Friday, January 25, 2008

Cast Your Vote

Over at The Garden of Eating for COMFORT FOOD! We submitted Lil's Beef Stew - pure comfort for a cold, windy, and rainy night - just pop open a bottle of vino, add some crusty bread or biscuits and you have pure comfort!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Whole Wheat Pasta ...

The lovely Andrea is hosting "Grow Your Own" this month, was not sure we could partake as the weather is killing our garden but we found a few survivors out there, so here we go .....

I wanted to go for a sort of "Thai" or "Asian" taste, on the spicy side for tonights dinner. I browned some garlic and Portuguese chili peppers (the only thing still living in our garden) in olive oil until they were lightly crisp and very fragrant. I used whole wheat pasta because I like the nutty flavor, the texture and it is suppose to be better for us. After cooking the pasta (and draining it) I tossed some left over homemade butter into the pot of noodles, threw in some spinach for color and added the browned garlic mixture, sprinkled some Parmesan on top and we were ready! Very delicious for a dish that came from a near empty fridge and pantry!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


This week is clean up week at our house. Every couple months, I like to go through the pantry (all of one shelf), the fridge and the freezer (not that we really freeze anything but some bacon &/or pancetta, a bottle of gin, some ice trays, random glasses and the occasional food item that makes it there - the D. of Chez does not believe in frozen food) and we use up everything we have. Actually, I go through the entire house - closets, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, etc... and everything that has not been used or thought of in the past few months - GONE! Minimalist. But, we are not here to tell you about your house but rather about what we eat every night for dinner. So, we are back in our kitchen now .... like I said we use up everything we have left. I get very creative and sometimes I come up with some old favorite dish that I kind of forget about or maybe I come up with some new ones that we start using all the time. Tonight it was an old favorite of L.s ... Favaish.

L.'s mother makes favaish and she makes it very good, I will never be able to make it the way Mom does. Mine is probably more noveau but he likes it, too! Unfortunately, the vision I had for it quite did not happen because of the frozen bag of Fava's I used, they ended up being more like mush or split peas - that is why I prefer fresh, but what is a girl suppose to do in the dead of winter! Regardless, when you add a bottle of wine, some crusty french bread, you have a fantastic, flavorful meal!

Apetite Bom!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We both hate leftovers ...................

and we rarely ever have them. But, Lil's Beef Stew just keeps on giving! While it is very delicious and we highly recommend the recipe; we are glad to see it ago on the 3rd night!

Note to selves, cut recipe in half next time.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dedicated to Tia Anne

I was feeling kind of nostalgic today. On the train, with L. reminising about trips to Paris, riding the Metro, heading back to the apartment with cheese, baguette and wine in hand - toss in a couple pastries, too!

When we finally got home, to our realistic home, it was rainy and drizzly, so we or maybe just I, needed some comfort food. I knew just what to make.

Mile high biscuits, from the Hollyhocks and Radishes cookbook, that my Great Aunt Anne, gave me - it was one of my first cookbooks, loaded with comfort food. The biscuit recipe is definitely the best one I have ever made. It has been awhile since I have opened the pages, but for some reason, thinking about Paris, food, being with the ones you love, she came to mind - maybe because of her sense of adventure and Paris is exactly that for both myself and L.

Regardless of the sentiment behind this meal, it was lovely. L. poured us a glass of Lillet, while I made the dough for the biscuits (keep in mind L. hates when I make biscuits, not because he dislikes them, because he can not just eat one or two - he eats ALL of them) and warmed the stew. We set the table, simply with tea lights in the little glass yogurt jars from Paris and opened a bottle of RN13 Vin de pique-nique and set down for a nice evening!

Hay Hay its Donna Hay # 17

We love Donna Hay, well, at least the photos in her cookbooks and the magazines we buy. They are truly a piece of art to look at, and to drool over. Have yet to try out the recipes.

So, I was pretty excited when I saw this event listed on one of my favorite blogs and fellow Daring Baker, 80 Breakfasts. We were going to some friend's house for a pizza/kid party last Saturday night so this was the perfect opportunity to try out Donna's pizza recipe.

Don't let homemade pizza dough intimidate you. It has to be one of the easiest things to make. I even made some extra for the freezer. In keeping with the theme of the event we made a couple of the Class Tomato pizza as well as a favorite for the kids - pepperoni. We also made a fennel and spicy Italian Sausage, before putting the cornmeal on the stone we mixed some garlic salt into it. This was our favorite!

You should definitely add this to your recipe box as a favorite. The crust was fantastic, crisp and flavorful and not chewy and you can get as creative as you want with toppings! You will be seeing this over at Chez, very often in 2008!

Lil's Beef Stew

The Garden of Eating hosted a challenge this month - comfort food. The beginning of the month I wrote about a chicken cutlet meal we had at our friends L. & P.'s home - the cutlets were outstanding as well as the beef stew she made. We have been talking about it all month and after a very long week and weekend, we decided we needed some comfort. So we picked up the ingredients and slow cooked this fantastic beef stew all afternoon. The beef was incredibly tender, literally melted in your mouth. The stew is made with white wine so it gives it a beautiful color, not typical of your gray colored stews, when you use red wine. The vegetables are cooked just enough to hold their colors with a little crunch to them - perfect! The only addition I did was to throw some brown mushrooms in, that we had in the fridge. We served it with some crusty french baguettes and a bottle of Chateauneuf de Pape. Warm, cozy, bursting with flavor and very comfortable!

Brownie in a bottle ....

okay this is not a meal nor a challenge of any sort, just something we wanted to share because the packaging was so cute and the final product was delicious. Our friend E. gave us brownie mix for the holidays and we had a chance to whip them up for a pizza party we went to on Saturday night. This brownies were bursting with flavors - chocolate, butterscotch, and walnuts. YUMMY!