Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cherry Almond Clafoutis #KitchenMatrixCookingProject

I almost didn't participate in the Kitchen Matrix Cooking Project this week.  I have been trying to eat a little more healthy food and a little less dessert around here.  This is not easy for someone who has absolutely no will power.  I find it is best to just not have temptation staring me in the face.


I haven't given up goodies completely, just trying to control the amount that I shovel into my mouth.  Then, as luck would have it, I had company for dinner on Saturday night.  This meant I could make this delicious dessert, enjoy one slice, and not have leftovers sitting around calling my name afterwards.  YAY


Not only was I excited to make this dessert for it's custardy, deliciousness but it also gave me an opportunity to play with a new kitchen gadget that I bought on my last visit to Sur la Table.  


This  nifty cherry pitter pits 7 cherries at a time.  It made short work of this pound of cherries.  Between using the pitter for this job and the blender for mixing the batter, this Clafoutis was prepped and ready to go in the oven in less time than it took the oven to preheat.

  

Best $10 I ever spent.


Bittman's recipe called for half heavy cream and half milk.  I used purchased half and half.  Bittman used pistachios but I chose to use almonds.  Bittman also said you didn't have to pit the cherries if you didn't want.  I don't know about you but I certainly didn't want any of my family or friends having to make an emergency visit to the dentist!


Bittman said this should bake in about 40 minutes but I found that it took closer to 70 minutes to be golden brown and set.  That is one of the nice things about Bittman's book. It gives you a basic recipe and invites you to make it your own.  


Sweet dark cherries and tender slivered almonds nestled in smooth silky custard, you can enjoy this dessert as is, you can top it with whipped cream or you can heat it slightly and serve it with ice cream.  That's what I did and it was amazing!!


You will find links to the other Clafoutis recipes inspired by Mark Bittman below mine.

Cherry Almond Clafoutis
inspired by Kitchen Matrix by Mark Bittman

1 1/2 c. half and half
1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1/3 c. flour
1/2 t. almond extract 
1 lb. sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/4 c. sliced almonds

Place cherries into a pie plate that has been treated with baking spray.  

Place half and half, sugar, eggs, flour and almond extract into a blender and mix until smooth.  Pour over cherries. Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 60-70 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center removes cleanly.  Print Recipe

A Collection of Clafoutis











Monday, January 29, 2018

Banana Craisin Muffins with Streusel Topping #MuffinMonday

While digging through my freezer for some hamburger, I came across a package of two black bananas that I had thrown into a baggy after they had over-ripened on my counter.

My stomach immediately started growling for banana bread. I love the fact that you can just throw the entire over ripe banana, peel and all, into a freezer bag, plop it in the freezer and forget about it. It's such a great and welcome surprise when you remember you have them.  Especially when Muffin Monday, hosted by Stacy of Food Lust People Love,  happens each and every last Monday of the month.



Since there were only 2 small bananas, not enough for banana bread, I made muffins.  And my tummy was very happy with breakfast that morning.

I love making muffins for breakfast.  They take only minutes and they start your day off with a smile. I added some craisins to these banana muffins and a streusel topping because.....streusel!!!


So when you get around to your New Year's Resolution to clean out that freezer (isn't that on everyone's list?), pull out those bananas and reward yourself with these delicious muffins.  You deserve it.


Another thing I really love about this recipe is that it only makes 6 muffins.  That is perfect for those of us who have resolved to start eating in moderation this year as well.  This is important because, trust me, you are going to want to keep eating these until they are gone.  Hold yourself back so that your family and friends can enjoy them as well.

Banana Craisin Muffins with Streusel Topping

1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 c. sour cream
2 T. butter, melted
2 small, very ripe bananas
1/2 c. craisins
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 T. flour
1 T. butter, room temperature

In large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, soda and cinnamon.  Make a well in the center.

In small bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, melted butter and bananas.  Pour into the well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated.  Stir in the craisins and divide between a 6 cup muffin pan that has been treated with baking spray.

Combine with brown sugar, flour and room temperature butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over the muffin batter in the cups.

Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted removes cleanly.  Print Recipe

More Magnificent Monday Muffins

Muffin Monday



#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Eggs in Hashbrown Nests #RecipeRedo

Way back in December of 2013 I shared our brunch celebrating the 4th Day of Christmas.  We had a Mimosa Bar and I served up Oatmeal, Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread, Banana Bread, Tropical Fruit Salad, Ham Steaks and Eggs in Hashbrown Nests that I took from a Pioneer Woman Cookbook that I had received for Christmas that year.  I linked to the original recipe and left it at that with a very horrid photo....Please remember that this was my first year of blogging and I had a lot to learn.


I can't believe I even posted this photo.  It is the saddest thing LOL.  At least it was before I started tagging my blog name onto my photos.  I didn't pin it to Pinterest.  I wasn't yet doing Instagram or Twitter.  I only had about 5 followers so not too many people saw this.....until today, when I'm splashing it all over this post....Haha.....

Now, I know that Ree says she tried this with Frozen Hash Browns and was very disappointed. Then she tried them with raw grated potatoes and claims that was a disaster.  Ree recommends using grated baked potatoes and I did that in this first rendition.  They were very good and everyone loved them. This would be a great way to use leftover baked potatoes or to do a planned leftover meal and bake some extra potatoes just for this dish.



When I was making the Redo for this post, I used the Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns that you find in the dairy case at your local grocer.  This is not a sponsored post but I do love the ease of using those potatoes when I don't feel like taking the time and/or energy to grate my own.

They worked perfectly for this dish and I am happy to share these photos and my adapted recipe with you today.  


This is so easy that it is barely even a recipe, especially if you use the shortcut of purchased hashbrowns.


You simply spray a muffin pan, liberally with cooking spray.  Make a nest of the potatoes, season, spray again with cooking spray and bake until they shrink and get crisp on the outsides.


Break an egg into each nest.  If you want your yolk hard cooked, break it before putting it back into the oven.


Bake the eggs for another 10 minutes.  I wanted some runny and some hard cooked so I broke a couple of yolks.  If you want them all hard cooked, you need not break them but let them bake for 13-15 minutes until your desired degree of doneness is reached.


They make an adorable presentation.  They slip right out of the muffin tin and onto a platter.  Sometimes I make these nests but instead of slipping a whole egg inside, I scramble the eggs and add cheese and/or meat to the mixture, before adding it to the nests.  I will share that with you another day.


Our Little Miss likes her yolks hard so that she can pick up the nests and eat them like a muffin.


I like mine with the yolks runny so that I can mix it all together with the potatoes and scoop it onto toast.


You can make this recipe to feed as many as you like.  Plan on 2 or 3 per person.  Even our Toddler eats 2 of them.  I only made 6 this time as there were only 3 of us.  I have potatoes left that I could use for another morning or turn into a cheesy casserole for with dinner but I think these are destined to become soup.  Stay tuned for that recipe.

Thanks to Ellen, of Family Around the Table, for suggesting this blog redo event and giving me an opportunity to rectify this sad, sad original post LOL  I look forward to the next redo....I have a lot of early posts that need help!!  

Eggs in Hashbrown Nests
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 pkg. Shredded Hash Browns from the Dairy Case
1 egg for each nest that you are making
Cooking Spray

Spray your desired size muffin tin liberally with cooking spray.  Place 1/4 c. hashbrowns into each muffin cup and press it into the bottoms and up the sides, creating a nest.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and spray liberally with cooking spray.  Place in a preheated 425* oven for 20-25 minutes, until shrunk and crisped on the tops and outside.

Remove from oven and break one egg into each cup.  Break yolks for any that you wish hard cooked. Season to taste with salt and pepper and return to the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and slide a knife around each muffin cup and then under the potatoes to lift each cup to a platter for serving.  Print Recipe



Saturday, January 27, 2018

Chocolate Mug Cake #ChocolateCakeDay

Did you know that there is a day set aside to celebrate Chocolate Cake?  My friend, Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla did and invited us all to bring a chocolate cake to this virtual party.

Now, I'm still detoxing from all the junk food I ate starting at Halloween and going right through the 12 days of Christmas.  I hate missing a party though so I found a great solution.  An individual little cake mixed and baked right in a mug.


This easy peasy recipe comes from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.  It gets mixed up and cooked up in the microwave in the same mug.  The entire process from start to finish takes about 15 minutes.


It's so easy that a toddler can pretty much do it themselves. They may need some help with the microwave though.  I love that my toddler can now identify my utensils by size.  I can ask for a Tablespoon and she knows exactly which to grab.


But the toddlers favorite part of the job was scooping some out and holding it so Grammy could take a photo.


Well, not really, her very favorite part was tasting the cake.  She pronounced it "very delicious" and offered me a bite.  I declared it very delicious as well.  I was kind of surprised.  I have never made a cake in the microwave before and wasn't sure it would turn out as wonderfully moist and tasty as it did.


One more bite and then she took the mug, asked for help off the counter and went to find Grampy so he could taste it.  The next time I saw the mug was when it was ready to be washed....such is the life of a Grammy.


Chocolate Mug Cake
slightly adapted from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

3 T. flour
3 T. sugar
2 T. cocoa powder
1/4 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
3 T. milk
3 T. olive oil
1/4 t. vanilla
3 T. mini chocolate chips

Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a 12 oz. mug.  Stir with a fork to blend.  Add the milk, oil and vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Microwave on high for 90 seconds.  Let cool for about 5 minutes before eating.  Print Recipe

More Chocolate Cakes

Valentine's Day Recipe Round-up and #Giveaway




Hi all and welcome to the February Recipe Round-up.  This month is all about Valentine's Day recipes, from the sweet to the savory. We are sharing some of our favorite recipes just in time for you to show your love to your Valentine.

We also  have another awesome GIVEAWAY for our readers.  You will find the form to enter at the bottom of this post.  But first, let's share some LOVE.....

Friday, January 26, 2018

Time is Flying by and the Weekly Menu


I can't believe that it is already the end of January.  Holy cow.  I swear the older I get the faster time flies.

See the source image

Tonight, we are going to the home show. We hope to get some ideas for renovating the addition on the back of the house.

This week is pretty quiet.  We are watching Melody tomorrow while Mama and Charlie go out on a date night. John and Kirsten will be joining us for dinner after Mass.

Wednesday, I have Food Pantry as there are 5 Wednesdays this month, after which we will take Melody home and then take dinner to Aunt Irene's so I can help her shower.  Thursday is choir and then the weekend is upon us once again.

I am sharing the Weekly Menu. It's actually a pretty quiet blogging week too.  Tomorrow we are celebrating Chocolate Cake Day and I have an easy peasy mug cake that Mel and I made to share with you.

I have a recipe redo to share with you on Sunday and some delicious muffins on Monday.

 I will be sharing an easy recipe for Clafoutis on Tuesday.  Not much work but I have been trying to cut down on my desserts and didn't  like the idea of having a whole Clafoutis sitting on the counter calling my name so I am making it for tomorrow since we will have company to help us eat it.


Saturday
Teriyaki Roast Chicken with Five Spice Rub
Braised Potatoes
Steamed Green Beans
Cherry Almond Clafoutis

Sunday
Ropa Vieja
Steamed Rice

Monday
Stuffed Potatoes

Toddler Tuesday
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Wednesday
Chinese take out at Aunt Irene's

Thursday
Pork Filet Mignon
Mushroom Barley

Fish Friday
Vera Cruz en Papillote





Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Thai Inspired Noodles #PeanutButter

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!!   I LOVE peanut butter so I think this calls for a celebration!  So does my friend, Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventure.  Christie asked us all to join her today in posting recipes featuring Peanut Butter.  I'm sure we are going to have a lot of delicious sweet foods from which to choose but I wanted to go savory.


Some of you may know that on Tuesday and Wednesday we keep our granddaughter and our house becomes toddler centered for these 2 days each week.  Our dinners on Tuesday have come to be known as Toddler Tuesdays when I cook food that is toddler friendly.  

Melody's favorite food in the world is noodles.  I decided to make her some Thai Inspired Noodles.  Peanut Butter and Noodles, what more could a toddler want?  


Dinner doesn't get much easier than this.  Simply boil the noodles adding the precut and packaged veggies during the last one minute of cooking.  


While the noodles are cooking, mix together the peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, garlic and ginger.  Drain the noodles and vegetables, retaining 1 c. of the cooking water to mix with the peanut mixture.


Toss it together with the noodles and veggies and dinner is served.  Our toddler loved this on a Tuesday.  No toddler?  Go ahead and enjoy this on a Meatless Monday or turn Tuesday into Thai Tuesday just for fun.

Thai Inspired Noodles

1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 T. garlic paste
1/2  T. ginger paste
1 T. sweet chili sauce
1 (11 oz) pkg. Stir Fry Veggies
1 (8 oz) pkg. Lo Mein Noodles

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the noodles and cook per package directions, during the last minute of cooking add the veggies to the boiling water with the noodles.

While the noodles cook, stir together the peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and chili sauce.

Drain the noodles and veggies, retaining 1 cup of the cooking water.  Return the water to the pan along with the peanut butter mixture.  Stir together until smooth and melted.  Add the pasta and veggies to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce.  Print Recipe

More Recipes Celebrating Peanut Butter

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wilted Spinach Salad #KitchenMatrixCookingProject

I hope you are enjoying this Kitchen Matrix Cooking Project as much as I.  This fun little project was started by my friend, Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  You can read all about it on her blog.


Today we are looking at the section on Spinach, specifically the subsection, Wilted Spinach.  I decided to share with you a Wilted Spinach Salad inspired by the Wilted Spinach with Bacon from the cookbook.


I love Spinach Salad and this version was no exception.  I used a spinach blend that include other young field greens.  I deleted the tarragon and added some crumbled hard boiled egg.  I did not cook the greens, mushrooms or scallion but rather tossed them in the hot bacon dressing to wilt them. It was a beautiful start to dinner with friends.

Wilted Spinach Salad
inspired by The Kitchen Matrix by Mark Bittman

5 oz. baby spinach or a spinach and field greens mixture
6 slices bacon, diced
2 hard boiled eggs, crumbled
4 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. lemon
1 t. sugar

Place the greens, mushrooms and scallions  into a large bowl.  Fry the bacon in a skillet over med high heat until crisp.  Remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Add the vinegar, lemon and sugar to the bacon grease in the pan.  Cook and stir for a moment, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Pour over the greens, while still warm, and toss to coat.  Add the bacon and eggs, toss gently and serve.  Print Recipe

More Sensational Spinach Recipes






Monday, January 22, 2018

"Wreck it Ralph" Chicken and Mushroom Pie #FoodnFlix #SonomaStrong

Our Food n Flix selection this month, Wreck it Ralph was chosen by my friend, Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures.  You should stop by Amy's Invitation Post.  You will learn all about why she chose this movie and how to go about joining us in creating a recipe inspired by it.

You can also learn more about our group and learn what movies we will be watching this year by going to the FoodnFlix home page.


I had never heard of this movie before.  It was released in 2013 and not having any children of an age during that time that would have wanted to see it, I was oblivious.  I had never heard of the game nor had I heard of Hero's Duty or Sugar Crush.  I'm not sure that they are real games but since they had Qbert, Pac Man and Mario, games that my children were of age to play, I'm imagining that they are.

The movie is about Wreck it Ralph who is the counter part to Fix it Felix.  As you can imagine, Ralph wrecks your game and Felix fixes it giving you a higher score.  Everyone loves Felix and dreads when Ralph appears....Ralph is pretty tired of being the fall guy so he escapes and begins traveling through the other games in the arcade.

There is food, albeit mostly junk food.  Right at the start, Felix is holding a pie and then he gets pies for others.  There is a heart taken from a Zombie and I briefly considered making a beef heart stew.  There is coffee served at a Bad Anon meeting that Ralph attends.  Cherries from the PacMan game. Turtles, a bar with cocktails,  an Appetizer buffet containing shrimp and cake.  There is root beer and mushrooms from one of the games.  I also saw a Subway, eggs, chocolate, sprinkles, cotton candy, sundaes, frosting, candy canes, lollipops, gumdrops, gumballs, etc. etc. etc.....

As I said....lots of food, mostly junk.  I took my inspiration from the pies I saw at the beginning of the movie and from the mushrooms running around.  I decided to make a Mushroom Pie.



Then I decided to have mercy on my Carnivore husband and add chicken  to it.  I used skinless boneless chicken thighs, shitake mushrooms and puff pastry.  It was decadent and delicious.


Earlier this month, another group to which I belong, held an event featuring Sonoma Wines in an effort to help those affected by the wildfires in the area.  You can read more about it in my Celebrating Sonoma post.  As part of that effort, Balletto Vineyards, sent each of us two bottles of their wine as samples.  I opened the bottle of Pinot Noir to pair with this recipe.

Full disclosure compels me to advise you that these wines were given to me free of charge.  I received no monetary compensation and all opinions and ideas in this post are strictly my own.  

I had never had Belletto wines prior to these samples.  I am a California wine kinda girl though.  Given my choice of wines from all over the world, I will normally go for the bottle from California.  I have never had a bad bottle from the Sonoma or Napa area and this wine helped confirm the belief that, with the strict competition and perfect growing conditions, I never will.


A Pinot Noir is a perfect wine to pair with this dish.  The earthiness of the mushrooms and the earthiness of the wine complement each other and tame the richness of this creamy luxurious pie.

You could make individual pies or mini pies and they would have been perfect on that appetizer buffet along with all the other sinful, calorie laden goodies found throughout the movie.  

You still have time to join us this month.  The deadline for FoodnFlix isn't until the 29th.  Why don't you make yourself a pie, pour yourself a bottle of Sonoma wine to help their cause, pop in a copy of Wreck it Ralph and have a fun date night at home?



Chicken and Mushroom Pie

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into slices
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
8 oz. shitake mushrooms, slice
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed per package directions
1 egg, beaten with 1 T. water

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, set over med high heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Add to the skillet along with the onion and mushrooms, cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink, onion is tender and mushrooms have shrunk and released their juices, 10 minutes or so.

Add the butter to the skillet and allow to melt.  Stir in the flour and a bit more salt and pepper.  Cook and stir until flour incorporates with the butter and coats the ingredients.  Add the chicken stock.  Cook and stir until thickened into gravy, adding additional stock or water if too thick.  Stir in the sour cream and thyme until combined.  Turn into a pie plate.

Roll out the dough and cut into a 10-12" round depending on the size of your pie plate.  Cover the top of the stew with the puffed pastry and seal around the edges.  Brush the top with the egg wash, add any decorative toppings cut from leftover pastry, if desired, and brush again with egg wash.

Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 20-30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.  Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before slicing.  Print Recipe

Amy will be posting a round up of all the Wreck it Ralph inspired recipes after the 29th of February.  I can't wait to see what everyone else makes.

Next month we are watching Guess Who's Coming to Dinner hosted by Evelyne of CulturEatz.








Sunday, January 21, 2018

Black Bean and Ham Bone Soup #NationalSoupSwapDay

Happy National Soup Swap Day.  You have come to the right place if you are looking for a piping hot bowl of soup to chase those winter chills away.


Do you still have a hambone in your freezer from the holidays?  Well, today is the day to pull it out because do I have a great soup for you!

Adapted from a recipe published in the Washington Post in 2011, this black bean soup makes a perfect lunch or light dinner.  I served it as the first course of a dinner party I held where one of my guests was gluten intolerant.  Then we enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the following day.

I made this on the stove top but it would be easily adaptable to a crockpot or Instant Pot application.


Don't forget to stop by and see all the wonderful soups being swapped today.  There are soups to keep your family warm and toasty for the rest of this frigid winter we have been enduring.

Black Bean and Ham Bone Soup
adapted from The Washington Post

2 c. dried blacked beans, picked over
1 meaty ham bone
2 (32 oz) boxes chicken broth or 8 c. homemade broth
1 bay leaf
1 T. olive oil
1/2 lg. Vidalia onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. paprika
pinch dried oregano
1/2 cup tomato salsa (my recipe here )
1/4 c. dried sherry
Sour cream and chopped parsley or cilantro, if desired

Place the beans in a bowl and cover generously with water.  Let soak overnight.  Drain and place into a large pot with the ham bone.  Add the chicken broth and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 2-3 hrs., until beans are tender.  Remove ham bone and bay leaf. Remove meat from bone and chop into bite size pieces, discarding any gristle, bone and the bay leaf.

Using an immersion blender, puree about half of the soup.  Alternately, remove half of the soup to a blender or food processor to puree and then return to the pot.  Add the meat to the soup.

Heat the oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Cook the onions and garlic until fragrant and tender, about 10 minutes.  Season with the paprika and add to the soup along with the salsa and sherry.  Cook over low heat for another 10 minutes or until ready to serve.

Garnish with sour cream and parsley or cilantro if desired.  Print Recipe

More Soups to Swap

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Life is Constantly Changing and so is my Weekly Menu

Last Saturday, we ended up going out to dinner with John and Kirsten after Mass.  That means the chili never got made.

Monday, we got an early start home due to weather so made dinner once we arrived home instead of stopping on the way home.  This was a good thing because I had half a rack of spare ribs left from the Cassoulet that I had made.  They got thrown into the Instant Pot with half a head of cabbage and some mushrooms that were languishing in the refrigerator and made a perfect meal after a long drive home.  Find the recipe here.


Since I had no leftover Chili the burritos on Wednesday never happened.  Instead I fried up 2 leftover Chicken Sausages from that same cassoulet with some onions and a portabella mushroom cap left over from making the Rustic Roasted Veggie Tart.

We did (finally) get our date night in yesterday.  It turned into a date day because the only opening for a couples massage using the gift card we got for our 25th anniversary was either at 2 or 3 pm.  We took the 3 pm appointment and headed down to the city early so that we could visit the wine store to get some wines for upcoming events.  We finished at the wine store early so we stopped in and had our son, Tony, who is a bartender, make us a pre massage cocktail.

I was reallllllly relaxed for my massage which was absolutely wonderful.  After our massages, we went back to the bar (as originally planned) for pre dinner cocktails.  Tony had gotten off work and Frank's sister, Roz, met us so we all enjoyed a drink together and had an hour to chit chat and catch up with each other's lives.

Frank and I then left and went to Ruth's Chris Steak House for dinner.  We had also been given a gift card for this restaurant at our Anniversary Party.  I had lamb chops and Frank had filet mignon.  We started with salads and shared an order of garlic mashed potatoes.  The food was very good and I have no complaints. 

That being said....I am not a fan of Ruth's Chris...I think their presentations are lacking.  I don't like having a plate of meat, without so much as a garnish, plopped in front of me.  Where is the beauty of a composed plate?  I'm just not a steak house fan, I guess...I am capable of preparing my own good meal...I want the ambiance and elegance of a beautiful meal in a beautiful setting.



Ruth's Chris did provide us with a small dessert to share and a photo of our evening to help us commemorate the event.  I thought this was a very nice touch.

After dinner, we went next door to the restaurant where our daughter, Nicole, manages and shared a real dessert.  We were home and in our jammies watching Blindspot by 9.  It was a very nice and much needed respite.

This week is a little quieter.  We went for Day 1 of C25K this morning.  I haven't ran in a loooooong time.  It kicked my butt!!!!  We have an absolutely free day today.  Frank is starting to work on my laundry area.


It is hard to get a shot of my laundry area.  It is in a hallway that leads off of our garage.  This hallway, as you walk into it has a closet containing the furnace and hot water heater, next to this is a cut out where the washer and dryer sit and across from the washer and dryer is a coat/utility closet.

The cupboards above the washer and dryer are useless to me as I am vertically impaired. Anything other than what is sitting in the front of the lower shelf is impossible for me to reach.  Frank is rectifying this after I showed him photos that one of my blogging friends posted on facebook.  Of course, I can't remember who posted it and I can't find the post now to give credit where credit is due.

Tomorrow, we may be going out to dinner with Kim and Kurt. Kurt has to work so it depends on how his day goes.

The rest of the week is typical except for Wednesday when we are taking dinner to Aunt Irene after we drop Melody off at her Mama's.

So here is the Weekly Menu.  Please stop by each day to see what's new here on the Farm.  I'm always happy to see you.


Saturday
Chili
Cornbread

Sunday
Dinner out?

Meatless Monday
Eggs in Hash Brown Nests

Taco (Toddler) Tuesday
Leftover Chili Burritos

Wednesday
Carry out at Aunt Irene's

Thursday
Pork Roast
Roasted Root Vegetables

Fish Friday
Shrimp Tacos








A Classic Pairing; Revisiting Languedoc #FrenchWinophiles

This month's French Winophiles is hosted by Jason and Jill of L'Occasion.  Last October, also under the guidance of L'Occasion, we visited Languedoc as well.  I found that Cassoulet originated from this region of France and shared a Slow Cooker version along with my wine pairing.



To kick off the New Year, Jason and Jill asked us to revisit Occitanie (formerly Languedoc) specifically the AOP's of Minervois and Corbieres.  You can learn more at their preview post.

They chose this month because January 9th is National Cassoulet Day.  To help us out, the folks at L'Aventure Languedoc sent each blogger a bottle of each AOP to sample.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post and all opinions are my own.  Well, I'll be stating my husband's opinion as well.


Another group of which I am a member, The Kitchen Matrix Cooking Project, was also celebrating Cassoulet this month.  I decided to make a Cassoulet using my Instant Pot and paired it with these wines for dinner one evening.  You can find my recipe here.


While I put the finishing touches on dinner, Frank opened and poured both wines.  He tasted each and  jotted down his thoughts:
Gerard Bertrand Minervois 2013:
              • Good legs
              • Lighter color 
              • Black Pepper on the nose
Domains St. Eugenie Corbieres 2016: 
              • Good legs
              • Deeper finish
              • Purple in color
I took a sip of each and added that I found hints of raisin in the Minervois and found the Corbieres to be fruity and dry.


We sat down for dinner and we were surprised how differently we felt the pairings were with the Cassoulet.  Frank absolutely loved the Corbieres with his dinner.  I told him I thought the Minervois was much smoother with the Cassoulet than the Corbieres.  

His response?  Good.

Then he took the bottle of Corbieres and set it in front of him, leaving me to enjoy the bottle of Minervois with my meal.  



Here are what the others are sharing this month.


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