Archive for January, 2010

Dinner with Friends

Our original plans fell through on Saturday night but we were lucky enough to throw together a quick get together with some friends and their kids. I didn’t have a ton of time to decide what I wanted to make for dinner but there was butternut squash recipe that I had wanted to try and I hadn’t made lamb is ages. Viola! Dijon crusted rack of lamb with butternut squash risotto!

I love this Ina Garten Rack of Lamb recipe! It is so easy and I’ve made it several times. I chose to also make a butternut squash risotto and found it very nice and the flavors were subtle enough to not conflict with the lamb. (I used the Ina’ recipe as a base but did not have saffron so I amended it a bit to my own tastes.)

I think i may start making risotto more often, it is so simple and the possibilities are endless! Very fun and tasty Saturday night!

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The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

I finished reading The Woman in White this weekend and I would say that I enjoyed the book. Some parts I really enjoyed and found it hard to put down, others were a bit tedious and hard to wade through. It was pretty long and dense language/writing to get through, but I liked the story being told from diverse perspectives and it took many twists and turns. I would recommend this to someone who a) is ready for a bit of a challenge, b) likes old english literature, and c) enjoys a good mystery.

The is the first book i’ve completed for The Typically British Challenge.

The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

Happy MLK Jr. Day! Take a moment today to remember…

Ahh, an extra day at home…I had a pretty slow week in the cooking department last week. As 2010 gets under way, I am realizing that I need to be much better about planning and shopping for our weekly meals. My daughter has activities on both Monday and Tuesday evenings which makes getting home and making dinner extremely difficult. Since today is a holiday, I plan to get my menues going and do some strategic shoppping.

Saturday night

We had an unusually quiet weekend just running errands and hanging out at home with just the family. I wanted to make something new for dinner on Saturday so we headed out to Whole Foods to see what looked good.

I decided on Beef Short Ribs. I had never made them at home, but remembered that Ina Garten had a recipe that looked good. Since I didn’t have the recipe with me, I had to make some adjustments as I couldn’t remember all the ingredients. I think they turned out very well. While I think the sauce could have benefitted from a bit more reduction, the flavors were wonderful! And I chose to serve the short ribs and sauce on top of some grilled french bread which soaked up the sauce just as I hoped! The recipe is pretty simple but takes a good chunk of time. I think this could easily be amended to highlight new and interesting flavors.

Beef Short Ribs
Ingredients
6 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (750-ml) bottle burgundy or other dry red wine
Fresh rosemary sprigs
6 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the onion, celery, carrots, fennel, and leek and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour the wine over the vegetables, bring to a boil, and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the beef stock and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with crusty grilled bread and sauce.

Special sunday breakfast with my girl…

Sunday morning, my little one requested a special breakfast. My husband had to go in to work and since it was just us girls, I decided to indulge with Ebelskiver filled-pancakes. We filled them with Nutella and strawberry jam, yummy!

And the goals begin!

I’m a 38 year old wife, mother, and small business owner. As 2010 gets under way, I have created some goals for the new year and wanted a place to track my progress and hold myself accountable. My passions include reading, writing, and cooking. The majority of my posts will touch one of these topics. I hope you enjoy reading about my progress and feel free to contribute your thoughts.

read, write, and cook blog

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Cannonball Read V

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.