A Busy Year of Cooking Challenges!

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

Is it February 21st already?  I can't believe a year has passed since I started cooking my demonstrations for the FCI textbook... it seems like it was just yesterday that I was reading through the book, making a stack of vocabulary flash cards several inches tall, and spending a small fortune on kitchen equipment.  It was a challenge and it was thrilling and I loved every minute of it. I may not make beef stock (simmering it on the stove for 13 hours) that often anymore, but I have continued to try new things with food--using what I learned to elevate my cooking whenever possible. 

Speaking of challenges, this past November, I was in a friendly cook-off (but a very serious one -- Chris drafted judging forms, "Official Rules," and made the "sous chefs" sign waivers) with a quite worthy opponent, and I'm happy to say that I won -- I was going to blog about it earlier, but didn't want it to sound like I was gloating, so you just have to re-live it with me these few months later.

I had 2 hours to cook everything and one sous chef to help with it all.  I used the mighty chestnut to my advantage and made some lovely food.  It wasn't perfect, but it was delicious and fun and I really got caught up in the moment of timing everything just right and cooking in a crazy, hectic kitchen and wanting people to love my food. Here's the quick recap of my winning menu and some shared pics (I was too busy to take any myself):


So, what's my big challenge for this year?  I'm not quite sure yet...maybe I'll try my hand at Escoffier's tome, or maybe the Joy of Cooking?  I know cooking definitely brings me joy.

That's all for now.  Happy Monday, Happy President's Day, and Happy Cooking!