Saturday, October 06, 2007

Guilty Pleasures...Anything Food Related

My name is Marley Gibson...and I am a Foodie. (Everyone say: "Hi Marley!")

Yes, my guilty pleasure in life is food. And more particularly cooking. I think it all started in Girl Scouts when I went for that Cooking badge and had so much fun learning how to boil water, break eggs, and peel potatoes. I know it sounds like a life for a mess haul cook, but I was hooked.

In college, I had a microwave and a large coffee pot/boiler and I used to make all sort of concoctions in my doorm room. Things like "tuna noodle surprise" (tuna, Ramen and cream of mushroom soup...surprise!) When I had my apartment senior year, I moved to more creative things like Beef and Potato casserole (that I got off the French Fried Onions can) and homemade spaghetti sauce (my brother's recipe that I expanded on.)

In 1996, two things happened to me. 1) I was diagnosed with a pepcid ulcer (eww...) and 2) the Food TV Network came on cable. The two things coincide, because I had to make a conscious effort to know everything I was eating, therefore eliminating a lot of "crap" from our lives. No more red meat, cut down on acidy things, no more caffeine, and lower fat foods. I thought this was going to make our mealtimes extremely boring until I started watching shows like Ready, Set, Cook and Emeril and Sara Moulten. Through these shows, I learned knifing techniques, how to pair foods and how to substitute lower fat items for higher fat items and not lose any of the flavor.

Thus began my "cheffing" career. I bought all the best products -- knives, pans, pots, bakeware -- and got serious about having fun. Since then, I am the queen of retooling recipes to make them more healthy. Cooking is my stress relief. I love the chopping and slicing and preparing of the mise en place (French term for all the prep work ahead of cooking.)

I love cooking for friends and having them over for my stuffed chicken breast with red pepper coulis, grilled grouper with tropical salsa or traditional paella. (Leave a comment if you want any of these recipes.)

On my wedding anniversary last year, I made lobster thermador with chateau potatoes and grilled asparagus.

We also had a Mardi Gras party, complete with jambalaya and King cake.

Cooking is such a guilty pleasure because it not only gives me joy to put my creativity and love into a dish, but then to serve it to people and see their enjoyment when they eat it. It's quite satisfying.

Do you have a favorite dish? Something you enjoy making for friends and family? Please share!

Marley = )

writing as Kate Harmon
May 2008, Puffin Books

What I'm reading right now: Sadly, nothing...but I finished a new book proposal!


TinaFerraro said...

Marley, I do not have a favorite dish--at least that I make--but give me a date and a time, and I'll be on your doorstep for one of those "friends" dinners. WOW!

stephhale said...

I think my favorite thing is probably just cooking a turkey. Nothing fancy just a turkey with a little butter on the skin. The smell just warms the house and makes me happy!
Marley, if I ever get rich and famous I'm hiring you to be my chef, you know, in between writing your own NYT best-selling books! :)

Sara Hantz said...

Wow, Marley.... any time you're in NZ and want to come over for dinner, I'll gladly let you cook!!!!

Anonymous said...

H Marley,
My husband is great cook and we're always watching the Food Network. I thought of you last night while I was watching Iron Chef. And as Paula says..."Best Dishes to you."


Simone Elkeles said...

I just wish I didn't love food so much. I love sushi and pizza..I could live on those forever. Okay, so I also like cereal for breakfast...


Anonymous said...

I'd actually like the recipe for that fritatta you made that time...