A month or so ago  I unveiled my new project “You Buy, I Cook.”  It’s pretty simple and rather fantastic, if I say so myself.  Here’s how it works.  You purchase groceries, I cook (you get to cook and learn with me, if you wish), we eat, you do the dishes.  Everyone wins.

My first project was with Lera.  I came over to make sauteed shiitake mushrooms with lots of fried onions and garlic.  We ate the mushrooms on top of mashed potatoes (the potatoes got a healthy doze of sauteed onions and garlic as well). We drank copious amounts of red wine and hung out on the couch.  It was too dark to take photos, but trust me, the food was delicious and Lera was happy.  Needless to say, there was no help from Lera in the kitchen department, but she is a gem when it comes to cleaning!

The second “You Buy, I Cook” project happened just last week.  Priya showed up at my door with a mystery basket of groceries, and in the midst of my lamb project (come back next week to find out about it!), we cooked lunch.

The contents of the mystery basket were quite exciting!  By the way, on top of being a fantastic salsa dancer, Priya is a photographer. I decided to let her play with my camera while I was cooking.  I’m happy to share some of her photos in this post.

I didn’t want to incorporate all the ingredients in one dish.  Instead, I made a salad and pasta.

For the salad, I quickly combined garlic, shallot, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and whisked in olive oil.  Do you see a piggy whisk?  I bet you wish you had one as well!  My super fabulous friend Diana gave me the whisk a year ago and I love it!

The dressing came out lovely – thick, creamy, punched with garlic.  I drizzled the dressing on top of the assembled salad: mixed greens, pomegranate seeds, slices of Asian pear, and ribbons of cheese.

With the rest of the ingredients, we made pasta.  We roasted the bell pepper and asparagus, coated with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  I tucked in a few cloves of garlic along with the vegetables.

While the vegetables were roasting, I cooked the pasta, and Priya chopped up tomatoes.  We mixed tomatoes with the leftover mustard vinaigrette and then combined it with the bow tie pasta.  We ate the pasta along with roasted vegetables.

I’m ready for my next “You Buy, I Cook.”  Who shall be my next guest?

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