Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cooking with Marie and Mel!

Just the other day I realized that in our 4 years of friendship Marie has not made me a single bite to eat, not a cookie or a cupcake or plate of pasta..... NOTHING!  Perhaps this seems odd to me because I show my love for people with food and I love to cook!  So, we decided that I should teach Marie to make a few things!

On the menu for our first lesson was Raspberry Balsamic Chicken and Quinoa with Vegetables and Herbs.  We started by creating our grocery list (and by WE, I mean ME) and taking a trip to Target.  Grocery shopping with Marie was like herding cats, she was all over the place and highly resistant to capture.  It didn't help that we were also shopping for her upcoming weekend at the cabin and we were VERY HUNGRY.


Once we finally made it to the checkout line we started discussing the difference between cow's milk, almond milk and soy milk.
Mel - I don't like cow's milk.
Marie - me either. 
Mel - I like soy milk. 
Marie - you should drink almond milk instead. 
Mel - why? How do you milk an almond anyway?
Marie - you should limit your soy milk intake because there are a lot of hormones in soy.
Me - Who exactly is putting HORMONES in my soybeans?
Marie - Jesus.

At this point the lady behind us started laughing very hard, which then turned into a further discussion between the two about Jesus and soybeans, while I stepped away to record the conversation for posterity.

Then we were exhausted so we went to Applebee's and had wine, because.... wine.

We met again the next night and started the process.  Which began with more wine and Marie reading each recipe 15 times.

I was supposed to be offering only verbal encouragement, but I am weak and after watching her struggle for a few minutes I helped her season the chicken and chop the veggies.

We were cooking at Marie's house so I have to show you a few parts of her kitchen and how completely adorable it is.  

Bulldog Salt and Pepper Shakers
The most awesome stove EVER.

 Marie started with the Quinoa, since it would take the longest.  After it reached a boil it had to sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the water, so we moved on to the vegetables.

We cooked the vegetables over medium heat until the vegetables were tender.

Then we took a break for more wine.  At this point, even Chico wanted wine.

Once the vegetables were cooked, we wandered into the yard to find herbs.  Marie swears that these are chives, but I made her sample them because it made me laugh to make sure.

After combined the quinoa with the sautéed veggies and adding the herbs, our Quinoa was complete.  Now it was on to the chicken.  Marie was more nervous about this, so I picked a recipe that was delicious but also very easy.

The chicken was seasoned with fresh thyme and salt, added to the pan where we had already sautéed some diced red onion, then cooked the chicken until golden brown on both sides.  Then we removed the chicken and added some seedless red jam and balsamic vinegar to the pan.  Marie stirred that until it was smooth and then we added the chicken back in.

That is it!  The chicken was done!  We loaded up a tray and took Marie's delicious meal out to the garage bar to our victims awaiting dinner guests, Marie's husband Lee and their friend Nate.

They LOVED it and didn't believe were very impressed that Marie cooked it all by herself!

Even Ellie, the land manatee, enjoyed a few bites of chicken.

Click HERE for the recipe for Quinoa with Vegetables and Herbs and HERE for the recipe for Raspberry Balsamic Chicken.

During our super fun evening of drinking wine and cooking I also asked Marie a few questions, because I didn't think wine and sharp objects and a hot stove were challenging enough.....

When was the last time you were embarrassed?  
Me?  I don't know, it's been a long time.  I don't give two shits anymore.

When was the last time you swore?  
30 seconds ago.

When was the last time you were wrong?  
Never.  I am always right.  Wait.  That makes me sound like a jackass.  Did I have to admit I was wrong when it happened?  <looooooooooong pause>   Hmmmm.  I still think I am never wrong.

What dessert do you wish you knew how to make?
Ice Cream
That doesn't count.
Fruit Pizza
That doesn't count
Creme brûlée!!!!

What do you wish you knew how to cook?
Pizza on the grill.

Because this one time, at band camp, I blew up the grill.

Stay tuned for more installments of cooking with Marie and Mel!  Feel free to offer some suggestions of things you liked to see us make!

~ Mel

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