When a coworker told me that I had somehow walked through Target and missed the shipper with the Chrissy Teigen cookbook, and the too-small section of her housewares, well, honestly, I didn’t believe her – that just sounded like something I wouldn’t miss, so next time I walked through, you better believe it all found it’s way into my hands, and arms, as much as I could juggle (because no one grabs a cart on a Target run) and through the self checkout we went, happy as a full belly.
As my mom has become a caretaker for my dad, I’ve become her caretaker, always making sure she has food and wine and a good laugh and I’ve found something satisfying and therapeutic in the chopping of vegetables and getting lost in the stirring of a sauce. Like all things in life, cooking is best enjoyed by good company (and with wine), so I’ve included an opinion of someone I love for each dish, because sharing is caring people.
Also, I feel the need to mention the fact that it seems nearly impossible to get even a half way decent picture of food, like is it a thing that the uglier the food looks on camera the better it tastes? I tried people, like over and over again to get some decent images for here, but you can tell it didn’t really work out, so I’m sorry in advance if this post is a little dense from text over load, but what I’m lacking in images I tried to make up for with humor.
I started with the Red Chicken Curry, a recipe I normally might not choose as my mom gets sweaty just thinking about spicy food, but I just couldn’t get over the lovely lobster-y color of the sauce on that chicken. The recipe didn’t take long and the color was just as beautiful in real life as in the photos. I did make one mess up and got bone in chicken, which complicated things, but something about the kitchen and red Thai paste gives you confidence you didn’t have before and all worked out fine. PRO TIP – if you have leftover, which we did, store the cooked rice separately from the chicken and sauce, or the rice will soak up every last bit of that tasty sauce!
Marina: “My butthole is definitely going to feel spicy later.” 7/10
Next, the Chicken & Dumplings, which I’m affectionately calling Lumpy Dumpling Chicken Soup. This recipe made my belly full, my soul happy, and my house smell like Thanksgiving morning, when my mom sautés all the vegetables for stuffings and everything else. I love this meal so much, I made it again a few days later, and will make it all winter long because it is just that good. Admittedly, when I read dumplings I was picturing steamed, fan shaped, dumplings, but these aren’t those perfect dumpling emoji types, they’re actually better. These dumpling are literally balls of dough, dropped into your soup, made with buttery goodness and the perfect amount of airiness, what’s not to love? PRO TIP – Use seven cups of water instead of eight, I used seven my first go around because my pot was too small, and eight on the second and I much preferred the consistency of the first batch, whereas the second was almost too soup-y for me. Also, don’t try to take a shortcut and use boneless chicken, I did that too, not as good as bone-in!
Mom: “Chicken and dumplings are delicious – like a big hug.” 10/10
Then came my cravings for what I call the “ooey gooey,” basically anything cheesy, warm, and against any diet out there, also usually implicative of the fact that cheese is hanging between spoon and bowl and inevitably on my chin. So, I went for the Broken Lasagna and LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, but let’s be real mostly ladies, I MADE MY OWN BLEEPING SAUCE, never did I ever dream I would feel so efficient in the kitchen; it was like that sauce was my destiny. It was rich and acidic and paired beautifully with the resiling I drank too much of. Darren and I shared a loaf of perfect crunchy, carb-y, bread and it was so good; I want to go back to that moment. I can’t wait to make this one all over again. The cheese was amazing and is it just me or Italian food tastes better somehow the next day for lunch?!
Darren: “It tastes good.”
Stephanie: “Babe! This took me hours, more words…I need something to post on my blog!”
Darren: “It pleases my palette.”
Stephanie: “That actually might work.”
Mom (in the background): “It’s an epicurean adventure through Italy, walking barefoot through vineyards, dancing gleefully under the Tuscan sun while spilling wine.” 11/10
I plan on slowly cooking my way through the entire Chrissy cookbook, let me know in the comments if you guys like this, as it’s a little different from what I usually write and maybe I can turn it into a monthly series!