To try and reinvigorate our creative juices (and, fine, so that we could qualify for free super-saver shipping on a mattress cover from Amazon), I bought my boyfriend The New Best Recipe, a cook book from the geniuses behind Cooks Illustrated. For those of you unfamiliar with this wonderful publication, it goes a little something like this:
Oh hey, so you want to roast a chicken?
Well, we tried to roast chicken 57 different ways.
This is the way that works best.
It is basically awesome. The book obviously contains some of their best recipes, but also lots of tips and interesting information. So far my boyfriend has enjoyed just sitting around reading it with no real cooking goals in mind. In fact, although he didn't get that many pasta-tips from the book (besides that supermarket pasta lies about cooking time), he kept it with him in the kitchen to casually browse through while various delicious items simmered in the pan to make the pasta sauce. My boyfriend always says he "loves the process" of making tomato sauces; I take this to mean he likes standing in the kitchen as amazing smells develop...
Penne with Italian sausage, olives, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and homemade tomato sauce (tomatoes, garlic, shallots, red wine, fresh basil), finished with more fresh basil and grated parmesean cheese