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Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Wednesday
Aug032011

Pioneer Woman I Ain't

Today Hillshire Farm is helping mama pay the bills.

I'd say Serge and I split cooking duties 50/50. If I was more honest with myself I might even go 60/40. If I'm being truthful with y'all (which doesn't involve being truthful with myself) I'd say 70/30. I don't know why I should feel defensive about that. I have traditionally worked outside of the house more hours than him so he is home during dinner more... So I shouldn't feel defensive. It's society's fault that I do, which makes it your fault because you are a part of society and WHY ARE YOU BUMMING MY TRIP YOU SEXIST BASTARDS?! But whatever.

I daresay Serge is the better cook. He is more refined than I and has the patience to see a recipe to its end. I tend to get impatient, take shortcuts and ruin things. But there is one thing we both try to do well and that is plate the dish. I'm not kidding. We really get off on making our dinners - no matter how low budget - look like something a waiter just whisked out of the kitchen of a 4-star restaurant.

Even when we make tacos, we like to arrange them in a manner pleasing to the eye. Like so:



Woops! Wrong photo! Here, this is the one I meant to post:



I know. We're dorks. But c'mon. 90% of the time we're stuck at home with kids so we look forward to dinner each night like normal people look forward to vacations.

We have a stable of about seven go-to dishes that we really enjoy. We rotate through those and every now and again we break out and try new recipes. Last night, for instance, Serge whipped up some sort of Greek pasta item. Before he presented the main course to his mother and I, who were sitting on our back deck gabbing, he brought out an appetizer of hummus and baked whole wheat pita. I should've taken a picture because it was another Serge Creation.

The hummus was artfully arranged in the bowl like beautiful snow drifts after a winter storm. A sprinkling of diced basil, fresh from our porch nestled atop the hummus and the pita was thoughtfully placed all around the hummus, vertically, like Stonehenge. For kicks I just dug hungrily into the appetizer without saying anything.

"But---! Wait! Did you see...?"

"Yes, Serge. I see. It's beautiful."

"Just lovely, son!" His mom chimes in. "Should be an appetizer in a restaurant."

Satisfied, Chef Serge (pronounced with the Frenchiest accent you can muster. Think: Sairjjjj) returns to the kitchen to plate his pasta.

I should've taken a picture. If only to make fun of another Serge Creation with you guys. What is it about people that they like to photograph their food and share it with people via social media? I dunno! But I like to look at pictures of food. We never post our photos on Facebook, though. That's where we draw the line. We aren't those people. Although, admittedly, I've gone through phases where I enjoy sharing recipes via photography here on the blog. Take this post featuring only THE BEST SOUP EVER, for example.

But Pioneer Woman I ain't. My photos just never look as appetizing so, generally, I just stick to what I do best which is, well, cursing and drinking. So next week, for my final Hillshire Farm post, I'll be doing what I do best: cursing and drinking. And I guess I'll be cooking a little bit too. I know! You can hardly wait! Me neither. I wonder what kind of wine I should get! It's summer so a nice zingy white could be nice. But I prefer red. A spicy Rioja might be the ticket. Ooooh. What about a deep California Cabernet... Oh! And the cooking will be fun too.

Speaking of fun, if I were at Blogher I'd swing by the Hillshire Farm booth #100. Not only would I get to meet the super funny Wendi McLendon-Covey from "Bridesmaids" but I could take advantage of the food styling and photo workshops several experts including renowned food photog Sara Remington, food stylist William Smith, online editor for Saveur Magazine Helen Rosner and Hillshire Farm Chef Jill Houk will be teaching, Or you can just take a seat at the So Good Bistro (the only eatery in the whole joint!) and order up from a menu of dishes featuring Hillshire Farm products. You can find more information about all of these events on their Facebook page.