Mesmerized by the food.

Dear friends,


Remember in my last post when I said nothing makes Mama happier than being in the kitchen? Holy smokes — I put that thought to the test after I spent three hours Saturday and five hours Sunday preparing a single meal.

The test results:

Mama cooking = happy camper.

Mama surveying the mess after =UGH.

Here’s a slice of happy:


Here’s a hunk of UGH:


I shouldn’t complain too much.  Mr. Mom helped with some of the prep and he and Kate did most of the dish washing. It clearly takes a village to prep, cook and clean up after a meal for eight hungry souls and a menu that features:

  • Baked ham
  • Fried chicken tenders
  • Classic Parmesan risotto
  • Pasta salad
  • Buttered new potatoes
  • Roast medley of broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts
  • Green salad with homemade bacon bits, croutons and blue cheese dressing
  • Sweet and sour radishes
  • Jalapeno deviled eggs
  • Buttermilk biscuits
  • Blueberry bundt cake with lemon glaze
  • Sweet iced tea

Kate recorded our elaborate spread in a Vine video, which she labeled “Feist for 8.” When I tweeted a jab for her spelling, she replied “Not my fault! I was mesmerized by the food!”

Which, I figure, is as lovely a compliment as a chef can get.

With gratitude {for my favorite Sunday ritual, aka cooking up loads of love},

Joan, who can’t understand why radishes are so under-appreciated among Millennials, particularly when sliced and marinated in vinegar and sugar

PS: In case you’re curious, most of the recipes were mine, except the cake (from Lisa at The Cutting Edge of Ordinary), the potatoes (from Rebecca at Foodie with Family) and the blue cheese dressing (from My Baking Addiction). Take my word for it: make the cake, like now; stop buying bottled dressing and you can thank me later; once you make these potatoes, you’ll be addicted.


  1. Good lord, I would have made an entire meal out of the roast medley of broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. . . . [Parenthetical aside: I love your kitchen rugs.]

  2. M’del, it did seem a bit bacchanal in its excess. And thanks for noticing the rugs! In a predominantly white kitchen, they add a punch of color.

  3. I’ll second the “adorable” vote for the rugs – and offer that I really like your sink hardware as well. As to all that food? I’m pretty sure we don’t make as elaborate a meal as that for Thanksgiving around here. What strikes me in the “entire layout” shot is that you actually have coordinating serving dishes enough for that feast. Even if I ever made that much food for one meal, I don’t have the serving pieces to set a table that way. Very very WOW!

  4. Deb, if I haven’t said it before, one of the big reason I cook (besides liking to eat) is that it helps me rationalize my dish collection!

  5. Bruce Jordan says:

    Mighty fine lookin’ spread, Joan! (Especially the biscuits)

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