Cooking Challenged

04 January 2010
My sisters are insane and beautiful and hilarious and absolutely delightful to be around when they aren't being bitchy.  They are equipped with an innate ability to have fun wherever life might take them, they march to the beat of their own drummers, and they don't mind telling you to buzz off if you don't agree.  They do things like marry a handsome foreigner in a quickie ceremony at the courthouse without telling anyone, pick their colleges out of a hat, or get auctioned off as a date on the local radio station... and those are just the things I'm allowed to tell you.  They do not, however have a lick of cooking sense between the three of them. 

That wasn't fair... there may be a tiny, itsy bitsy bit in there, but for the most part, all of the cooking genes came my way.  Lyndsey can make gorgeous centerpieces out of fruit, Rachael cooked a turkey this year for Thanksgiving with a bit of guidance, and Elise... well, Elise literally measures out 2 quarts of water when cooking Kraft Mac N Cheese because that is what the box tells her to do.  Yeah... she's the one stirring with an "air spoon" on the right.


To remedy this a bit and provide an excuse for my family to have dinner all in one place before Elise returns to school, I decided to teach them how to cook.  Rachael came up with the concept of a cooking lesson, Elise & Lyndsey chose the menu.  I was just along for the ride, some seasoning guidance, and to make sure they didn't burn my house down.  They kicked all kinds of ass in the kitchen.  I'm not going to lie, it made me a little teary, I was so proud of them.

The Menu
Baby Greens with Toasted Pecans, Feta, Apples, Craisins & Homemade Vinaigrette
Sauteed Chicken in White Wine Sauce
Balsamic Honey Glazed Oven Roasted Baby Carrots
Oven Roasted Asparagus
Garlic & Rosemary Smashed Red Potatoes
Baguette

For the vinaigrette, pour 6 full tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon(ish) of sugar, 2 tablespoons of honey, and about 1/4 a small red onion minced finely into a container with a lid.  I also dump in whatever seasoning I am in the mood for.  Shake vigourously... if you are my idiot sister, you also pose for photos to demonstrate the crazy shaking involved.


The carrots were amazing!  They roasted 2 pounds of baby carrots in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes with some seasoning and a little olive oil.  They were pulled out of the oven and drizzled with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of honey, and about 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.  Pop them back into the oven for about 5 more minutes.  They were still a little crunchy, roasted to perfection & tasted wonderfully.

The asparagus was roasted at 400 degrees with olive oil, spices, and the juice of half a lemon.

The rosemary & garlic mashed redskin potatoes were soooo good thanks to Lyndsey!  The potatoes were cut into chunks {the skin stays on} and boiled until tender in salted water, then drained.  In a small sauce pan she sauteed some minced garlic and rosemary in a bit of olive oil, then took the pan off the heat and added butter and cream to let it absorb the flavors.  That whole mix went into the drained potatoes and were hand mashed to perfection. 

The chicken was dredged in flour with seasoning, then into the pan with olive oil to brown on both sides.  Since we were doing so much {we made dinner for TWELVE!} we popped it into the oven to finish at 350 degrees.  Then we poured white wine & a cup of water from the potatoes in the pan to deglaze, let that reduce, added a pat of butter & some spices, then added some half and half stirring until creamy.  Delish!



So there you have it.  A cooking lesson with my best girls.  It got rave reviews, but I'm pretty sure that is because our brothers will eat anything.  {Kidding!  It really WAS good.}  They wanted us to make it a weekly occurance and no one went to the hospital {my dad invited a doctor friend to join us just in case} for food poisoning.  A resounding success I'd say!  So, we're planning to do this again.  What would you like to see them learn to cook? 

25 comments:

SugarBritches said...

Eggs Benedict! My favorite and a toughy to time it all right.

Michelle said...

Ashley, if Dave wasn't in love with you before, he will be after reading this!

Anonymous said...

MadE only the carrots and they were Phenomenal!! I'm making them this way from now on! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

what seasoning did you use on the carrots? they look phenomenal!

Michelle said...

I use whatever I have on hand at the time! I really love those veggie seasoning mixes that come pre-mixed, Weber makes a grill one that is great. You can also use herbs de provence. I've also just mixed up some salt, pepper, thyme, a dash of paprika & a little rosemary with great success.

Amber Holcomb said...

This all looks divine. I'm totally making those carrots tonight! :) Thanks, and your sisters look like me and my sister, always down for some fun! :D

Anonymous said...

this whole meal looks amazing. I am going to duplicate it for my friends next week. I wish there was a little more detail on quantities. I cannot stray from a reicpe I lack confidence. But, I will do my best

Michelle said...

Anon,
Shoot me an email sowonderfulsomarvelous {at} gmail. I'll attempt to help you with better guesstimations at quantities!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your story. Sounds like you have a wonderful bonding with your sisters. I would make this recipes with my BF seems like easy.

Anonymous said...

It all looks so wonderful. Especially the carrots and asparagus !! Thanks so much for sharing all this !!!

Nancy Venable said...

I am trying the carrots tonight. I am not good at guess which "spices" would be good to use. So I am using the ones you mentioned in the comments section. ...hoping for a good turn out. Your entire meal looks wonderful. Thanks

Michelle said...

I hope you have good luck with them Nancy!

Michelle said...

I made the carrots last night, using just salt & pepper for the seasonings (plus the other ingredients). I was shocked! You see, I hate carrots- and I sort of actually liked these! :) THANK YOU for sharing a recipe that'll get me to eat carrots!

Renee said...

Yumm! I tried the carrots and they were a hit. Also cubed up some potatoes for roasting. Thanks for posting. Lovely meal.

Tiffany said...

Holy smokes these carrots were delicious! I added small little specks of butter (less than a tbsp) during the last 5 minutes simply because I am butter-obsessed. Next time, and there will be a next time, I may consider omitting. Thanks for the recipes. Think I'll try your chicken this weekend...

Shani said...

just made the carrots and they are MOST delicious!!! even my toddler liked them! will definitely make again

Geri said...

This was the sweetest pin I have read in a while. Thanks so much for sharing. Love the way toi love your sisters!
xoxo
Geri

Kerstin P said...

Hey,
I've made your carrotts (with a litte change) and they were aweseome.
So I post the recipe with a link to your Blog on my german-DIY-Blog.

Have a great day!

Kerstin

http://strangebellyart.blogspot.de/2012/10/kochen-hunchenbrust-mit-griechischer.html

Sherri said...

I want to try the honey glazed balsamic carrots for thanksgiving, but running out of oven space. How can I convert this recipe to a crockpot?
I need to make about 4 lbs of carrots for my large family.

Lewis said...

I want to try the carrots, but... can you elaborate?

"with some seasoning"

What is the seasoning you guys used?

Thanks!

Michelle said...

Hi Lewis! I elaborated above in a comment. I just use whatever spice mix I have on hand. I love any kind of mix, Weber makes a Kickn Chicken that has a little spice, they also sell some that are made for veggies that has a little lemon in it, Mrs Dash is in every grocery store and you can always use just plain old salt and pepper if you like! I've also had great success with salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme, rosemary, and paprika.

Anonymous said...

I made the carrots for my small group's post-Thanksgiving dinner and it was really good. All the other women really enjoyed them. The only problem was that I didn't make more! For the "seasoning" I used oregano and tarragon. Thanks for the directions.

Anonymous said...

made the carrots tonight for supper and they were a big hit! Love them!! for sure keeping this recipe! (the only thing I changed was I bake the carrots for 30 minutes)

CraftyHope said...

I've made carrots the way you described above quite a few times and I just LOVE them that way. I'm not really big on cooked carrots, but these I actually enjoy. Thanks!

Becky6487 said...

Oh my goodness, thank you for the fabulous carrots recipe! They were absolutely delicious. I just used salt and pepper, but using rosemary is a great idea. Herbes de Provence? I might die and go to heaven.

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