"Rachel is such an amazing cook!" Said no one. Ever.*
This is one of the reasons you should not expect lots of beautiful photographs of incredible, sophisticated food on this blog. (The other reason is that I don't have a nice camera.)
However, every once in a while, one must set aside the venerable can of tomato soup, the excellent Tillamook cheddar, and the store-bought bread. One must actually cook.
And that is exactly what I did. Here's how it happened:
On Saturdays, Steven and Meredith get a sack of randomly assorted vegetables from a local community farm thing. Alarmed at how many potatoes he'd received the past two weeks, Steven piled a bunch of fresh produce on the kitchen counter and asked who wanted to make a vegetarian mystery box dinner.
Everyone's faces were carefully straight, my own included. No grimaces or smirks. Brave eyes that looked right at you without a hint of despair. I made my way to the kitchen. Let the real hunger games begin.
With great deliberation, I surveyed the piles of potatoes, dill, beets, onions, green beans, acorn squashes and a bag of greens that Steven informed me was spinach. I must choose, but choose wisely.
I eyed the squash. They sat there submissively, offering no challenge to my authority. I remembered a stuffed acorn squash dinner at my friend Erica's two years ago, and decided to make my own version thereof.
I had never cooked an acorn squash before, but take courage! I own a netbook, and my brother and sister-in-law have internet service. It took two minutes to discover that cooking acorn squash is dead easy.**
I had chosen well.
I made a stove-top quinoa filling (quinoa, carrots, onions, red bell pepper and wilted spinach), and served the entree with sides of roasted potatoes and a spinach salad with walnuts and apple slices. Inspired by the recently viewed Master Chef finale, I even plated it!
|It looked better in focus. It tasted great!|
Emboldened by my success, I volunteered to make Sunday dinner, as well. Another quick internet consultation, a glance in the spice cabinet, a combination/alteration of two recipes, and voila! Crockpot chicken and vegetables.
|Onion, carrot, potato, dry rub, small chicken. Cook on low for 5 or 6 hours.|
And there you have it. Dinner by Rachel! Warm, healthy, creative - and best of all, completely edible. :)
*To be fair, I do make an excellent chocolate chip cookie.
**Cut in half, gut, place upside down in a rimmed baking dish, add two cups of water, cook in oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
***I know. But he said it was spinach! Yes, it looked and smelled funky, but how was I to know it wasn't some sort of small-farm, heirloom variety?