Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dining In

Back in the olden days (last month) we used to eat out a couple of times, every single weekend. It was kind of just a given. At the risk of repeating myself (ha), we have willed ourselves to trim the ol' food budget. And that means not eating out as much. It pains me a little.

We all know that lady who spouts off about how she would much rather cook a healthy, delicious meal at home than eat out. Well, I ain't her. Every now and then, I want someone to cook for me. Preferably, someone named Carlos or Gabriel.

In the absence of Hacienda or El Camino or Mazatlan or La Fiesta, I can hold my own. I do love cooking, thank my lucky stars. It's my outlet. One of my favorite ways to love my people is to cook for them.

So, last night, in an effort to both escape another meal of left-overs and see a couple of girls who I desperately needed to spend time with, I kicked my family right out the door and cooked for the ladies.

I flung out the tablecloth, along with my Anthro napkins, wrapped up in mini cookie cutters.

Dress code: Sweats.

I made one of my favorite salads, with oranges, beets and goat cheese. The girls decided that beets taste like dirt, which poses a bit of a problem, since I recently declared that I do not trust anyone who dislikes beets.

One of the ladies also refused the goat cheese.

I'm in the process of reevaluating that friendship.

I found a spectacular recipe for creamy white chicken chili (I soaked my own beans for the first time!) But it's not photogenic, so I didn't take its picture.

I did, however, photograph the oranges. That's worth something -- right?

After dinner, we watched The Waitress. Seriously, ya'lls, watch the blasted movie. It's one of my alltime faves. Fresh, fun dialogue, fantastic cast, endearing story. Pie. And Keri Russel has had my heart ever since she wrestled through the whole Noel/Ben dilemma.

As for today, it was back to reality.

Back to the meal that just won't quit.

Back to church and naps and sweet cheeks and unruly hair and the occasional time-out (but who's counting?)

I loved my 10 mph weekend. I'm thankful for these blustery Winter months that cause me to hunker down and putter.


  1. 1) Gotta say: I think I would have refused the beets too
    2) That bread looks wonderful
    3) I agree, that Noel/Ben ordeal was harrowing. My roommates and I were glued every week
    4) I'm missing our dining out habit sorely this weekend too. I hate cooking on the weekend!!
    4) Get that little girl a modeling contract! She melts me into a puddle every time I see a new picture of her. ADORABLE!

  2. Everytime I see little Ruby's face it puts me in a good mood, second only to seeing Calvin's face. Lord only knows what Silas will do to me.


  3. Love your outfit...where'd you get that awesome sweater?? It's the only piece I'm missing to recreate the look ;)

  4. I too suffered over Ben and Noel. Your food looks delish, I would have eaten everything plus I would much rather eat out than cook. Ruby also looks delish!

  5. Polish people LOVE beets. Hmmm, maybe I should meet your friend and you can have a few of mine! ;)
    By the way your baby girl is amazing. Love those huge expressive eyes!

  6. Goat cheese ~ YES!

    Beets ~ No way, sister!

    Noel ~ Hubba, hubba!!!

    : )

    Julie M.

  7. I feel old, cause I don't know about Keri Russell and Noel and Ben. Sounds like a love triangle.....I've never eaten a beet. I love it that you are hunkering down and enjoying winter. Love that you love to cook. Love your blog...more than your mom's. *inside joke that I find hilarious*

  8. Wasn't SJS always rooting for Ben? Man, I miss that show. Kind of makes me want to go out and find the DVDs, hunker down and watch them. Guess that will have to wait until my kids have grown an moved out. ;)
    If I didn't know better, I'd think that I was the one at your dinner table turning down beets and goat cheese. So glad to know I'm not the only friend of yours with such a tempermental palate. :)

  9. I think a dinner with friends and sweats and beets sound perfect. And a movie too!

    All too often we don't get to build those friend relationships when we have families. Good for you, taking the time to nourish your friendships (even though they weren't up for your salad).

    It all looks great. And you and Ruby look great too!

  10. Love that you cooked for the girls....could Ruby be any cuter? Your outfit is too cute by the way! I think that is a great picture of you two!....and I think your food looks delicious!

  11. I feel your pain. I LOVE eating out!

  12. First of all, that picture with your daughter..darling. Love your whole ensemble.Ms. Snazzy! Also, Felicity... that was the best show ever! Love it and miss it. I might just have to buy the dvd now that you mention it. We used to eat out a lot. Now, generally 1 night/week. Usually, Fri night,our local Mexican joint.. it is never over $25 and a girl just needs to reward herself with a little chip/salsa combo. It is my way of telling myself, "Good job, Nancy. You made it!" Positive reinforecement, right?

  13. I wish I could have joined you for yur dinner. I LOVE beets. Keith and I rarely eat out. I love to cook and our meal rarely seems worth the cost. What a great idea with the mini cookie cutters. Love you!

  14. Umm. I don't like beets. But since you don't like animals I'm thinking maybe the 2 cancel each other out? Your dinner for your girls sounds wonderful. Tell me you had pie for dessert though. I simply cannot watch The Waitress without having pie. Do you think it's fair that God make your family so gorgeous?

  15. hmmmm - glad to see i'm not the only among your friends not to like beets (or goat cheese) -- but the salad was delish and so was the chili.

  16. Goat cheese....yum
    Table setting....awesome
    Dress code and movie choice....perfect
    Posting about beets (blech)....brave Mother/daughter photo....priceless

  17. I love beets and goat cheese,you can invite me over to eat anytime.

  18. I made bread for the youth staff meeting this weekend and ended up taking almost the entire loaf of pumpernickle home with me. Not a soul touched it. And I found myself wishing for someone with a little culinary adventure. . .

    So I feel your pain.

    ps, would you like some pumpernickle bread? I have a bunch. lol.

  19. I love love love that movie! It makes me want to learn how to make pie! Oooh and I love the Felicity reference, ummm Noel or Ben quite the conundrum.

  20. What a sweet thing to do!

    And no beets for me. ;-)

  21. Awesome table setting. I should work harder on that.

    Never saw Waitress but I was a die hard Noel fan :)

  22. When I was a little girl I loooooovvvvvvved beets. My mom would strip me down to my diaper before I could eat them, then take me straight to the tub! However, I don't love them any more. I can eat them, but I too think they taste a bit like dirt!

    I love the movie Waitress!! So cute! Makes me want to bake pies every day!!

    I have never soaked my own beans before... did you think it made a difference? Was it worth it?

  23. I try really hard to like beets. Beets and shrimp (well, not together... I just try to like them both, individually :)). But, I just can't do it. I was raised on beets. I don't know if it was from forcing them down as a child or if I just don't like them :( ugh.

    Those will be one of the VERY VERY few things that I do NOT can this summer!

  24. That salad looked perfect... beets & goat cheese included. YUM!!!
    Your lil lady is soooo cute!!! Those cheeks... ahhh too precious :)

  25. got to say i do not know if i would eat that salad or not... also going to have to ask you why that movie is one of your faves the next time we talk. i borrowed it from the library & it kind of left me with a "what the...?" feeling. as i say, we'll have to talk on that one.

    you girls looks just fan-tab in the photos. i am telling you, i'd have to be touching that girls hair all the time if i were around her much:)

  26. Hey there - love that post. And, yes, anyone who doesn't like goat cheese is "O-U-T".

    I love those slow-paced weekends where we putz around. That's good livin'.

    Thanks for your comment on my sewing post. That bobbin can be trouble. I just put it on the bobbin post on top of the sewing machine, secure it with the special part (not a great description) and push the pedal. The thread magically goes up and down to fill the bobbin. Come on over and I'll show you. Wish it was that easy, huh. Try again. I bet you can do it!!

  27. That salad lookeed good , but I think beets taste like an old basement! Love the movie choice. Sounds like a fun night. I love your blog, it's a fun read.

  28. Your table is beautiful, but your daughter is simply gorgeous!!

    Oh, how I loved Ben! Beets? Not so much!

  29. Sounds delightful and the table looks spectacular!! I love those napkins...

  30. I knew you were a kindred spirit. Beets are my heaven on earth. Never trust a beet hater is right. With ya.

  31. Mamma, you loookin' hot!! ;-)