Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Life Letters (February): Cooking (Part One)

In January, I read Life Letters written by my friend Alyshia. I thought about the past, the present, and the future. I brainstormed about all of the things I love, have been meaning to try, and want to have as part of my life. I wrote 12 letters to myself. And on my birthday, February 18th, I opened the first letter while sipping my delicious gingerbread latte from Starbucks.


Yes that is right...art in the kitchen. Now I know how to cook. I actually enjoy cooking most of the time. I like trying new recipes. I love hosting dinner parties. But truth be told, I don't cook dinner often because with Ryan's job I never know when he is going to be home for dinner. When we were engaged, I would have dinner on the table and he would be stuck in a meeting only to make it home hours later. Home to a cold dinner, annoyed fiance, and just an all around unpleasant experience. So when we moved to New York, I ate most dinners by myself. I was pregnant with Adelaide and didn't need a huge dinner. Typically I am more of a breakfast and lunch girl anyway. And I don't like to eat late so I usually whip up something easy, eat while the kids wind down, and call it a day.

Well my cooking letter *hung by my cookbooks* inspired me to try new recipes that I had been afraid to dive into; to attend a cooking class as we have been talking about trying one for months now; host a recipe party with my girlfriends; cook dinner at least 4 nights per week for the month; make an ethnic dish; plan ahead and prepare 5 freezer meals; deliver a four-course meal for an in-home date night; and generally just push myself out of my comfort zone.

With no time to waste, Ryan & I attended a cooking class at Sur La Table on Sunday afternoon. The topic was deliciously healthy cooking. (I wanted to try something a little more *spicy* but with Ryan's travel schedule this month our options were limited). The basis was to expand our culinary repertoire with a menu full of seasonal flavors, low calories, and easy preparation. Probably one of the most practical ways to help me long term in the cooking department.

cooking mirror

12 of us were in the class together. An eclectic bunch and a fun one at that. Our chef, Krystyna Cibelli, was not only amazing but she was hilarious too. Very personable and made us be incredibly hands-on which was exciting. We made three entrees and one dessert. All equally delicious and less intimidating than I thought :)

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash & Kale:

Wine Poached Salmon with Herbed Quinoa:

Shrimp & Zucchini Noodles in Red Curry-Coconut Sauce:

Citrus Yogurt Cake:

We had a wonderful afternoon date and highly recommend Sur La Table! We can't wait to try our new recipes at home and come back for another cooking class!

**If you are interested in these recipes, let me know and I can email them to you!

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