Edible Bucket List

Edible Bucket List

If you know me, you know one of my favorite activities is cooking. If you know me well, you know that my favorite thing to cook is something that will be shared. I love quality, seasonal ingredients and unusual flavor combinations. There’s so much I don’t know about cooking, though, and I’m eager to learn and discover it. This is my fall bucket list, food, drink, and cooking edition. 

Have a dinner party. 

I love to cook for people. I always say, “It’s more fun to cook for others than it is to cook for yourself.” Something about laboring over something that nourishes body and soul is immensely appealing to me. Add in some good beer and wine, music, and company, and you’re set for a great night all around. The dinner party I’d like to throw would be almost all-out, with appetizers and multiple courses, but no formal dress required. Autumn seems as good a time as any for a nice meal and great night with friends and family.

Learn to cook Brussels sprouts.

I enjoy Brussels sprouts, when they’re cooked well. I guess that can be said for any food, though; it’s most enjoyable when it’s well-cooked. There are so many good recipes that utilize Brussels sprouts out there in the world that I’m looking forward to cooking with them and seeing which are my favorites. 

Make soup. 

Soup is another food I’ve never made. I love soup, especially in the colder months, and I especially love chicken noodle with vegetables. I’d love to learn to make another kind of soup, too, maybe minestrone or butternut squash. I’ve got months to do it, though, so maybe I’ll make both over the course of them. If you have any recipe recommendations, please leave them in the comments below! 

Visit a winery. 

Since I’ve been legally able to drink, I’ve never been to a winery. When I went before I turned twenty-one, I had to sit and watch everyone else trying the wines. I love wine, so the fact that I haven’t been to a winery when I can participate is a little strange. Now the leaves are beginning to change, so I think it would be lovely to bundle up and go before the wineries near me close for the season. 

What is your favorite fall food, drink, or comestible to make? Do you have any recommendations? Leave them in the comments below – happy fall!

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Anniversary Dinner – Pinterest Style

Anniversary Dinner – Pinterest Style

The picture you see above is the finished result of our belated third anniversary dinner. I decided, since it was cold and rainy on the one night we could do it, to have an indoor picnic in the tiny bedroom that I share with my little dog in the four-bedroom apartment I share with three other women, two other dogs, and a cat. My little bedroom was really the only space we could use for any privacy.

All you need to duplicate this is you or your significant other’s favorite recipe (the one that you can stand), a few things from the dollar store and cheap section at Target, and lots of love. (I know, I know, cue retching noise.)

The things I got from the dollar store are: tea lights, a plastic tablecloth, and wine glasses. The things from the cheap section of Target are: a bunch of fake roses in a glass vase, a short string of battery-powered lights, and more candles. Because I am a college student, I also didn’t have wine glasses, so those were procured at the dollar store as well.

I made the boyfriend’s favorite dish: chicken parmesan, or a variation thereof. I made the sauce myself, using no recipe at all, just prior knowledge from watching my mother and grandparents make endless batches of sauce. After heating the olive oil in a saucepan, I seasoned it with garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil, and added the onions. Then the canned tomatoes were poured in, and I crushed them with a wooden spoon in the pan. Unfortunately the tomatoes, being whole, had seeds, but this was overlooked during consumption. A splash of red wine, and I let it stew for a while on low heat.

The boyfriend helped with the chicken and the salad like the decent adult he is. I forgot the flour step of the breading and had him dip the chicken in egg, then Panko breadcrumbs. The chicken cooked in a pan for about five minutes, then was placed on a baking sheet, drizzled with sauce, and covered in mozzarella. He slid it into the oven, set at 350 degrees, until the coating was golden under the white and the red of the cheese and the sauce.

The pasta being boiled and the salad made (nothing special, just a lettuce mix, cherry tomatoes, and diced apples, dressed with honey and apple cider vinegar), dinner was ready. Beverages were red wine for me, beer for the boyfriend – while I love wine and dislike beer, he’s a beer drinker to the core.

I had spread the red plastic tablecloth on the floor, and the boyfriend helped me move my trunk to serve as table to the center of it. I draped the battery-powered lights across the trunk, lit the candles, and we brought in the food. It was romantic with candlelight and delicious, especially so since we made the meal together.

Please feel free to like, comment, share, and replicate!