Monday, March 21, 2011

celebrity cooking

I've known Stephenie since we were 6 years old, and having known her all these years, it comes as no great surprise how incredible her life is. She is full of a talent and energy few people possess, and she has put it to good use... Ivy league schools, Peace Corps, Harvard Law, Carnegie Hall performances, international travel. I'm sure I'm missing some major accomplishments here, but this is the shortlist that comes to mind. Her latest feat finds her competing on America's Next Great Restaurant, sharing her passion for delicious, healthful food. While we've enjoyed following her adventures there, we were so very pleased to have her in our home (and our kitchen) this past week.

To be fair, I didn't invite her over with the intention of having her cook for us (though the thought of sharing in one of her delicious meals was tempting). She and another friend from way back when joined us for breakfast. I felt a bit nervous cooking for a famous foodie, but while she and the children played happily, I churned out some pancakes, topped with our latest batch of syrup, served with fruit and bacon, coffee and tea, and a whole lot of hospitality.

As the day went by, we caught up on the news since last we sat around a table together. Soon our thoughts turned once more to food (do they ever really leave that wonderful topic?). Sophia declared that she and Stephenie would be preparing our lunch. It seemed like a fun sort of cooking challenge, to invite this food aficionado into my home with the goal of putting together a delicious meal using only those ingredients she could find in my pantry. While I headed upstairs to send Charlotte off to sleep, the chefs got busy in the kitchen.

They began by chopping vegetables... organic onions, garlic, red and orange peppers, mushrooms and kale were washed and diced. We were all impressed with Stephenie's lightning fast dicing abilities.

Next they put on water to cook the quinoa pasta from the cupboard, and sauteed shrimp in olive oil. Once cooked, the shrimp were set aside and the vegetables were stir fried and seasoned in the same pan. Stephenie taught Sophia the proper order in which to add the vegetables, based on each one's cooking time, so that all would be cooked to perfection.

The shrimp and vegetables were tossed together and served over the pasta, sprinkled with shredded parmesan cheese.

While I'm known for serving a decent lunch 'round these parts, this was quite a treat. The meal was certainly made even more enjoyable by the company with which we shared it (and the fact that I didn't have to do the cooking!). We're all watching eagerly to see what becomes of Stephenie's restaurant idea on television, but more than that, we're looking forward to see what amazing adventure she cooks up next!


kelly said...

hopped over from soulemama... that lunch looks wonderful! we're watching america's next restaurant & cheering stephenie on! happy day :)