I love the movie "Julie and Julia". and I love the line where she says something like "you know what I love about cooking? It's that no matter how crazy and unpredictable your day is, you know that at the end of the day, if you mix egg yolks with chocolate, sugar and butter, it will thicken."
i so get that.
for me - cooking is therapeutic - some people find it a daunting, unpleasant task. not me. i find it fun and challenging and artistic. to select the freshest ingredients from the farmers market - and find something to make out of it. or working backwards - pick a recipe and then go in hunt for all of the ingredients. i don't mind if it takes me to the farmer's market and two additional stores. it's calming.
Around Christmas time, I picked up the new Ina Garten book "how easy is that" which i LOVE, and thought that Ina was my Julia. I've loved Ina for a long time, and this new book is her best yet! I kind of tasked my self with cooking my way through that book and making sure that I was following her many "tips to make cooking easier" I had most of them already - but did pick up a gel mat and a few other items - they work, it's great. I still adore Ina and I totally love that book. BUT... I recently found out that Ina is not my Julia... I had the great pleasure of meeting and working with Ms. Kristine Kidd over the past couple of weeks, and I am pretty sure that Kristine IS my Julia. She was the food editor of Bon Appetit Magazine for over 20 years and recently published the new Williams Sonoma Book "Weeknight Fast + Fresh" . GO BUY THIS BOOK, it rocks. Kristine put this book together based on the seasons and uses the local ingredients that are most abundant throughout the year. The recipes are simple, healthy and fresh. She does not claim that this is a diet book - but all of the ingredients are whole and fresh -she chooses olive oil over butter and of course whole grains over things like white rice, she uses a lot of herbs for great flavor. She is my kind of gal. She even includes quick tips and other helpful advice.
So - I am not giving myself a crazy goal of 500+ recipes in a year. But I would like to try at least one recipe per week of each respective season when I can. Sunday night is usually my "try something new" night... but I'm flexible. She has a lot of great vegetrian dishes that I am sure will be on our meatless Monday menus. Once I work my way through a year - I will have gone through each season, hopefully challenging myself - picking up unusual produce from local farms throughout the year, and had some fun.
SO far, I have made and or tried several of her winter recipes - the first one I have documented is the "Stir-fried Tofu and Mushrooms w/ Greens"
It was awesome, and even Kurt liked it - Tofu and all :)
I made a couple of substitutions (I had cremini mushrooms on hand and not shiitakes, so thats what i used - I doubled the sambal oelek because we like spicy and used braggs aminos instead of soy sauce).
We served over brown rice - it was quick, easy and delicious.