Friday, April 8, 2011


Claire and I met at the birth of my second child, Allison.  She was herself about to give birth to her second son. We became friends later when I got a job at her hospital.  Claire was also there during the birth of my twins, and not long after that, we decided to cook together on one of my days off.  I can't remember exactly what we made.  Probably easy macaroni and cheese (we'll share this recipe later!), but it worked so well that cooking with Claire became a regular event.
This is Claire, on the day we met.
(It's the only picture I could find of her!)
You can't tell she's  pregnant.
She's holding Allison. 
We share similar philosophies on cooking: nutritious, hearty, flavorful, and kid-friendly but not kid-catering. We share ideas on how to sneak veggies into food, but best of all, when one of us is tapped out and bored with the usual routine, the other one comes to the rescue with something different. When one of us is having a hard week, the other has been known to drop off a meal.  (We live 5 minutes from each other.)  There is nothing better than having a hot, home-cooked dropped off at your house when the kids are restless and twitchy, your husband is out of town, and you have no idea what you are going to make for dinner.

Claire and I have garlic in common.  She brings to the table an Italian background, while I tend to cook with more of an Asian flair (read: green onions and cilantro).  Our approach is generally to shoot a few emails back and forth, come up with something, and go from there.  The recipes may or may not be in our head, and there is a lot of "pinch of this" and "dollop of that- mmm, no a little more." Often we wing an additional dish or two after we've already started. There is no plan, but there is harmony and magic, and 2 hours later, dinner for nine families.  (We did that once.)  We try to make quadruple batches so that each of our families can have something that night, and something to put in the freezer.  Sometimes we donate a meal or two to a family in need. We frequent Costco, Trader Joe's, the regular grocery store, and the occasional specialty store.

One of these days we'll take a picture of the kitchen mid-meal prep, as it is truly a disaster. Sometimes there is a playdate with multiple 4 y/o girls going on in the background, and twins that need to be fed or put down for a nap. But, afterward, the house smells great, the kitchen sparkles, and bellies are full. Here we go...

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