julia child, mastering the art of french cooking, julie powell, french cuisine

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow


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“After one taste of French food…I was hooked. I’d never eaten like that before, I didn’t know such food existed. The wonderful attention paid to each detail of the meal was incredible to me…It was simply a whole new life experience.” – Julia Child 

Before picking up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the extent of my knowledge of French food ended at La Madeleine. Rotisserie chicken, quiche and free bread and jam. (But the chefs wore cooking berets, so it MUST be authentic!) Of course, there are a few legitimate items I knew about:

Birthday Begnets in the French Quarter

– croissants (yum!)
– begnets (eaten in the French Quarter of New Orleans on my birthday – delish!)
– escargot (more like escarNO)

But what a relief, upon opening Julia’s cookbook, to learn that the French actually do eat more than snails and baked goods. In fact, lots of the dishes listed look really tasty! I love the way the flaky crust looks on the boned chicken recipe, and who doesn’t love a dessert lined with lady fingers? My taste buds are really getting revved up, and it’s a good thing, because we are in official countdown mode! T minus 2 days until we bid au revoir to our favorite American dishes and focus on the new and exciting French cuisine. While I’m looking forward to this taste adventure, I have to confess that I think I’m going to miss some of my favorite go-to American meals. Let’s pay tribute to a few of the ol’ stand-bys, shall we?

So long to Grandma Ridings’ Taco Casserole. My favorite part about this recipe is the crunchy Nacho Dorito topping. Oh, AND the fact that it calls for black olives, which are always fun to wear on your fingertips during kitchen prep – with clean hands, of course.

Farewell, Chicken Crescent Calzones. This dish incorporates one of my all-time favorite food products – crescent roll dough!! – in a new and exciting way. Easy and delicious…a winning combination!

On weekend mornings, I’ll really miss Allison’s Breakfast Pie. Allison brought this dish to a morning business meeting before bursting into tears upon learning that the big project she had spent a million hours of her life on could have been completed in minutes with an automated system she didn’t know we had. But don’t feel too badly. She showed us by getting married and leaving the company – and that project – far behind. Now that I think about it, this dish always tastes a little bitter to me.

Oh, Chicken Tuscan Pizza, how I’ll miss thee. Let me count the ways! Chicken, sundried tomatoes, and a thick crust make this dish a hit. Don’t worry, friends…your aerated pizza pan is a-ok for this recipe.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

When it comes time to bring a dish to a party, I’ll really be mourning these Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms. Super easy to make (they come from the Six Ingredients or Less cookbook!), they’re also super tasty and a sure way to make friends at any occasion.

And finally, Ben will be especially sad to say good-bye to our Coca-Cola Pot Roast. I’m a huge fan of crock pot meals, and this one’s always a winner. (Soda? In a pot roast??) Um, yes. Most definitely YES.

So, just for the record, these are recipes that even I can’t mess up (as long as I’ve got a recipe to follow!), so I welcome any of you to give them a try. What the heck, make ‘em this weekend! Take advantage of the time we have left before switching over to a year of Julia Child’s favorite French meals for the home cook. I have a feeling that somewhere around Day #184 we’ll all really be craving a hamburger. 

From my kitchen to yours,

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4 Responses to “Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow”

  1. Amanda says:

    Soda in a pot roast! That sounds awesome!

  2. Emily says:

    Thanks for posting those recipes!!! Each one sounded delicious and I plan on making them soon. Sounds like we have similar taste buds, right up to French Cuisine.:) Can’t wait till you start. Knock ’em dead!

    • admin says:

      Great, Emily! I’m so glad you liked ’em! Have you ever tried Grandma’s taco casserole? It’s a big hit with my family – but kids tend to not like it because of the olives. *shrug* That’s MY favorite part! 😉 I’m so glad you’re following along on the blog…only two more days ’til the real action begins! :)

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