Tuesday, January 26, 2010

books, food, and true love

what do these three books have in common?
a. they rock
b. they've made my january lovely, despite the lame weather
c. they are each uniquely addicting & inspiration

life of pi has been out for a while, so i realize there's really not much for me to say about it that hasn't already been said. if you're looking for a book with a beautiful story that leaves you wanting to really live, this is the book for you. this novel is particularly hard to put down, and it provide a refreshing and somewhat unique perspective on religion.

now, onto food. ross gave me the sweetest christmas gift this year: a copy of mastering the art of french cooking, the paperback julie and julia, and the dvd- all tied up with string. actually, i watching julie and julia right now. it's so sweet, and i'm starting to love meryl streep almost as much as i love tom hanks. the books is pretty different from the movie, but very enjoyable. her honest humor & cooking mishaps are addicting. and of course- my own copy of mastering the art of french cooking now seems to be calling my name.

while i'm still just a little too intimidated to start mastering julia child's infamous cookbook, i have fallen head over heels for great food fast. it's perfect for the girl (like me) who hasn't yet cultivated culinary skills through years of practice, but wants too. even better is the fact that all of the recipes are even tastier than they are easy and fast. best of all? not only is the book divided by the four seasons, but every recipe is complete with a gorgeous photograph. what's not to love? so far ross & i have enjoyed:

- pureed butternut squash soup
- sloppy joes
- chicken curry served with red potatoes, rice and raisins
- crispy apricot pork chops served baby broccoli with orange sauce
- potato and onion frittata
- cranberry upside-down cake

ooo i really can't say enough about this fabulous cookbook. most of the dishes are made up of budget friendly elements as well, which allows us to try out at least one new recipe a week.

confession: when ross & i first got married, i didn't put in that much effort when it came to preparing meals. i was so concerned with not being little betty homemaker (despite my [somewhat annoying] natural instincts) that when i did cook, the meals generally comprised of frozen veggies and just sticking some salmon in the oven for 10 min with some lemon juice (if i was feeling fancy). BUT- i recently discovered what millions of men and women have known about for years- the true joy of cooking. seriously- it's wonderful. and the only greater joy than that of creating a wonderful meal with gorgeous aromas and the symphonic sounds of sauteing is the fulfillment that comes with serving your husband (or wife). i really don't mean that in the sense of "i am a woman, let me cook and clean for you, a man." rather, i mean the gag-worthy, "i just freakin' love you, and i love lightening your load, and making your day just a little brighter (and tastier) by cooking for you...because like i said, i freakin' love you. " obnoxious, yes... but true.

and just incase you weren't sold on the whole loving through serving bit, here is even more motivation (if you're even looking for it [whoever the you is i am so frequently referring to]): giving leads to more giving, and good cooking yields to better cooking. what i mean is this: if i cook a particularly scrumptious meal on tuesday, ross will be even more inspired to cook and equally (or surpassingly) wonderful meal on wednesday. who wouldn't love such a cycle? not that ross needs inspiration to be awesome, but more on that later.

"julia, you are the butter to my bread, the breath to my life. i love you, darling girl."
- julia's husband, paul.
cooking is the new love language.

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