She’s back! This week was my friend Jackie’s birthday and I treated her to lunch at my home (although I confess, it was take out). The event doubled as another Jackie how-to-in-the kitchen. She made a traditional German Christmas Cocktail (Jackie’s parents are Germany born and bred), called Gluehwein, to enjoy for the holidays. Although it’s a little crazy around the holidays, I’m not freaking out as I have in years past. Everything always gets done, somehow, some way. And if you drink a little of Jackie’s Gluehwein, you’ll do it all with a smile! But Jackie warns that if you drink too much – Es kann gerfaerlich sein!
Wednesday Lunch with Jackie
Confession time. I’m not big on cooking. I can follow a recipe and I have hosted (and cooked for) a number of holidays and successful dinner parties, but I don’t consider it fun. I’m not sure why, because as a child, I would gleefully whip up multi-course dinners for my family – I’m not kidding. I grew up in a restaurant and couldn’t wait to go in on the weekends and help the prep cooks. During the high school and college years, I was more obsessed with calories than food, so there wasn’t much cooking. Post college, I was broke, which meant pasta, pasta and more pasta. When I met “R” (who informed me that he does not wish to be named in the blog – oops) and we moved in together, we both were very busy with work and ate out a lot. After the twins arrived, it was all I could do to get them fed. Then there were my vegetarian years, when most of the meat preparation fell to “R”. I can rock salads and vegetables, though!
Fast forward to present day and I have a house filled with six very different appetites and I find myself more of a short-order cook or stuck with the simple boring meals for which one menu fits all. Taco night, spaghetti and meatballs, roasted chicken, repeat. There is nothing worse than breaking out a new recipe, doing the time in the kitchen, and having your “patrons” turn their noses up, before they even take the first bite! As a result, I don’t usually get creative.
Lucky for me, I have many friends who love to cook and are amazing at it. That’s when momma gets to eat like a queen. My friend Jackie cooks food that can rival any upscale restaurant that I’ve been to, and she does it which such casual ease, it fascinates me. I’m easily ruffled in the kitchen and I hate when people watch! Not Jackie. It all comes naturally.
I love everything Jackie makes, but my mouth waters in anticipation of her salads, because she makes all her own dressings. In an attempt to get the recipe for her secret dressing, I suggested we have lunch and I’d do a blog post of her making the special Jackie dressing. Lucky for you, she was game. My attempt at culinary espionage was thwarted when she decided to do her Caesar salad instead. Damn. That said, her homemade Caesar dressing is phenomenal and now I know how to make it!
Meet beautiful Jackie: