In order to rip-off the alliterative title of Julie & Julia, I have had to change the names of my two unwitting cooking teachers from Gretchen and Jan to Maria and Maria.
Big life changes going on here, one of which includes me learning to cook. I know.
Here's what I have done so far, with results:
Recipe from Maria (Gretchen): Chicken Piccata
Results: This was awesome! I used capers! And garnished with parsley! I didn't have any white wine, so I used cooking sherry, which didn't counteract the lemon as much as the wine would have, I think. Next time I will cook the chicken just a few minutes longer. It was cooked through, but I would have like just a touch more browning on the outside. I added some mashed, Yukon Gold potatoes, and some corn, which were both very good, but not very colorful. Maybe green beans or broccoli, to go with the rich yellow of the lemon slices.
Next up: Maria's (Gretchen's) tomato sauce. Many of Gretchen's recipe look amazing, but she mostly seems to publish the extraordinary ones, and I am not an extraordinary cook or eater.
Recipe from Maria (Jan): Chicken and Dumplings Yes. It's a Real SAD recipe, but I LOVE chicken and dumplings, and have only ONCE pulled off the recipe I got from the Bisquick box, which is what my mom always used.
Results: Amazing! I actually got the liquid to thicken, and it tasted just like I remember. It has emboldened me in the kitchen. Next time, I might try Maria's (Jan's) recipe, but use bisquick for the dumplings instead of the bisuits in the roll.
Recipe from Maria (Jan): Beef Stroganoff Another Real SAD recipe, but I have never made this and always wanted.
Results: Pretty good. I didn't wait long enough to let the liquid evaporate. I ended up having to take the meat back out to thicken the sauce, which worked, but the meat ended up a bit overcooked. Lesson learned? Patience.
Recipe from Maria (Jan): Quiche Lorraine Eek! Another SAD recipe, but feeling bold, I changed the heavy cream and half-and-half to 2% milk, and the bacon to broccoli and onions. So, not quite as SAD as the original, plus I figured out how to make some acceptable substitutions.