{new series} a month of meals: january 2013

I don’t think this is something I’ve ever discussed online before, mostly because it was not a huge part of my life but rather my husband’s.  But in the past 3 years, between the months before we got married and sometime last summer, my husband lost 50 pounds.  It was a long process for him, but he did nothing extreme.  The first ten or so pounds melted off when he stopped eating out so much.  The rest of it took a consistent exercise routine and generally healthier eating and a few nights of skipped desserts each week.  Like I said, nothing extreme.

I think the question I get asked most often though by people who know me and who know Gerrit and who see my blog is, “How on earth did Gerrit lose all that weight with your cooking?”  And while I’m flattered that people think that things I make sound delicious (although most credit should go to people like Ina Garten and the food editors at Southern Living for creating such fantastic recipes), the question also disappoints me because it seems evidence that I am not accurately portraying what we actually eat on a day to day basis.

I talked a few weeks ago about how the incredibly amazing cookbook Dinner: A Love Story has made me fall in love with cooking dinner again.  And I want to be able to portray that somehow in this space.  I want to share with you the dishes that are on repeat in our kitchen and the dishes that failed miserably and our favorite things we ate in restaurants or in other people’s homes.  I want to share with you the way our meals look from week to week and day to day.

So we’re starting a new series around here: monthly dinner recaps.  I hope it’s an accurate picture of what is actually on our kitchen table every night.  I hope it inspires you to try something new for dinner.  (And I hope it inspires me to keep finding new favorite foods.)

So here we go.  January.

Favorite dish/meal: Garlic butter mushrooms never ever get old.  I think they are my favorite side dish in existence, but they hardly seem to count as a vegetable with all that butter that you dip the bread into.  We also had some bbq short ribs the other night (that I’ll share soon) that were really delicious.  And that meyer lemon grilled chicken–oh that was good.

Least successful:  I have since made this successfully, but the breaded vinegary pork chops from Dinner A Love Story did not turn out the first time.  Turns out that you really need to make sure your pork chops are pounded to the appropriate thickness.  Also that your oil is just the right temperature, otherwise you ended up with scorched breading and uncooked centers.

What we ate the most of:  Mushrooms.  We had mushrooms as a side dish, mushroom lasagna, mushrooms in risotto, and sausage stuffed mushrooms at our party.  We also had a lot of french country omelets on hurried evenings, one of which Gerrit cooked when I was working late, and I think he actually made it better than I do.  Also, hot chocolate.

What we ate in other places:  Our eating out was pretty minimal this month, and mostly amounts to getting unbaked pizzas from Papa Murphy’s to bake at home.  Nothing outstanding here this month, although if eating at my parents house counts my dad did make my favorite duck dish on New Year’s Day.

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