I love food. I love cooking food. I love eating food. I love trying new recipes and adjusting and tweaking to my liking. I love feeding people and seeing looks of pleasure on their faces. It's great when I know people are happy to come to my home because they know they will be fed and fed well. There is nothing worse than being invited to someones home and there is either not enough food to go around, or poorly done. I am certainly no gourmet cook, but I think I am a very good cook (Hubby has a tummy to show for it!) and we like to fantasize about opening our own restaurant with good homey foods. None of that sliver of meat, a sprig of broccoli and a swirl of sauce crap. If I have to pay $20 for a meal, it better be good and it better fill me up!
We don't often eat out, conserving money and our sanity. You try eating out and holding the attention of three children 4, 3 and 1 and finding something on the menu that they'll actually eat. On one of our rare excursions to a pre-kid, favorite, sit-down restaurant that was well-known for ribs (alas! something I haven't tried to cook yet) and with a craving for ribs like you wouldn't believe, we were sorely disappointed. First, the waitress made no attempt to tell us that the grilled cheese sandwich we ordered for each of the girls was the size of a large pizza. Had I known I was paying $8 per pizza-size grilled cheese sandwich, I would have ordered one and cut it up. But no, and even better, the girls only ate the fries and their sandwiches sat, untouched. Gah! Then the ribs that I had been drooling for, dreaming of, willing to give up my first-born for... sucked. It was not falling-off-the-bone, finger-licking, who-needs-a-napkin, I'll-lick-the-sauce-off-the-corner-of-your-mouth-for-you-good. It was rubbery and I felt like a dog gnawing his bone. Oh! The disappointment! We sadly paid the bill and apparently our sentiments were echoed by other customers, because the place closed down a few months later. I would have been sad but I had already broken up with them.
Before we moved here, there was a FANTASTIC Chinese place we went to nearly 2 or 3 times a week! We went so often, they got a high-chair just for us! It was just 4 tables in there, but they were constantly busy and the woman that ran the place took pride in her service and food. We only had to walk in and she remembered what we liked without us ever saying a word. And they were cheap! Go in during the lunch hours between 11 and 4, and we could eat enough to feed a family of 10 and only pay $12! Since moving, there is only one Chinese place here and they suck! I gave them multiple tries, but they just don't do it for me.
So I have taken it upon myself to learn how to cook Chinese! I have my stir-fries down pat! I make a mean spicy beef with mixed vegetables; mouth-watering fried rice that even my girls can't resist; and I just figured out egg rolls. Oh! Who needs to go out to restaurants when I can make it myself and it only costs me a fraction of what we would have paid. Then as a bonus, I don't have to keep the attention of 3 girlies and pray they don't have a melt-down in public, or plead with them to eat the food that mom and dad have paid an arm and leg for.
The only thing that suffers with my love affair with food is my poor body. I still have not lost the baby weight from the last one and I fear I never will. The poor weight scale that I bought last week, because I have not weighed myself in ages, gave me such a fright when I finally stood upon it! *GASP* That's it! I am on a diet! I have searched high and low for my old diet plan, the one where I lost 25 pounds in 3 months before I got pregnant with the first and I found it! Started it last week and so far so good. But then I saw that mouth-watering recipe on Pioneer Woman's Blog and I just HAD to try it: Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich. You can see for yourself, click on her link that I have on the right sidebar, but be warned--once you make it and taste it, there is no going back. It is LICK-THE-PLATE-GOOD. I have since made it twice and I think I've gained 10 pounds! Gah! But looking at the weight scale again, it hasn't changed, so no harm, no foul, right? I can diet all week, eat a sandwich and my weight won't change. Sounds pretty good except I want to LOSE the weight. Oh dear me... I'll have to give up the sandwich. I'll settle for once a month, yeah that's it.. Diet all month, and then I'll only gain back a weeks' worth of weight. It's a deal!