You have probably heard about Oprah Winfrey’s Network called OWN. One of my FAVORITE shows on OWN is Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag. This is not your typical cooking show; Anna & Kristina are not professional chefs. They actually cook like I do! That is why I love the show. They make mistakes, they laugh about it and keep going. Some recipes turn out better than others but they have fun all the while.
The main concept is that they showcase one cookbook and cook several recipes from that cookbook in a set amount of time. Then, they have someone come and test what they made. Often the person coming is a professional chef. They always give great cooking tips and test out different kitchen equipment or ingredients. I have learned a lot by watching their show. At the end of the show they decide if the cookbook will get their A&K stamp of approval. I have to tell you if you haven’t seen this show yet, you should set your DVR because it is a good one.
Taking the Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag concept, my friend Jen and I decided to do a mini Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag but with Carrie and Jen! We decided to include both of our two kids and husbands and make it a family activity. We chose Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, Jamie’s Food Revolution because last spring both our families really enjoyed Jamie’s show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Jamie really inspired all of our kids so we thought that would be a great cookbook to test and really get the entire family involved.
This is how we chose our recipes:
- Each family member picked a recipe that they thought looked good. Thanks to the many pictures it really helped the kids decide what to choose.
- We put the kid’s four recipes in a hat and chose two, and we put the adult’s picks in a hat and chose two. This way we made sure that a few of the kids picks were actually recipes we were making.
- Once we had our 4 recipes we decided if the recipe came from your family you were responsible for getting the ingredients.
We decided to choose only 4 recipes as we plan to do this twice. We will eventually get everyone’s chosen recipe in the mix but for our first time here are the recipes:
- Parsnip and Ginger Soup
- Macaroni and Cauliflower Cheese Bake
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Vanilla Cheesecake with Raspberry Topping
We had a fantastic time! Jen and I thought we would be the ones doing most of the cooking but it turned out that everyone really wanted to help. So the husbands and kids were both involved too! Like in the show, Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag, we had a set time. We started at 3:00pm and were hoping to be done by 6:30pm. While we weren’t really feeling the pressure like Anna and Kristina do, we did do this on a Sunday so it couldn’t be too late as it was a school night. We finished cooking a little early around 6:15pm.
This was a lot of fun because I have never made a cheese cake, would never have thought I could make an Indian dish and would I have picked Parsnip and Ginger soup to make on a typical day . . . probably not. Having someone to cook with really helped and I had the courage to just go for it and try to make it . . . thanks to Anna and Kristina for showing me it is okay if you make a mistake cooking.
We sat down to a beautiful table and served each dish as a separate course. Our kids tried food that they would NEVER have tried before because they helped cook it. They really enjoyed the soup and the macaroni and cauliflower cheese bake. The adults were shocked and delighted that the kids ate the soup. The chicken tikka masala was even something that they thought was pretty good considering that none of the kids had really tried Indian food. The kids were a little disappointed in the vanilla cheesecake with raspberry topping as it was a little too citrus tasting for them and they weren’t huge fans of the raspberry topping. All in all though, we all agreed that the recipes were really good and relatively easy to make. We give Jamie’s Food Revolution cookbook our C&J stamp of approval! LOL
A BIG thank you to OWN’s show Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag for inspiring our families to have a great time cooking in the kitchen together and trying some new foods! I will keep you posted how round two goes with the second set of four recipes . . . until then get your cookbooks out and be adventurous and try some new recipes. Watch Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag and get inspired!