Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Everything I touch turns to gold

I did it! I completed my first day of Barbri. Now, between you and me I was hella nervous - I had trouble sleeping last night. I was so afraid I'd get there and everyone would be smarter/more prepared/better looking than me. I also harbored a fear that I would be the only one there (I don't know which is scarier - being with smarter/better prepared/prettier people or being alone with myself).

BUT it was easy! They lull you into a false sense of security by cutting the class in half (we got out 2 hours early) and assigning minimal work to do the first evening. But believe me, I feel as though I'm at the peak of a mountain, and its allllll downhill from here. Jon had convinced me to take a day off a week from any sort of review, but looking at the schedule they gave me I don't see how that would be possible without putting myself horribly behind and failing the penultimate test of my brilliance. We'll see how things go.

As for the cooking half of this entry, well lets just say some of us are getting pasta in meat sauce tonight and I don't have any sort of "recipe" I use short of "Meat gets cooked first, then veggies, then tomatoes" so I will entertain you with the dinner I made Saturday night because its far more "fun."

Saturday the in-laws went to a wedding and Jon and I got our only dinner together this week for just the two of us, so I went all out. Okay, not really, but I did step it up a notch. Since we spent all day at the beach we were looking for something cool and refreshing for dinner, so I started us out with a chilled soup. Now Jon was really looking forward to this, even though he hadn't had a good experience with cold soup, and frankly I'd never had an experience at all. I mean who eats COLD soup? Isn't the point of soup to warm you up on a cold winter night? This one sounded appealing though because in addition to being cold, it included mint - perfect after a day at the beach. Kinda like a mojito, right? The soup was incredibly easy to make and we both really enjoyed it. Jon enjoyed it so much he told me I should start "cooking for emotions" but when I asked which emotion this covered he was at a loss for words. He tried again.
"No, I mean, cooking foods that make you feel a certain way. For instance, this soup is great if you want to feel refreshed." I guess that means he liked it (if you don't know by now, I am married to one of the world's greatest men who loves everything I make, well everything but lamb and pancakes, but that's a story for another time).

And now we come to the title of this post. I honestly believe it - as least as far as the kitchen is concerned. Heaven help you if you let me near a sewing machine and a pair of pinking shears. But really, I can never seem to mess up in the kitchen. To follow the pizza from Friday night, I had planned to serve homemade sorbet. I mean, how hard can it be right? Pour some stuff into the ice cream maker, plug it in, and VOILA, dessert. Alas, I am terrible naive. I read the instructions for the ice cream maker ("Have on hand 4 trays of ice cubes, a box of salt, and 2 cups of water") Aha! I thought, I can do one better, I have 6 trays of ice cubes! I pour the ingredients into the canister and plug the sucker in. )Okay, quick now, layer the ice cubes and the salt........)It didn't take long before I realized I didn't have near enough ice cubes (4 trays???? 4 trays???? Who are these people kidding? Or perhaps this is an inside joke and the ice cream maker people are giddy with delight at the fact they have snared another unsuspecting fool.) But what was a girl to do? (I'm sure this will be fine, it'll freeze!) An hour later I notice I now have no ice, merely a vessel filled with cold lemon water surrounded by equally cold regular water. I try to think quickly and decide to throw the whole thing in the freezer. It is not till much later that night I begin to get the cold sweats thinking about how in the morning I will have a gigantic cube of lemon ice and we will have to pass around the container, each taking a lick.

As the post title may indicate, this was not the case. I opened the freezer in the morning to find perfectly formed lemon sorbet. As though it was all part of my master plan. Jon and I greedily shoveled our dessert into our mouths as Jon went back for seconds. I didn't realize how greedily Jon was shoveling until the next day when I went to get it for the kids, only to discover it was over half gone and there would only be enough for the kids and one adult portion. Brother-in-law won the roe-sham-boe and got the adult portion, which he was thrilled to rub in everyone's face, cautioning sister-in-law from finishing his last spoonful.

Chilled Zucchini Mint Soup

1 1/2 lbs zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 bunch mint
1- oz plain nonfat yogurt
salt and pepper


1)Steam zucchini and mint about 15 minutes. Let cool. Discard mint.
2) Puree zucchini in food processor until smooth. Pour into large bowl.
3) Stir in yogurt. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Garnish with mint sprigs.

Lemon Sorbet

2 Tspn lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 cups water


1) Stir all ingredients together until sugar dissolves.
2a) Recipe says: place in ice cream maker and freeze according to directions.
2b) Kate says: Place in ice cream maker for an hour - sorbet will not be frozen. Curse for a bit.
3) Remove sorbet to freezer safe container. Freeze for a few hours/overnight.

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