Friday, November 08, 2013

Cookin' with Marie...

Marie and I cooked again today.  Surely Friday is now my favorite day of the week!

Because she had to leave for work earlier, as I mentioned before, we set aside the attempt at making naan to a later day.  I really honed in on trying Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce, to which Marie gracefully acquiesced.  While I have no photo for proof of success, the fact that we both inhaled our portions speaks to its tastiness.  Marie took home the two left over portions for their dinner, but I made sure there was enough of the basil cream for me to use on the morrow.  I will only need to cook more chicken.

And then ... well ... we about died and went to heaven.

This.  This!  This is Butternut Squash Brunch Braid.  It is so very tasty that my electrician, who had stopped by for a visit since he had a job in the neighborhood, said his mouth had never been so happy.  Marie and I concurred.  There is one slab left over, and I believe I should get some sort of reward for having successfully resisted inhaling it thus far.  My goal is to wait until the morrow.

Marie and I also made Peanut Butter Nutella Cheesecake bars, again making a half-and-half crust so that we could split the pan. I get the wonderfully tasty graham cracker crust bars and she gets the completely icky Oreo cookie crust bars.  However, since we had a shortened cooking time, the bars had not finished setting by the time Marie had to leave for work.  She made do with having one of my  English Toffee Bits Blondies, as did Ben.  Both agreed that they really do taste more like a giant cookie than a blondie.  So, I shall continue on with my quest to make a dessert with English toffee bits that matches what I envision it should be.

Today, we used every single surface of counter and the bistro table top, in order to get everything chopped and mixed and put together.  We also used up an entire dishwasher's worth of plates and cups and pots and pans and spatulas and spoons and forks.  Basically, we made a colossal mess.

After Marie, and then Ben, left, I took a bit of a nap.  Once I was rested, I typed up the recipes and texted the photo of the Butternut Squash Brunch Braid to make a few folk jealous (I am a sinner after all). Then I went to tackle the mess.  It was in cleaning up that I stopped and gave thanks for the good gifts of the counters, the cookware, and the dishwasher.

I should have taken before and after photos, for it took me less than 15 minutes to rinse the dishes and fill the dishwasher, hand wash the cookware and stoneware, clean the stove, clean the counters, and even clean the microwave.  The cookware alone practically cleans itself, but with the dishwasher I simply have less work.  And, well, I am ever so thankful that my mother upgraded my counters to granite.  I am thankful, too, for the mirror glass 15-year sealant that makes clean-up a breeze.

So, to sum, I get to savor the joy of cooking with Marie and the joy of eating tasty food and then have no real burden to clean up even when we basically set a hurricane of culinary mess loose in the kitchen.

Basically, the only one who was unhappy today was my puppy dog.  Amos felt he should pre-clean all the dishes, rather than the four plates that I gave to him.  He sat before the open dishwasher and whimpered as each dish, pot, measuring cut, etc. went in without his ministrations.  Oh, the suffering he endures!

I am Yours, Lord.  Save me!

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