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Cooking With Friends

Fish Flop

Mon, November 15, 2010

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Jenn, this blog is for you, as a follow up to our conversation about how hard it is to find new foods to please our picky eaters.

In an effort to broaden and vary the protein my family eats for dinner, the other night I decided to try flounder. Although my sons (age 13 and 5) like catfish and salmon, my daughter hates fish. So I decided to go for the mildest and least offensive of all fish—the flounder—and offer it two ways- Pan seared with butter and herbs and beer battered fish -n- chips style. Well, I’m ashamed to report, the meal was a disaster. My little guy couldn’t stand the smell or get over the idea that his fish looked like a chicken finger yet had a very different taste. (I was surprised since he loved the battered zucchini blossoms from summer and they also resembled a chicken tender.)

My older son was tragically disappointed to learn that his fish–n-chips in fact, had no chips with them.  A bit of false advertising, he protested.  And my daughter, the best eater in the family, actually shoved the plate away in disgust as if I had just served her a plate of worms. Yes, I had a failure in the kitchen this week, and I am reminded of daily by the lingering stink of fried fish.

To make matters even worse, I had another blooper last night involving a heavy hand in the five spice seasoning. My kids usually fight over every last chicken drumstick but last night, barely even ate one. The side dish, sautéed Asian noodles were barely touched as well. Maybe I used a bit too much oyster sauce???

Yikes. I am so happy that it’s a new week. And if there’s one common denominator to my kitchen failures it’s that I cooked all of these dishes alone. (You know I had to bring cooking with friends into this somehow.) But it’s true. Maybe a friend would have told me NOT to try flounder on my kids or maybe she would have noticed that I used too much oyster sauce and five spice seasoning. But alas, I was without a friend and thus, crashed and burned.

We all have mess ups in the kitchen.  Sometime meals just don’t work. Our kids are often the most difficult please, but they seem to bear the brunt of our culinary failures. Many of us, afraid of failing, fall into a rut that we can’t get out of and continuously serve them the foods we know they will eat – chicken fingers, noodles with butter, pizza. But variety is the spice of life and we need to rebound, get back on our feet and try again.  And you can bet that next time it’ll be with a friend!

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Thanks Alison!  To add to the flops - Just the other night I decided to cook steak on the stove instead of brave the cold at the BBQ.  The kitchen filled with smoke as the outside of the steak seared to well done and the inside was raw.  I had to cut it up and finish it off in the microwave.  The kids hesitantly ate dinner as they repeatedly asked why it was so smoky in here.  Clearly I am in need of a Cooking With Friends date with you smile

from Jennifer Snyder on November 15, 2010

Let’s hope there’s something up with the alignment of the stars! One more flop—I forgot the baking powder in my pancakes on Sunday morning and ended up with something interestingly flat. My husband loved them but the kids were a bit thrown off so I made another batch with baking powder and the kids said they were too salty. Yikes! I hope my son’s friend who slept over wasn’t too horrified! I hope this week is better.

from .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on November 15, 2010

Have you committed to eat Louisiana seafood on December 1st?

What could be better than enjoying your favorite seafood dishes and supporting the Gulf Coast at the same time? On December 1st, people across the nation will band together for the first “AMERICA’S NIGHT OUT FOR GULF SEAFOOD.” More than 275 chefs and restaurants in cities across the country will participate to promote the safety of Gulf seafood with special dishes and menus that include fish, oysters, shrimp or crabs from the Gulf of Mexico. You can help by participating in this event and telling the world, “I committed to eat Louisiana seafood on December 1st.”

Louisiana cuisine is steeped in a rich history and tradition of exceptional dishes using fresh seafood harvested from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which supplies nearly half of all the country’s seafood. It is unparalleled in terms of freshness and unique taste. By committing to eat Gulf seafood on December 1st, you are helping us save and protect a culture, a cuisine and an industry.

You can help us spread the word about this important night out on Facebook and Twitter as well. Just tell us “I committed to eat Louisiana seafood on December 1st” and post this link

For more information on Dine America 2010, please visit

from .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on November 30, 2010

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Cooking with Friends is an interactive community of people who cook together as a creative outlet and as a way to grow and enhance friendships. We are a resource for cooking dates, recipe swapping, equipment sharing and more. Search the site for advice, inspiration, ideas and big batch recipes that will help you cook with your friends!