Food, glorious, food

Last night, the Husband's company had a little dinner party at the Kitchen Conservatory. We've done this with his firm before, and it was really a lot of fun.

The concept is this: You show up as a group, and with the guidance of two executive chefs from local restaurants, learn to cook your own gourmet meal. Then, once your gourmet meal is complete, you sit down together and eat the delicious food prepared by your own hands.

As I have demonstrated in the past, I lack somewhat in the cooking area. Not the baking area. I rock the baking area like nobody's business. But the cooking area? Not so much.

So, I made it my mission last night to extract every ounce of cooking knowledge I could from our chef. I followed him around like a puppy, observing everything he did. To his credit, he was very patient with my seemingly endless list of questions, and I learned a great deal. Like, did you know that you can make your own ravioli from scratch?

I know. I always thought it just came in a frozen package from the store.

Last night, as I was devouring our butternut squash/mushroom/duck ravioli, I saw the call for greater things from my kitchen.

And, as I am always so kind and thoughtful, I thought I'd teach you some of the basics I learned last night. Because if one has to start somewhere, it should always be at the beginning.

Like, for example, this is not food:
And this IS food:
Once again, not food:

I know, right?

This one may offend several mothers out there, but this is definitely NOT food:

And this scary looking creature IS food:And finally, not a family meal:

['What?' says my inner Stie, her voice incredulous. I know, I know. But it's true. I think there is actually very little food in anything on that menu.]

Instead, I want to opt for one like this, prepared lovingly by hand from fresh ingredients, topped off with a prayer of thanks for the bounty before me:
If only.

Oh, yeah, and one thing I forgot. My chef did admit that everything in a restaurant tastes so good because it is really chock full of this:

Any questions?