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Last week Brighton and I went to see The Hundred Foot Journey. A movie about French cuisine, delicious Indian food, tension between cultures, class and style. Throughout all the tension and struggles there were BEAUTIFUL shots of food and a great storyline. It ended with a meal around a table embracing both cultures, people and food. See it. Its amazing.

We walked out of the theater, stomachs growling: demanding savory foods to satisfy their cravings. The next day we were at Mela’s, devouring a delicious Indian buffet for lunch. Fingers messy. Ripping pieces of naan, soaking up butter chicken and tikka masala with Basmati rice, while sipping warm chai. Delicious.

I started thinking. I need to cook more. I need to branch out more. I get in a cooking rut. I make grilled chicken. Then grilled chicken with salad. Then grilled chicken with a different marinade and rice. Then Thai curry chicken. And sometimes to switch it up I make hamburgers. And I’m better than that. Food is meant to be enjoyed. And savored. Not whipped up and scarfed down. I’m a good cook. I need to embrace it more.

So here’s my idea. It’s not a new idea. Or an original one. But its small, doable, and a good step towards my next new idea which I will share with you later. I am going to read through Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine again. I’ve read it multiple times, and even have the audio book. But I’m going to work through it again. This time creating every recipe. Learning all the steps. I’m going to learn how to make risotto, and mousse, and bread. I’m going to learn what exactly a cassoulet is. Because I have no idea. And I’m going to make each recipe mine. And then, I’m going to share it with you!

Shauna tells a story about journalist, Daniel Duane cooking with Thomas Keller, one of the great American chefs. “Keller told him to make the recipe once according to the instructions. The second time, he told Duane to rewrite the recipe in his own terms, adjusting for his taste, cutting out or adding steps according to what made sense to him. The third time, Keller said to make it without any recipe at all, just by his memory and tastes and hands. And at that point, he said, ‘The recipe is yours.'”

I’m going to follow these steps. Make the recipes mine. Have some amazing dinner parties, lots of champagne, and hopefully be a better cook at the end of it. There are 29 recipes. So I figure this will take me about two months. I will make all these and blog about them and share pictures. Hopefully add a guest blogger or two to keep things exciting. And then at the end of two months, I will share my fabulous idea for the next challenge!

Bread & Wine recipes COMING SOON!

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If you want to purchase Bread & Wine and cook along with me, click here!

Here’s Daniel Duane’s article about Thomas Keller. I thought it was pretty interesting.

I wrote a book review before Bread & Wine was released. To read that, click here.

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