a good problem, of course.  see why i love working there?!?  most of the time.  :)

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