Life is Sweet

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child

Chris and I recently celebrated seven years of marriage -- lucky number 7!  And how did we welcome in that year?  By eating and cooking, of course.

You could say that food has always been a big part of our relationship.  Our first date was at a local pizza joint -- the best ham and pineapple pie I've ever had. We got engaged at our favorite restaurant. We spent our honeymoon in Paris -- I know we visited several museums and landmarks, but all I can remember is the food. (The best part of the Louvre was eating lunch on a lovely cobblestone terrace overlooking the museum.) When I think of Paris, I think of cups of chocolat chaud  and pastries that were wheeled into our room each morning, pitchers of wine and pizza with egg and ham, a 12-course meal that ended with edible gold, my first encounter with beef tartare, buying fancy chocolates, stopping into a local grocery to buy baguettes, cheese and fruit for a picnic in our suite -- it goes on and on.

A few years back, we bought a copy of Dinner Dates: A Cookbook for Couples Cooking Together by Martha Cotton. It is filled with fun meals that require a joint effort to prepare.  There is a part for Chef Numero Uno and a part for Chef Numero Due.  We always have fun making the meals, but usually only remember to dig it out of my pile of cookbooks once or twice a year.  This past weekend, we chose the dinner date menu "The Ultimate Valentine's Day Dinner" (because every day is Valentine's Day in our house) which consisted of:

French Onion Soup
Filet Mignon with Herbed Butter
Sautéed Mushrooms
Simply Steamed Spinach
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries and Biscotti

I won't give away the recipes as I really think everyone should try to get a copy of this book -- but, the filet mignon came out perfectly cooked.  We put it on a bed of spinach and covered it with the mushrooms and herbed butter, with the potatoes on the side.

The chocolate covered strawberries were delicious and actually very simple to make.  I used the leftover melted chocolate to make some bark (spread in a rectangle on foil, top with chopped nuts and dried fruit, stick in the fridge for at least an hour).

It was a lovely meal and Chris did a great job as Chef Numero Due. We are a pretty great team. I even wore my new chef's coat, but was terribly nervous that I'd get it dirty--which is a given for the Gourmess.  We opened a bottle or three of fine wine and spent the day cooking and reminiscing about our weekend wedding in the Adirondacks seven years ago.

And it felt like it was just yesterday.
Life sure is sweet at Chez Gourmess.