Why a recipe challenge? Well, I’m not much of a cook. I haven’t poisoned anyone, but neither have I wowed anyone. I am in charge of the feeding of the humans in my house and no one here has starved. But, I’d like to do better.
The internet is full of so many recipes. And they all look so good. But will they be worth the trouble of buying all the ingredients, nervously reading the recipe ten times then actually carving out enough time to attempt it?
I have never been able to convince myself that it’s worth all that trouble and risk.
But then, I made a recipe by Ina Garten, also known as The Barefoot Contessa. I’ve been tuning into her TV show for years and never made anything. I just enjoyed watching her sangfroid in the kitchen (sangfroid is french for cool, calm and collected especially under difficult circumstances).
I needed to make something for a potluck attended by women who really knew how to cook and I panicked. What to bring? (Someone else had already signed up for the cheese plate). So, I turned to Ina Garten and made something called Crunchy Noodle Salad. It was delicious. All the ladies who cooked loved it. I loved it. And it was easy.
Again, Felicia and I decided to do this blog. We were brainstorming for content and I thought, “Hey, if Julie Powell could learn to cook from Julia Child, I can learn to cook from Ina Garten!” And so the recipe challenge was born.
Instead of cooking my way through one cookbook, I decided to think about what I wanted to learn how to cook. It seems Julie Powell already knew her way around a kitchen in a way I don’t. Also, I’m a pain in the ass to feed. I don’t eat pork or beef or shellfish and I’m allergic to walnuts. Lucky for me, Ina makes lots of chicken (thank you, Jeffery) and she makes lots of baked goods that don’t depend on walnuts. Also, I completely trust that her recipes will be worth the hassle of shopping, reading and attempting.