Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

For the duration of our relationship, France has been somewhat of beacon - lighting the way for our gastronomical endevors. Scott was introduced to fine wine during his first trip to Paris in 2002. Upon meeting Michelle, he decided to impress her by cooking filet mignon and based on the end result, he feels lucky she is still with him. Since then, we have collected many French recipes and cookbooks and have tried, sometimes with success and sometimes with embarrassing results, to cook and enjoy the food we love.

For our honeymoon in 2007, we made the journey to France together in order to experience the wines and food close up and in person. We made Beaune our destination and enjoyed visits to three remarkable wineries and ate several breath-taking meals which still haunt our dreams to this day.

Michelle is a substitute teacher in the Boise School District. This spring she will start the process of becoming a certified elementary school teacher. She has her degree in Chemistry from the College of Idaho and has enjoyed cooking with her mother since she can remember. Her mother owns Lazy Dog Gardens of Caldwell, Idaho and most of our produce comes from the family farm (lucky us!). Because we are essentially the Lazy Dog Gardens Test Kitchen, we can absolutely recommend the quality of the food being grown there.

Scott has always enjoyed good food and started cooking when he was just a wide eyed child, mastering buttermilk pancakes from the Betty Crocker Cookbook at an early age. Working at both the Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant and the Bistro 45 gave him an understanding of the importance of wine as it relates to meals. His two year stint at Archery Summit Winery allowed him to understand the winemaking process first hand. He has completed the first two levels of the International Sommelier Guild and currently works for a distributor in Boise, Idaho.

Last year, Scott spotted Anne Willan's Country Cooking of France at a bookstore and couldn't put it down. After several weeks, Michelle surprised Scott with the book and it has had a wonderful life on our bookshelf. Sure, we've cooked some recipes from it here and there, but the potential has yet to be realized. This is a book which won two James Beard awards in 2008 for crying out loud!

So, with that in mind, we will set out to cook every recipe in this remarkable book and we hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures with this project. Feel free to leave comments and tell us what is on your mind as you join us for this journey of food, wine, friends and family.


The Spragues


  1. I love this book too guys! I can't wait until you do the escargot. Good luck with this venture - if nothing else, it will be like living a little piece of France each time you cook from it. Sigh.

  2. Thanks! This book is so thoughtfully written that we felt it would do Anne Willan (and our tastebuds) proud to select this book for the adventure. The escargot will be interesting, as Michelle has never tried it before. I (Scott) have had it once and enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. I'm trying to figure out where to actually get these things.

    We have pictures of the Split Pea Soup that we'll post sortly and last night we (Michelle) made Carbonnade de Boeuf. Ooo la la! Tonight we're having company, so this will probably take care of three to four more recipes. Look for the posts soon!

  3. You have trouble finding snails? Come to rural Australia! Actually, scrap that, if you have no snails my veggie garden and I are coming to you.

    But all jokes aside, I love snails. I have never been game enough to cook them at home from 'garden stock', but perhaps seeing and reading about your experience will motivate me?

    Looking forward to following your posts. Cook on.