Monday, March 22, 2010

3 Chicks + 3 Recipes = New Friends!

My boss is fond of telling me that I am an introvert, and it's true. I enjoy spending quality time with just a few people versus large groups, but because I also enjoy my "quiet time," it means that I am usually slow to make new friends. I am delighted to be able to say then, that I have two new friends - Liz and Kim - with whom to share my love for cooking and eating. It all started when Liz decided to pop in a DVD of Julie and Julia on a transatlantic flight. Liz hadn't been too enthusiastic about the movie but figured it would do for some mindless entertainment. Ironically, she loved it so much that as soon as Liz got off the plane she wasted no time and started a blog, cast an open call for partners, and picked out a cookbook.

And so, that was how my DH and I found ourselves at Liz's house with her husband Tri, Kim (Liz's cousin), and Kim's BF on Sunday evening, faced with a mountain of red chili peppers, several pounds of ground sirloin, a package of truffle butter, a dozen different spices, and more.

While the guys heated up the grill and sipped wine on the deck, Liz, Kim and I got to work deciphering three recipes from the Top Chef cookbook/web site:
spicy fire wings with pineapple-jicama slaw,

black truffle burgers (sorry, cookbook-only recipe),
and strawberry apple crisp.
Despite some glaring editorial mistakes that required some educated guesses on our part (three QUARTS of chili peppers, people? Really??), the food all turned out excellent, if you can't tell from the photos, and we had a great time getting to know each other and messing up Liz's kitchen in the pursuit of a Top Chef-calibre gourmet meal. You'd never have guessed that Kim and I had never met before this, and that the three of us had never been in a kitchen together before. We made an super team and got dinner out on time, in a good humor, and without any major snafus. Two hours of cooking passed in a blur of happy chattering and a coordinated dance around each other and the butcher block island.

Thanks Liz! Can't wait for the next lesson!

Photos are all courtesy of Liz's DH, Tri, who is a fantastic photographer. Aside from working a 9-5 job, Tri also photographs local boxing matches for an online boxing magazine. Check out his other great pictures at!