"One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends."
~Laurie Colwin 'Home Cooking'
Adrianne and I at our friend Jessica's 30th Hippy Themed Birthday Party
Do you have a friend that you have known you your whole life? One that has seen you grow up into the person you are today- and still likes you? One that you love even more now after all the bumps, up-downs, joys, laughs, cry's and brutal honesty. One that is way more family then many blood relatives are. Because your DNA might not be a match, but your souls do. I am so blessed to have that friend in Adrianne. We met when we were in kindergarten and looking back on my childhood it is hard to think of a time when she wasn't a part of it! We went along on each others family vacations, spent the night at the others' house for not just a night here and there, but days on end. There was a short time when we drifted apart, for no real reason except attending different schools. A few years drifted in between us, but right after graduation we reconnected like no time had past. My mom has a beautiful way of explaining this. She says that in real, true friendships the space between seeing each other, no matter how long, is just a comma in your life. So you never have to start all over, you just take a pause and begin again. So for todays segment of Fridays, Feasting with Friends I bring you my BFF, Adrianne Bailey.
What is your favorite thing to cook?
Stir-fry and curries! Cooking with veggies makes me happy, and makes me feel good about what I’m cooking. I love that I can always swap veggies that I love for those I’m not too fond of. I also love that I can throw ingredients together at the last minute and have a fabulous dish to serve to my family and friends. These are always great if I’m in a hurry or don’t really feel like cooking.
How about your least favorite thing to cook?
Meatloaf! I don’t eat beef, so I don’t make this too often, but when I make it for my husband I can never get it right! My turkey meatloaf on the other hand is fantastic
What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out?
Momocho is definitely my favorite local restaurant. I’ve never had a bad meal there. Fabulous taquitos and the best margarita I’ve ever had. One restaurant that I’m dying to try out is the new Chocolate Bar restaurant that just opened downtown.
You are hosting a dinner party, what your top 5 Dinner Party Songs?
I like to play a random mix depending on the mood of the party and who the guests are.
What would you choose to be your last meal on earth?
I’d choose either my dad’s special stewed chicken with mashed potatoes and corn, OR as many crab legs as I can fit into my stomach!
What are you currently reading?
Right now I’m having trouble sticking to just one book, so I’m bouncing between 3. I’m reading “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist" by Michael J. Fox, “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” by Janelle Brown, and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan
What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget?
Definitely my Magic Bullet! It’s great for everything from making smoothies, to chopping nuts, to pureeing fruits and veggies. It’s also super easy to clean up, and doesn’t take up a ton of room on my kitchen counter.
Do you have a signature go-to dish?
My signature go to dish would have to be chicken fajitas, I found an awesome recipe a few years ago, and have added and subtracted ingredients to make it my own.
What is your favorite thing about Cleveland?
I’d have to say my family and friends. I couldn’t imagine living in a place without the ones I love the most. I also love our selection of markets and fun local restaurants.
Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you cook it today?
I have 2 that I can remember always loving as a child. My first favorite childhood meal is Stewed Chicken. My family always looked forward to this dinner, and my brother and I still request it for our special birthday dinners. I’ve only cooked it 1 time in my life. It just tastes so much better when my dad makes it. My second favorite childhood meal is friend noodles. My mom always made them for me in place of regular spaghetti, and I still make them as an adult. It’s my favorite way to eat pasta.
Top 3 Movies of all time?
That’s a tough one since I love so many movies. I think that I’d have to say my 3 favorite movies are Top Gun, A Christmas Story, and Failure to Launch.
Where do you do your grocery shopping?
Aldi, Giant Eagle, and sometimes Target. I try to do as little running around as possible when it comes to grocery shopping, but the deals at some stores are just too good to pass up!
What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
I love rich foods; anything with butter, cheese, sour cream…those are definitely my downfall when it comes to food. Also dessert, there’s ALWAYS room for dessert!!!
Do you have Culinary Resolutions that you would like to accomplish this year?
I’d like to start using my crock pot more. I love the way slow cooker meals taste, and how easy they are. I always forget about using it though!
I love the fact that almost every time we get together with our families we do Dinner Nights In. Sure it is fun to go out to eat, but there is something so cool about trying out new recipes on each other. We have so many fun memories thanks to this (fondue night... eating stir-fry outside on your deck in the balmy summer nights... homemade pizzas... and one of your specialties- desserts! You definitely make some of the best!...goodness the list goes on!) Luckily I think that we have been almost 100% successful. I think we run on the same philosophy, if it stinks we can always order take out! So my big question to you is in all of your entertaining, have there been any times that you made a dish and it didn't turn out the way you had hoped? What did you do?! Any disasters you were able to fix on the fly or did you just "order take out"?
Wow, we sure do have a great time when we have our monthly dinner get-togethers. Lots of terrific memories, and food that has been out of this world! I’m trying to think back to all of the entertaining that I’ve done, and meals that I’ve cooked for family and friends, and I don’t think that there is a meal that I’ve completely screwed up while entertaining (hopefully I didn’t just jinx myself)!
I can remember making a birthday cake for my father in law, that tasted wonderful, but looked absolutely awful. I was making snicker-doodle flavored layer cake, with this special frosting. My layers were crooked, I didn’t have enough frosting, and when I did frost the cake, chunks of it started falling off. Ugh, what a disaster! We ended up making due with what the cake looked like, and ate it anyways. The cake was amazing, if you could get past what it looked like.
I’ve definitely messed up many times while cooking for Matt though! On the occasion that I do make a disaster out of a meal, we either just find something random in the fridge to eat, make breakfast for dinner, or run out and grab something.
Citrus Soy Stir Fry
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup stock, chicken or vegetable
1/2 cup Tamari - eyeball the amount
1 inch ginger root, peeled
1 cup orange marmalade
1 teaspoons coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons high temp oil such as safflower, peanut or vegetable
1 pound thinly sliced chicken
1 cup shelled edamame
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 pound pea pods, halved on angle
1 small bunch of thin scallions, thinly sliced on an angle 2 inch pieces, whites and greens
In medium pot, combine chicken stock, tamari, knob ginger and orange marmalade. Boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in juice from lemon.
Meanwhile, heat canola oil in skillet and cook chicken. When chicken is cooked, set aside on plate. In same skillet you used for chicken, cook veggies. When they are almost done, add chicken and sauce.
Serve over noodles.
**Veggies in this recipe can be substituted with any vegetable of your choice. More vegetables (leeks, water chestnuts, zucchini, mini corn, etc can also be added in addition to those in recipe.**
Thank you so much Adrianne for taking the time to do this interview for me! I loved reading your answers. Here's to the rest of our life long friendship! I can't wait to see what the future will bring us. And for all of you looking for a super yummy and super easy recipe, Adrianne's Citrus Soy Stir Fry is a perfect one to try. This was one of the fun recipe's she made for us when Scott and I came over for dinner one night. It is delish!