Wednesday, January 8, 2014

wiaw: while i was home for break

i'm going to be SUCH a cop-out again and post a wiaw post of a bunch of random stuff i ate over break as opposed to doing a whole day of eats. you're in luck though (if you care about day in the life posts), because once i'm a little more in the swing of things with my new schedule that will now include assistant coaching the track team at my school, i'm planning on updating on what i'm doing as far as eats and working out goes. stay tuned for that riveting post. for now, you'll have to be satisfied with some of the best stuff i ate while i was at my parents. like i said in my recap post yesterday, i had a lot of really great meals. we went out to eat a lot and i don't take many pics of food out (booze, yes, food, no) so this is mostly the homemade goodness. trust me when i say this isn't even a tip of the iceberg in terms of delicious treats. as usual, thanks to jenn for hosting! 

nothing tastes better to me than chili on a freezing day and my mom's white bean chicken chili is probably my favorite. i'm not a HUGE fan of red chili unless it's on a hot dog or french fries (health freak, party of one) so this was perfect. i also think there's nothing better than cornbread from a cast iron skillet. 

i did most of (my mom might not appreciate that but i'm thinking anything over 50% is most, right?) the cooking for christmas brunch so i didn't take many pictures of the food because i was so tired of it by the time we got around to eating. we had apple cinnamon french toast casserole (my mom made this), shrimp, crab and andouille gumbo with rice, sour cream coffee cake with a pecan ripple, chicken and red chile enchiladas and some random breakfast meats. the enchiladas were amazing but i'm always most proud of the gumbo because it's kind of a tough dish to perfect and i think my mom and i have it down pretty well. she let me make it solo this year and i only screwed it up and had to start over once, which i think is a feat. anyway, none of that got photographed but for dinner that night my mom made red wine braised short ribs over gnocchi with a parsley, mint and feta chimichurri. it was about as amazing as you'd expect it to be. 

i ate a crapload of pretzel chips and hummus too. there's a mediterranean place near my parents that makes amazing hummus so i think i handled about 4 tubs of that on my own. 

i know - lobster is about the ugliest thing to photograph in the world, but butter poached lobster cannot go unmentioned here. for new years' eve, my mom and i made butter poached lobster tails and short rib lasagna (see below). because why the hell not have two completely decadent entrees?

followed that up with what is quickly becoming my go to dessert: molten chocolate cakes. this time we topped them with ice cream and a homemade raspberry compote. i think i'm about 2 iterations away from totally perfecting this dessert and next time i do it i want to try it with a cayenne whipped cream...only i won't tell anyone because they would probably think it was weird. so shhh, our little secret. 

we had a TON of leftover spare rib meat so when my mom and i were plotting our new years meal we decided to use it up in one of our favorite lasagnas from fine cooking. it's not your typical super cheesy affair but it's incredibly rich from the short ribs and the porcinis. i highly recommend, though it's definitely a time intensive dish. 

the last night i was in chicago, my mom and i went to the chopping block to take a cooking class together. this was my christmas gift to her and it was really amazing. what i did learn (that surprises no one who has met me) is that i am such a control freak in the kitchen that cooking a meal on a team of four people, two of which i didn't know, had the potential for disaster. luckily these two didn't cook at ALL but were really hoping to learn so my mom and i got to kind of take the reins and help them out. we made chicken and andouille gumbo (mine from christmas was better), crab cakes and this beauty - bananas foster bread pudding in a cast iron skillet. biggest thing i realized over break - all things should be cooked in cast iron. it was SO amazing, not to mention the evening was the best way to end my break - hanging out drinking wine and cooking with my mom. my favorite. 

what was the best thing you ate over the holidays?



  1. Look at you go, girl! Only having to start over once and taking the reins at a cooking class with your mom....not surprised in the least, and I LOVE that you guys did something so fun together :) That's a good idea for a birthday present for my mum in April, too! Thanks for that one ;) Joe and I have been on a huge pretzel chips and hummus kick recently...there's a Greek store just down the road that makes AMAZING hummus and we eat it like candy...soooo good!

  2. All of your eats put my food to shame. It's gorgeous and delicious - double whammy! We got a cast iron skillet as a wedding gift but it's never seen the light of day... I'm nervous that anything I put into it will stick :/

  3. Good heavens, can I join your family? You guys eat like kings! Chili and cornbread is my absolute favorite winter meal...mostly because of the cornbread aspect, but I don't mind chili, either. That lasagna sounds insaaaaaannnneeee and molten chocolate cake? Always sign me up. Nomz.