I love to cook! I also love recipes and menu planning. I do, however, get in cooking ruts, especially with weeknight meals, when I don’t take the time to try new recipes. One of my projects over the Christmas break to finish cataloging my loose recipes- a project I started last summer but had to put on hold for other summer fun. I also took some time to thumb through my many cookbooks to remind myself of all the delicious new dishes just waiting to jump off those pages and onto our dinner plates. So I decided it was time to challenge myself to try at least one new recipe each week from my magazines, cookbooks, recipe cards, or internet finds. I’ve done this at various times in the past and always enjoy discovering new flavors and techniques.
I received a new cookbook from Joel for Christmas called The Gathering of Friends: Let’s Make Food Your Love Language, Volume 2 by Michelle Huxtable and Abby Jane Green. I spotted it’s exquisite cover in a gift shop while out for a special occasion with Joel. I might have hinted just a wee bit that I would like to have it for Christmas. It is a beautiful book! The photographs of food and home decor are rich and inviting. The lovely apron you see also displayed above was a gift from my girls Abigail and Madeline. Didn’t they do a great job! I just love it! Madeline chooses an apron based on which one looks most like a dress you could wear (if it had a back, of course), which is probably why Wilton calls our aprons “kitchen dresses”. Makes me laugh every time.
Since Joel was kind enough to grant my cookbook wish, I decided to grant his pick of dish! I had already read the book cover to cover (yes, I do read cookbooks) and everything excited me so I told him to choose the first dish. He settled on Ginger Glazed Salmon. This cookbook arranges its recipes into menus so I also prepared the suggested sides of Baby Basil Potatoes and Bacon Sugar Snap Peas, with a few changes that I will tell you about in the days to come.
Although I underestimated the preparation time with this meal, and we ended up eating way later that I had planned, the meal was a hit with every member of the family and, most importantly, with the one who made the request. I will give the recipes over the next few days but, for now, I will leave you with photos of the fun that the girls had with plating. After they saw how I arranged the first plate to photograph, they went all artsy with drizzles, sprinkles, and splashes. Pretty cute to watch. Who says you can’t play with your food?
And then you have the preschooler’s version. Wilton’s may lack creativity, but put it on a Thomas the Train plate and he’s a happy guy.