Somehow it worked out that when my friends and I graduated from college a few years ago, a good majority of us ended up sticking around NN. Well, some of us (ahem…) left and then came back again.. but who’s keeping track. Usually once or twice a month we get together for family dinners. Whether that means we take over the largest table panera has, or we squeeze all 8-10 of us around my 4 person table, it’s always the highlight of my week. I was so excited this summer when Michael, Nate, and JR moved into the town house right next door to my apartment, and all my favorite girls live about 5 minutes away.. its perfect, and I’m thankful to have them all so close.
I have developed a love for cooking recently, but living by myself I don’t do it that often since there isn’t much point in cooking for one person, or eating the same thing for leftovers for a week straight. So when I decided to actually make something last week and saw the weeks worth of leftovers staring me in the face, I called my favorite boys next door to come over and help me out. Two days later when the guys invited me to go with them to see Avatar, I get a message from Michael “could we all do dinner at your place before the 7:20 movie?” Sure! Why not. Two days later yet again, “So, what’s for dinner?” hmm I think I’m starting to see a trend, and you know what, I’m perfectly okay with it.
One of my goals for this year is to try at least two new recipes a month, and they guys volunteered to try out the first one and I think its safe to say it was a success! My newest blog obsession is Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman, sharing her story of going from LA city girl to her life with Marlboro Man on their ranch . I got her cookbook for Christmas and cannot get over how unique and beautiful it is. Not only is she a genius in the kitchen, but she is an amazing photographer and has gorgeous images of her kids, husband, and ranch featured all throughout the book. Her blog has everything from recipes to homeschooling to life on the ranch to photography and I could spend hours reading through all her old posts. I love how strongly her bubbly personality comes out even as she’s just explaining a new recipe. I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time getting excited about a new recipe unless I see a picture of it. I’m (obviously) a very visual person, so imaging my delight when not only does Ree have a picture of the final product, but she has a picture showing every. single. step. It’s great!!! I’m a pretty picky eater, admittedly so, but I’m so excited to try lots of new recipes from the pioneer woman :0) So invite yourself over for dinner sometime and give me a good excuse to try some other new ones!
Like I said, my first attempt seems to be a success! I made her recipe for Fancy Macaroni and definitely could have made it again the next night. I have never made anything like this from scratch, and now I don’t know if I will ever be able to go back to macaroni&cheese from a box. Check out her recipes (and photography, and cute kiddos, and macho man) on her site, there’s the really detailed instructions with pictures, and then there’s a printable version of the recipes at the bottom of the page! Also head over to Barnes and Noble or right HERE and grab a copy of her cookbook for yourself!