So, I was in Shauna, Danny, and Lu’s kitchen the other day dancing to wonderful music and tasting amazing food. Jealous?!
Yeah, don’t be. I wasn’t actually there. Except, maybe in my mind.
But, I was tasting some pretty amazing food. And, it sure felt like I had them looking over my shoulder helping me make one of the most delicious (oops! Not supposed to use that word any more, am I?) scrumptious meals I have ever had. Let alone made.
OK, let’s go back to the beginning.
I was reading blogs a few weeks ago. (So, sorry to all my blogging friends that I have been slacking in reading and commenting. Long story.) While reading a post from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, they asked if any of their readers wanted to try out a few of the recipes from their new book (Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes) and blog about them. How could I say no? Or pass that opportunity up?
(I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I’ll bet there are about a million posts like this going up today. In fact, most of you reading this have probably written your own post.)
Anyhoo… (My friend Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom writes that, and I think it’s too cute. I mean, really, cute. Not the sarcastic, I think it’s cute.) They, soon after, received my email (along with the millions of others) saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes! Pick me! Pick me! I want to make your recipes and write about them. Pick me! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease!” And, they, oh-so-diplomatically and oh-so-smartly, said, “Of course, we want all of you to make these fabulous recipes and tell the world about them.”
So, I did. Make the recipes. And, now I am telling the world about them. Or, at least I am telling all of the beautiful people who grace me with your time to read my blog.
And, what fantabulous recipes did they send to me to try, you may ask? (Yes, I wrote fantabulous. In case you don’t know, that is something so fabulous and fantastic that it needs a combination of both words.)
- Fresh Gluten-Free Pasta
- Pasta with Anchovies, Lemon, and Olives
- Seared Shrimp with Garlic-Almond Sauce
- Chocolate–Peanut Butter Brownies
Oh, yeah! It’s good to be me. Granted it took me a while to make some of these things because I am very new to cooking a lot of stuff. I have never made homemade pasta or even homemade brownies before. But, even though it took me a while to get the hang of making pasta the first time, I know it will get faster the more I do it. And, it was unbelievably amazing. Have you ever had real, homemade pasta? I mean fresh, just-gone-through-the-pasta-maker pasta? Dried, in-a-bag-or-box pasta is not even on the same planet as fresh, homemade pasta. And, the gluten-free recipe they give you in their cookbook is… (I’m running out of adjectives, here.) Oh my God, it’s so good. (She said emphatically.)
This is my first attempt, and it turned out this good. (It hasn’t been cooked, yet, in this picture.) Just think of how much better it will look with some more practice. Oh, yeah! I am making this again. And, again. And, again.
Then, there was this. The homemade pasta with Anchovies, Lemon and Olives. And, I don’t even like olives. But, it tasted great in this dish.
The other side was the Seared Shrimp with Almond Sauce. This deserves an OMG! Yes, it does. The Little Man, who just turned two, ate half of my shrimp. He turned his nose up at his turkey hot dog, which he normally loves. Looked at my shrimp. (He has never had shrimp, before.) And, said, “Try.” I gave him one bite. He promptly kept grabbing at them on my plate until he had eaten three of them. I only had six to begin with. (Oh, and this was after he had already said he was full and done with dinner.)
And, these were pretty easy. If you have your ingredients ready ahead of time (more on this later), it didn’t take much more work. And, the quote from my mother who is staying with us for a week, “This tastes like a restaurant dinner. Like eating at a really good, but not too fancy restaurant.” I have never gotten a compliment like that before.
Then, there were the brownies. I realized that I have never made homemade brownies before. I always thought it would be difficult. Why else would there be so many boxed brownie mixes? You know what? It’s not. You have your dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Mix them together. Bake. With a box, you have your dry ingredients. Add your wet ingredients. And bake. Not really much different. But, oh-so-different to taste. I mean, homemade brownies are much, much better. If you haven’t had them, please do.
And, these got rave reviews from my mother, husband, and brother-in-law. And, if you like peanut butter, it’s a nice touch. It keeps making me think of the old commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
The only problem I had with these was the fact that I had planned on making these when my husband’s hockey friend (18 year-old) was supposed to show up to hang out (and eat all of the brownies). He didn’t show up, and we HAD to eat these all ourselves. Not really torture, mind you. But, I am still trying lose the last few baby-weight pounds. Didn’t want an entire pan of peanut butter brownies staring at me, whispering, “Eat me. Eat me.”
But, they did. And, I did.
So far, the story is beautiful. It is the story of how Shauna and Danny met and cooked together. I am sure it will continue on from there. It looks like Danny has thrown in his tidbits, too. Such as, mise en place, (page 14).
I had always wondered about this. It means getting your crap together all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. I don’t know why it never really occurred to me. I mean, I had wondered why everything was all ready when you watched a cooking show. And, I would start to get a few things ready ahead of time. But, he says it flat-out. “Have you ever wondered why recipes are written with a list of ingredients first?” I think that was one of those “duh?” moments for me. I hope there are more of them in the book. Sometimes I need the sledgehammer to the head for me to finally get something. Thanks, Danny.(Also, not sarcastic.)
So, to sum up. Get Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes. Make the recipes. Read the story. Enjoy the food. Enjoy it with someone you love. Even if that means yourself. If the four recipes that we have tried so far are any indication of how wonderful and delicious (There! I said it.) the rest of this book is going to be, I can’t wait to experience the rest of it. The recipes and the love story.
Thank you, Shauna, Danny and Lu! You are helping to make this gluten-free journey a wonderful adventure.
Now, if you haven’t already…Go buy the book!
What about you? Have you been following Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef? Have you read the book ? Tried any of the recipes? Leave a comment below. Let’s talk about it.
Until later, here’s to…Living better, easily!™
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