I love Ina Garten. Not just her recipes and calm style, but her emphasis on making things ahead so you can enjoy a party.
Tomorrow, we're having some grownup guests for dinner, so tonight I did the Ina thing: getting things ready in advance. Turns out, that's still a lot of work! I made Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic (Ina), Moroccan Couscous (Ina), Kale with Balsamic Shallots (brother-in-law Ryan), and a Lemon Cream Tart (Williams-Sonoma). I also bought bread and a salad (TJ, TJs!), and have the fixings for an attractive tasty appetizer of mini-crackers, brie and hibiscus flowers (friend's food blog, Cook.Play.Explore.)
Though tonight was a lot of work, it was also a lot of fun cooking because the element of stress is removed -- it doesn't have to be done in the next 35 minutes. I did enjoy pulling everything together, finding ways of keeping it simpler, and basking in the wonderful smells from the kitchen -- the roasting vegetables for the couscous were so good! It's really time to revive my food blog.
Tomorrow night is good timing: the boys have Carnival Night at the CDC and will be out of the picture. We'd planned on a quiet evening with just Katrina, and will still have that -- only with more grownups and more wine, and a whole lot of good food!