Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cinnamon Eggs & Other Kitchen Risks: Guest Author Rachel Randolph

** Thursday Aug. 29 th 4: 50 PM: HUGE congratulations to our giveaway winner, Carol (reggiegreenleaf)--I know you are going to enjoy this charming book! Thank you ALL for stopping by the blog!** 

Today I am beyond delighted to share an apron with a young woman who began her career helping other authors via marketing and publicity. She is now very excited to be "on the author side of this equation." Her charming debut, We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook,  co-written by her mother, has just been released. Humor, memoir, recipes--you can bet  I'm eager to get my "foodie" hands on it!

 Please raise your wooden spoons in a rousing Authors' Galley welcome for:
 Rachel Randolph.

Cinnamon Eggs, Tofu Scramble, and Other Risks in the Kitchen

 Rachel & husband Jared at a coaches’ marriage retreat as newlyweds
When we were newly married, my husband Jared surprised me one morning with a homemade breakfast. I sat down to a plate of fluffy scrambled eggs and buttered toast, and he watched with eagerness as I took a bite. I did my best to chew and swallow without gagging … but it wasn’t easy. “Did you notice something different about them?” he asked, like a proud child looking for compliments on the special mud pie he’d made. I looked down at my plate scooting the eggs around with my fork, trying to make it look like I’d eaten more than I had. “Yes, yes, I did.”

“What’s in them?” I asked, finally letting my eyes meet his.

“Cinnamon! Do you like them?” He beamed with pride.

We’d come to a crucial moment in our relationship. Do I tell him they are one of the worst things I’ve ever tasted and risk stomping on his creative cooking spirit or do I lie and risk choking back cinnamon eggs for every forthcoming special occasion?

It was a tough call, but I went with mostly honest. “They are interesting.”

“You don’t like them do you? It’s okay, I thought you might not,” he said, a little deflated, as he took my plate. “I’ll make you some regular ones. I like ‘em, so I’ll eat ‘em.”

Oh those cinnamon eggs! Every time I think of them, I smile. They remind me how much Jared loved his new bride and how he wanted to impress me and make me feel special. It made for a funny story and a sweet memory. I’m usually all for adventurous flavor combos, but we discovered I was a traditional salt and pepper on my eggs kind of gal that morning, and we set a precedent for honest feedback when it came to cooking for each other. Life is too short, and delicious food possibilities are too plentiful to eat food we don’t enjoy.

When we went vegan a few years later, we said goodbye to eggs in our diet. Of all the things we gave up, simple scrambled eggs were one of the harder foods to leave behind. I like a savory breakfast and when you take out sausage, bacon AND eggs, your options dwindle. Then I saw the Pioneer Woman, of all people, make tofu scramble. (Believe it or not, she’s a former vegetarian.) I thought that if tofu scramble was good enough for a vegetarian turned cattle rancher, maybe these Texans gone vegan could like it too.

 Jared was a proclaimed tofu hater and as we had discovered, I’m not real adventurous when it comes to eggs, but I went for it anyway. I used some of our favorite seasonings and veggies, and wrapped it in a tortilla. He eyed the tacos suspiciously, but like a good spouse, gave them a try with me. Through a mouth full, he gave me the thumbs up of approval. At last, we’d found a unique twist on scrambled eggs that we both equally enjoyed. The recipe for my Tofu Scramble Tacos is on the food blog I share with my co-author and omnivore mama.

In cooking and in relationships, sometimes you just have to spice things up and take a few risks. As my mom Becky Johnson and I wrote in our new food memoir, We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, “…preparing a good meal for our family and friends, is one of the ways we bond best. In spite of our quirks, somehow in the kitchen it works. And if it doesn’t work, it’s usually funny. Then it becomes a story. And the story becomes a memory, and that bonds us too.” 

Win a Copy of We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook!

Rachel and her mom Becky are giving away a copy of their new food memoir with recipes, We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook: A Mom and Daughter Dish about the Food that Delights Them and the Love that Binds Them. Published by Zondervan and just released this month. Available in paperback, ebook, and audio (read by Becky and Rachel) on Amazon and other major book retailers.

How to Win:
Leave a comment and tell us the one person you’d love to cook a new adventurous risky recipe with and why.

The winner will be drawn (via Random.Org) on Weds. August 28th and notified by e-mail (you must include an e-mail address for a change to win)    US entries only, please. 

Thank you, Rachel, for joining us today.
Happy reading and . . . Bon appetit! 


Unknown said...

Cinnamon eggs does indeed sound interesting! Think I will stick with plain eggs. :)

Connie Brown said...

I love cinnamon but I don't think I'd like it on my eggs. I don't eat that many eggs period. I would like to cook with my mom one more time. She taught me how to cook and bake. She's been gone for nearly 25 years. We would work together and had some of the best times. I miss her a lot.

Michelle Prince Morgan said...

Love the artical, but cinnamon eggs, I had to laugh. I want my egss plain or with onion tops and a touch of seasoning. But at least he tried.

Katrina said...

Rachel, thank you for the egg story. I'm sorry, I laughed so hard. I can only imagine your facial expression. Who would I want to cook with? Hmmm. My first choice would be my mom, but she has passed away. My second choice would be Paula Dean. Since she found out she has diabetes, she has changed her cooking style to healthier. That's something I'm trying to work on.

CandaceCalvert said...

LOL, Ann--me too. Unless you add milk and little vanilla, then soak it all up in bread. And fry it. Love me some French toast!

Connie: thank you for sharing this memory about your mother. Kitchen time does make for a special bond.

CandaceCalvert said...

Yes, Michelle. Points for trying, absolutely.

Thanks for stopping by Katrina. I remember the time Paula Dean made Elvis' favorites--now there was a hunka, hunka burnin' . . . cholesterol. :-)

karenk said...

would love to cook for my friend nancy.....because she always cooks for me ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Kandra said...

Hilarious! What a great story! I would love to cook something with my little sister Kellie who is daring enough to add an herb or spice that the recipe doesn't call for.

Anonymous said...

My mom would definitely be the one I would cook with!

loseittoday @ yahoo(dot)com

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

Love the cinnamon story! I would love to cook with my friend Linda who told me about your book. She is Italian and a very good cook! She already thinks that I cook weird things but she is a lot of fun and I think we would have a blast in the kitchen!

CandaceCalvert said...

KAREN: Yes, cooking with friends is such fun. I do Christmas cookies every year with a dear nurse friend.
KANDRA: Sometimes it takes a little "stepping out of the comfort zone" to create a new recipe. Have fun!
Anonymous: Cooking with Mom--Rachel knows all about that!
CAROL: LOL, yes it's just as much about the experience, for sure!

CandaceCalvert said...

Because I'm going to be out of the office on Wednesday, I won't be able to notify/post the winner until Thursday. Hang in there, friends!