Weekends typically involve three things around our house: Mass, laundry, and bread baking.  This weekend we added two more components:  full-meal cooking and gardening.

Yes, I am happy to report that we finally seeded the garden, but more on that later.  For now, let’s talk food!!!

I am head-over-heels in love with my new oven.  And not just because it cooks RELIABLY, but also because for the first time EVER I am cooking with GAS!  Ohhhhhhh, the difference!  Ohhhhhhh myyyyy gooodnesssssssss, the heavenly difference!!

I should be royally embarrassed to admit this, but you have travelled this road with me through goth hair dye and grey lip gloss, so you know I’ll share practically anything with you and feel no shame.  I had never been able to sauté anything correctly before.  Never.  Yeah, I know…But, hey, I practically had Abe Lincoln’s oven and cooktop, yaknowwhaddImean?

But I was able to sauté a trinity mix TO PERFECTION last week, and it felt divine!  I’m gonna paint my front door orange and change my name to Wolfgang Puck.  (movie, movie? Oh, nevermind.)  Wanna know what I cooked?  Sure ya do!

First, Dom was feeling majorly under the weather on Wednesday, so I made a Chicken, Mushroom, and Wild Rice Soup.  This was the recipe that called for the sautéed trinity.  I also simmered (yes!  I SIMMERED!) cream and broth for the base.  The recipe turned out extraordinary!  And Dom was well within 24 hours.  I give full credit to the soup.  You have to try it out!

By the way, two of the recipes I tried this weekend were from the March issue of Southern Living magazine.  I’ll share my mad mag skillz later this week.  😉

With the raging success of my soup, I was ready to venture into other fun recipes.  Fridays during Lent are usually reserved for Stations of the Cross and fish dinners at the church, but Dom and Aaron had a haircut appointment to keep, so we opted for eating in after they got coiffed.  I had no particular menu planned for Friday night, and with meat out of the question, I decided on Fancy Grilled Cheese sandwiches.  Now, I was originally intending to serve these on homemade bread, but the bread would not be baked until Saturday, so I cut into a French loaf from Kroger’s bakery and made mini-sandwiches.  It worked, but the sandwich didn’t have enough stability by the time I loaded it up with strawberries, goat cheese, and spinach, so I ended up squishing them into the Foreman and making paninis out of them.  And though Dom eyed the sandwiches with mild suspicion, he tasted and gave them the thumbs up.

Saturday morning I began the task of proofing the sandwich bread and planning breakfast.  Dom wanted Greek Omelets for breakfast, so he helped me cook them while I whipped up some Peach Walnut Muffins.  The muffin recipe makes a dozen, and I sent three to my Father-in-law Saturday night.  I had to make more muffins on Sunday night.  In 36 hours, Dom and I ate nine muffins!  My scales hate me. 

The omelets prompted me to go on a hunt for eco-friendly cookware.  That’s another post all by itself.  Geez, I needed one 8-inch pan, and I ended up with more health issues to consider.  Now I gotta find cookware with no PFCs, PFOAs, or PTFE.  Ugh!!!

We satisfied Victoria’s craving for crawfish at a local restaurant after Mass on Saturday, and then came home to continue the bread baking.  By the time I pulled the bread out of the oven at 11pm, I thought it was undercooked.  But then I realized that my former oven just burned the hell out of food and gave me too much crust on my breads, while this new baby baked the bread to a truly “golden” brown.  Even though I was completely exhausted, I was overjoyed at the sight of a perfect loaf of bread.  I even found my second wind and began to prepare the Overnight French Toast for Sunday’s breakfast, WHICH EVERYBODY ATE. That and pancakes are the only meals I have ever cooked that all four of us sat down and ate together, with no one wanting a PBJ instead of the menu entrée.    Yowza!

If you peruse the recipes linked in this post and you try them out, please comment and let me know if you change anything.  I’d love to hear how I can make these even better!!

Happy cooking!