I Feel Like Me Again

I’m back! Did you miss me? I guess that’s what happens when I take a full course load and let classes overlap, and then the Holidays, oh the holidays. What I am so excited to tell you about is my night at the French Laundry… I know, fancy right? Except, well we weren’t in Napa Valley, and we weren’t being served cuisine cooked by Thomas Keller. That being said, the food was exceptional, and the airfare was nil. We were able to have this experience in our very own Oconomowoc. Where you ask? We were having a weekend of amazing French food, together, in our newly renovated kitchen. So, I’m sure you’re asking yourself why am I calling this weekend the French Laundry Weekend?

Well, it’s because our new place to do dishes is the laundry room off of our kitchen. This weekend consisted of Jason having a night of challenges to cook – Crab Cakes for the appetizers, Veal Piccata for the main course and Croissants for dessert. Croissants for dessert you might be thinking…that’s odd, well, I just got done with a 5 month no carb diet (and hey, I lost 12 lbs!). Saturday it was my turn to make a Lyonnaise Salad, Steak au Poivre, Green Bean Almondine, and Lemon Chiffon Pie. Below you will see photos of our appetizers. I totally forgot to get a photo after Jason cooked my Veal Piccata because I was ravenous! As much as Jason swore that the dang croissants were going to kill him I was 100% sure that my Lemon Chiffon Pie was going to turn out stellar.

Needless to say, his Croissants were out of this world, my Lemon Chiffon Pie was absolutely awful, almost inedible…Jason won that battle! But, the best part of this whole story is that we both won two nights of fun in the kitchen together, heads down coming up with some amazing dishes, both together and on our own, swearing that we wouldn’t be able to accomplish some of them. But isn’t that the life lesson – keep your head down, keep pushing through and good things will come.

In this case delicious things came! After my grueling semester I had forgotten how much I missed being in the kitchen. This semester I had completely taken a nonparticipating role in the kitchen as Jason had completely stepped up to allow me to concentrate on classes and cooked me all my meals. I have a fabulous boyfriend (Trust me I know!). So, getting back in and cooking some great food has me drooling, eating carbs again and itching to get back into my cooking and baking before next semester starts! Thanks for everyone’s patience while I tried to figure out what balance looked like in my life (for those of you that are aware of my MS battle these past few months…go ahead and laugh at my weeble-wobble joke there). As any mommy, business owner, and now student can understand this is not the easiest task!

Keep your eyes posted in the coming weeks for more posts, and more importantly photos. Below is the recipe for the Lyonnaise Salad I made:

Lyonnaise Salad 5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1⁄2″-strips 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1 small shallot, minced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 8 oz. frisée, torn into bite-size pieces 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar 4 eggs Instructions Boil bacon and 1 cup water in a 12″ skillet. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook until water is evaporated and bacon is crisp, 35–40 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Transfer 3 tbsp. bacon fat to a large bowl. Add lemon juice, mustard, shallot, salt, and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until vinaigrette is emulsified. Add reserved bacon and the frisée; toss and divide between 4 plates. Boil a 4-quart saucepan of water; add vinegar, reduce heat to medium, and, using a slotted spoon, swirl water. Crack eggs, one at a time, into a ramekin, and slide into water; cook until whites are set, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, divide eggs between plates; garnish with more black pepper.

Lyonnaise Salad



Natasha Wertheimer

HI Guys! I’m Natasha, a lovely mommy in her 30’s. I’m in the most beautiful relationship with my boyfriend, Jason, and together we live in Oconomowoc with our two goofy goldendoodles – Honey & Softy, and my 6 year-old son, the light of my life – Reilly. I’m originally from Dubuque, Iowa, and previously lived on the East Coast for about a decade, but I am so happy to call Lake Country my home. My love of cooking, baking and food started very young with parents who loved to explore new flavors and cultures, as well as having a mom that operated a chocolate shop before I was born. In my free time I absolutely love trying and creating new recipes – mostly sweet, but love to dive into the Asian flavor profiles of the savory dishes. I also love learning about wine, enjoying the arts, practicing yoga, sipping a good cup of coffee and traveling. I fell in love with my boyfriend in the kitchen and I hope I can make you fall in love with the recipes and food knowledge I’ll be sending your way as a contributor for The Lake Country Mom. // Follow her blog, Love in An Oven // Facebook // Instagram

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