To Read on the Journey

Thursday, April 18, 2013


The guy in the photo above is Justin, and he's a for real chef!
(don't let the In-N-Out apron fool ya) 
A few weeks ago he asked when he (and his lovely wife, Korina) could come over
to give the girls a cooking lesson.
You should have seen Josie's beaming face when I announced this news to her!
(Josie loves to cook, and has plans to open a restaurant some day- "Josefini Tortellini's")

The girls had a blast learning from Justin, who is passionate about cooking
(watching someone be passionate is a gift in itself).
Thankfully, Justin brought his own fancy-shmancy knives.
He schooled us on each one, without trying to sell them to us!  
Apparently,  my technique of using a steak knife to cut everything but steak 
(I use a butter knife for that) is frowned upon.
Did you know that if you chop your veggies (or anything really)
the same size, they will cook evenly! 
(That explains a lot). 
These yummy vegetables were being chopped for a vegetable risotto,
which is made with Arborio rice. I'd never heard of Arborio rice, and
blame Rice-A-Roni for keeping me in the dark.

The vegetable risotto was made from a delicious medley of Arborio rice, sauteed onions, 
grilled veggies, garlic, salt, veggie broth, and white wine. 
Needless to say, it put my usual "San Francisco treat" to shame.

Justin also served us flank steak with Chimichurri sauce
(which we've renamed "chimmy churro" sauce, because we're dorky like that).
Poor Michael only eats steak when I'm out of town, so he (and Noah) were
 on Cloud 9 when they heard of  "Justin-the-nick-of-time's" (yep, we renamed him, too) 
plan to serve beef for dinner.

The  Chimichurri sauce was made with parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon, and olive oil. 
It was so good I wanted to drink it. 

I don't know what Justin-the-nick-of-time used for the flank steak rub...
I think it was some super-secret "I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you" rub. 

While the girls were being schooled, and I was photographing, Justin's ADORABLE wife, Korina, was concocting some beverages to accompany our meal 
(Korina, is a barista at our favorite coffee joint, Cool Bean.  Last week when I ordered my beverage I told her to surprise me.  She made me a salted-caramel-milkyway-something-or-other. OHHHHHSOOOGOOOD).
On the left a Strawberry Lemon Lavender Drink, 
and on the right Lavender Tea. 

I learned that we can make simple syrup by "simply" mixing a bit of granulated sugar and warm water together into a syrup consistency.  Doing this instead of spooning in cups full of sugar to your beverage ensures that the sugar doesn't sink to the bottom. 
Hm, who knew?

Here's a quick peak at our dinner- minus the parmigiana cheese on the veggie risotto,
 and "chimmy churro" sauce on the flank steak. 
(at this point young people were griping at me to stop taking photos so they could eat). 
Should I be offended that the salad I made (using a steak knife to cut all the veggies)
 barely made the picture?

     Chef, "Justin-the-nick-of-time," Korina, and the happy feasters.

Our meal was DELISH!
Even better was the sweet time we got to spend with Justin & Korina.
They are fantastic! 

I know you wish you had a fancy chef friend to teach you some culinary skills, too.
Well, don't be dismayed! 
You have a culinary chef's friend!

Here's a little tutorial on how to properly slice an onion. 

Apparently, the only way to avoid the many tears that accompany the slicing of an
 onion is to not slice an onion. 

Since we are onion connoisseurs, and avoiding onions is unreasonable,
Josie has come up with another solution,
which totally works. 

Live in Peace,


{cuppakim} said...

okayyyy this looks like the funnest day ever.

also i want that steak.

i'll bring my own butter knife.

Anonymous said...

So fun!

I get free food for life at Josefini Tortellini's, right? I mean, I think I planted the seed for the name.

Gina @ Not So Random Stuff said...

so fun! I'd totally eat at Josefini's Tortellini's.

We watched the last season of Worst Cooks in America, and the kids loved watching and learning new techniques in the kitchen. It is now not that unusual to find them chopping and concocting after school. In fact, they've even requested summer cooking school. Of course, I couldn't say no!

Gina @ Not So Random Stuff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen said...

yum :) now i'm hungry.

my husband always wears his onion goggles, too! somewhere i have a video of him slicing and dicing in his cooking gear. it cracks me up!

Linda Z said...

Yum! Justin needs to come to my house! You are going to need to explore some different rices! Have you tried Basmati & wild rice?

Are you guys still thinking about the festival?

Simply Sara said...

you mean a steak knife isn't the all purpose knife i thought it was?!

so much to learn.

as always, your family is crazy fun.

miss you so very much!