Her energy and vivacity were infectious, sometimes inspiring, and often exhausting. I will be forever her Maddie's debt for teaching me to love dogs. The joy she - and all dogs I will love for the rest of my life - bring me is unmatchable. I know we gave Maddie a great life and she always knew how much we loved her.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Blood, Bones, and Butter got rave reviews from everyone, and it has proven to be a great read so far. The author details how she ended up the chef at Prune in NYC, and her thoughtful descriptions and heartfelt revelations make this book unlike other food memoirs. I highly recommend it.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Butternut Squash and Bacon Strata
Adapted from Not Your Mother's Casseroles
4-6 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
One 3-4 pound butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 sprigs thyme (leaves only)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking dish with olive oil or butter.
Place bacon in large skillet and turn heat to low. Slowly cook bacon for 10 minutes until crisp. Add onion and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half horizontally, separating the bulbous seed portion for the skinnier top. Slice skin off of both portions and then cut in half. Remove seeds from bulbous portion. Now that squash is cut into quarters and the skin is removed, slice into 1/4 inch slices (they will look like half moons or semi-circles).
In greased baking dish layer one layer of squash semicircles on the bottom, overlapping the layers slightly.
As garlic turns fragrant stir in chipotle powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in cream and milk and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from heat.
Using a slotted spoon remove half the onions and bacon, spreading them over the initial squash layer in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese on top of the onions. Layer half of the remaining squash on top. On top of this layer add the remaining bacon and onions and top with another 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Place the last layer of squash on top and pour all the liquid from the pan over the squash.
In a small bowl mix the bread crumbs, olive oil, and thyme leaves together with a fork. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole. (You can cover the casserole and put it in the fridge for 24 hours at this point.)
Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes until the squash is tender and the liquid is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving, if you can wait that long.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Did I spend my entire childhood wearing hats?
Your loving daughter,
Friday, March 18, 2011
Taken at 7:08 P.M. from our balconyThe first week of daylight savings time is always a thrill. You realize all the fun you've been missing by being at work during that extra hour of sunlight. It's especially nice for me and John this year because it means an extra hour of playtime for Harper outside. We've made it to the dog park a couple times this week already, and Harper says she has grown accustomed to this new life and can't go back. I couldn't agree more!
Elaine's Toffee Company for his birthday. It was literally the best toffee I've ever had in my life. I will search for it in every store I walk into until I find somewhere to buy it in bulk. The genius of this toffee is that the each 3-4 bite piece of toffee (which is the perfect texture - hard but not too hard) is coated with chocolate individually. That way you have chocolate on all sides. Unbelievable.
Peugot pepper mill with six settings of grind. Considering I grind pepper 6 out of 7 days of the week, it really made no sense to be using pepper mills that were so bad. I know I'm trying to justify the steep price tag, but I'm hoping this one lasts me 20 years (or until I get tired of the color).
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Spicy Tomato and Red Pepper Soup
Adapted from Steamy Kitchen
5 large tomatoes, cut into 3/4 inch slices
1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 jalapeno (cut in half lengthwise), seeds removed
2 red bell peppers, cut into quarters
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (plus more for garnish)
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange vegetables on one or two large baking sheets, brush with olive oil and roast for twenty minutes until beginning to brown.
If using an immersion blender roughly chop the cooked vegetables and place them in a deep pot with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth and heat until warmed through. Serve with plenty of Parmesan cheese on top and crusty bread.
If using a regular blender, roughly chop cooked vegetables and place in blender with all of the ingredients (if they fit in your blender). Blend until smooth and then heat on the stove.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Occasionally we end up getting some exercise too. Luckily our doctors don't give us lectures about our weight, though. When someone tells your dog is a chubster, that's almost as bad!
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork "Stew"
From Martha Stewart
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz.) whole tomatoes in puree
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 3/4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and halved crosswise
Tortilla chips, for serving
Grated monterey jack or cheddar cheese, for serving
In slow cooker combine diced onion, dried oregano, bay leaves, minced chipotle, adobo sauce, crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes (and puree), kosher salt, and ground pepper. Add pork and toss with sauce. Cover and cook on high for about 6 hours, being careful not to uncover the slow cooker while it is cooking. The meat should shred easily with two forks. Remove any gristle and using a large spoon strain off grease from the sauce. Discard bay leaves and serve in large bowls with plenty of grated cheese and nachos.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Okay, so this one isn't in macro, but the rest are. Our last day in St. Martin I decided it was time I took some more photos, and what's more fun than macro shots? So the following are my macros of SXM (that's the bumper-stick abbreviation of St. Martin) with micro descriptions.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Of course I had to list my ultimate favorite, the chocolate twists from Sarafina bakery in Marigot. Chocolate croissants have one tiny strip of chocolate, but chocolate twists are a foot long and have chocolate throughout. I would list these suckers in my top five of life. They are seriously that good.