Sunday in the Kitchen

The last three months have been pretty rough for me in terms of food and cooking. With morning sickness that lasted pretty much all day and night, I ate what I could when I could and husband did most of the cooking. He’s been a real trooper taking over the kitchen and my share of the household chores. It certainly hasn’t been an equitable division of labor, but hey – I’m growing another human being here.

But as this pregnancy progresses, I’m feeling sick less often – which is great. Because despite how greatful I am that husband stepped up, I’ve really missed spending time in my kitchen. Poring over cookbooks and and cooking are what I enjoy and how I relax. And today I finally got my chance! After an afternoon nap (which was total bliss, except for the sore neck I woke up with) I waltzed into my kitchen, did up the few dishes in the sink, wiped down the counters and began.

First up on the docket – tunnel of fudge cake. I got out my largest mixing bowl, which isn’t quite large enough for this recipe and proceeded to make a giant, floury mess all over my freshly cleaned counters. I filled up my Nordicware bundt pan with the silky chocolate batter and popped it into the oven. I’m going to have to be patient and let it cool for almost two hours when it’s done baking so the whole thing doesn’t collapse into itself as a giant pile of sludge. I’m going to do my best to wait. I’ve got a major sweet tooth lately and I’m beyond excited about this cake.

Then, onto dinner – bacon and whiskey chili. I’ve made this recipe so many times I can do it without consulting the recipe, but I got it out anyway because I had such a taste for it. It had to be executed perfectly. As such, instead of prepping as I went, I decided to prep my mise en place beforehand. I was so excited about finally cooking that I wanted to draw it out. I diced an onion and several cloves a garlic and set them out in a bowl. I diced the bacon and set it aside. I measured the chicken stock. Lined up the cans of bean and tomatoes. Pulled the bottle of whiskey down from the woefully neglected bar. And then I measured out the spices with the brown sugar and mixed them together into a bowl. Prep complete.

I put some water onto to boil for ditalini (Yes, I’m a pasta with chili kind of girl. I’m sure chiliheads everywhere hate me. Whatever.) Then I put my stockpot over a high flame to heat it up for the main event. When the bacon went in, it sizzled in that satisfying way only bacon can. Oh, joy of cooking! Once the bacon was crispy, in went the onions and garlic. Once the onions were golden and fragrant, in went the beef until well browned. And then the spices – wow, what a smell! From there, I added the tomatoes, stock, beans and a healthy shot of whiskey. I brought it up to a boil, then reduced the flame to let it simmer. The only thing I did differently with this recipe from normal was omit the shot of whiskey for the cook!

Dinner and dessert tonight are going to be so delicious… on that note, I believe I need to take the cake out of the oven to cool. 🙂