And I love her love stories. Not just with her husband, who she clearly adores. But with her daughter. With her friends. With her home, Vashon Island. And with her food.
Her new cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, comes out in the US today. I'm not sure when the UK release date is, but it's on Amazon.co.uk already. For those of you not in the UK, you can buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or IndieBound.
And to celebrate the release of the new cookbook, she's not doing a blog tour or anything. She has, however, asked us to blog about our experiences with family dinners, as that's what inspired her and her husband to create their new book.
I had family dinners as a kid and as a teenager. They were generally on Saturday or Sunday nights (depending on who was in or out), and frequently featured steak, sauteed mushrooms, and mashed potatoes. Sometimes even Potato Buds (to John's horror). Sorry, Mom, secret's out. There were always tealights (my dad loves tealights), and usually Prairie Home Companion (not my favourite...) in the background on NPR.
Since we only have the stepson every other weekend, and there are only the three of us, there was never any thought of kid-dinner and grownup-dinner. From very shortly after I met him, when he was about 7, he ate what we ate, albeit in smaller portions or without whatever substance was currently deemed "fizzy."
We cook a lot. We like to eat.
We make veggie chili, and the boys eat it with rice while I eat it with cornbread (too American, they say).
We tend to eat meat-light- a lot of our favourite recipes are veggie ones. If we're having steak fajitas, it's one small steak, divided between three. Bacon is a seasoning. Chorizo & kale pasta is one of our faves.
Once, I made toad in the hole.
We make homemade pizza all the time. For whatever reason, the photos aren't cooperating.
We made meatballs in honour of my friend's mom when she passed away, and sparked a global meatball supper on what would have been her birthday.
And then, there's always Julia. And her mushrooms.
Which go in to the famous and endlessly delicious Boeuf Bourguignon.
We love to cook because we love to eat, but it's more than that. We love to sit down as a family and talk about the food, talk about our days, tell fart jokes (we DO have a teenager, after all), and eat. The only differences now, from 7 years ago? I'm a better cook, which helps. Teenager now gets the biggest portion (and pronounces himself hungry shortly afterwards).
We'll stay with the family dinners, thanks.