MMMMM, cookbooks. Doug gave me three cookbooks from the Cook's Illustrated folks and they rock. Last night Doug made (I helped chop) Chicken Provencal out of the "1000 Best Recipes" and over the weekend, I've made Winter Vegetable Pot Pie out of the "Cover and Bake" for the knitting ladies coming for dinner tonight. I had planned to make Chicken Pot Pie last night, but Doug wanted to try something unusual instead. Wow, pot pie is a pain, though. I thought it would be simple and fast because I did most of my chopping yesterday, but no. These Cooks folks are not corner-cutters. Even the "Cover and Bake" recipes (casseroles, mostly) are involved and don't use any pre-made food except for stock. However, I've been making stuff out of their magazine for a few years now and I can safely say that nothing that I've tried has been less than darn good and some stuff was amazing.
Also, Doug (and girls) gave me what appears to be called a buffet casserole pan from Le Creuset. It is made of cast iron and you can put it on the stove and in the oven. And it's green. So cool. Just wait until I try the pineapple upside down cake I saw on Emeril last week while Doug and Annika were gone.