Ahhh Valentine’s Day. I can’t say I’m a big fan or make too much out of it. It’s so commercial. However, I will celebrate any occasion that allows me to eat dinner out, or eat something made into the shape of a heart, that is made out of chocolate, or some type of candy. Yeah, I suppose I’m a sucker for the caloric side of a day like today.
Over the weekend Rob and Judah were up at Scarlett Homestead doing some random little projects and I wanted to make something warm and comforting for when they got home for supper. It was a cold snowy day! I had chicken and broccoli and so I decided to make a casserole with what I had. I searched online for some easy chicken broccoli casserole recipes and found 2,542,657,234.25 recipes to choose from. I’ve made a million casseroles, but oddly enough I’ve never made a basic chicken and broccoli, so I wanted to follow something to get it right.
Earlier this week, we got our first snowfall out here in the Pacific Northwest. Every area got different amounts, but here in Arlington, we got 9 inches over about a day and a half. This is sort of rare for our area. We do get a little snow every year around this time but not nearly as much as we did this time. I was as excited as our three year old!
More and more I am overcoming a really weird ‘thing’ I have about cooking different varieties of asian dishes. It’s not a fear, or lack of want, but I think I have always had it in my head that there’s too many steps or I need to many ingredients I don’t have. I’m not sure, but it’s ridiculous and I’ve had to slap myself upside the head many times.
Is there anything more comforting than baked goods? Whether it’s a fresh baked loaf of bread or a homemade cake or cookie, I personally feel so happy when my house smells like a bakery.
I was going to name this blog something like ‘Tender Is The Night’ as a nod to both the tender beauty of wildlife in their natural habitat at night, and one of my favorite writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald. But then I thought about it, and decided that was probably a little to deep for what this post is really about.
Two of my favorite gifts this Christmas came from my Mum. She knows how much I have been baking bread and really getting into new types of artisan bread and these two things couldn’t have been more perfect for me, especially right now.
I have finally done it. After months of teaching myself how to make good bread, and kneading dough until I understand how it should feel to know whether or not it’s done (not so long ago I couldn’t knead dough and have it turn out properly so I swore off of it completely. Luckily that didn’t last), I have finally cracked the code on my arch nemesis – white sandwich bread.
Back in the 80’s and 90’s when I was growing up, Chicken Cordon Bleu was like “it”. It was the most elegant, indulgent, “fancy lady food” I knew about.