Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday Morning Walkers - March 30, 2008
Wow - woke up this morning to snow after a warm and sunny Saturday - nothing like Colorado weather! Christie, Jan, Andrea, Laila and I had a lovely walk yesterday out in Louisville and then Mary met us for coffee at the Dragonfly Cafe.
Mary just read the latest Louis Lamour book, Grub Line Rider -
The fury of the Wild West explodes in this thrilling dramatization of the Louis L'Amour classic Grub Line Rider. Most folks would call Kim Sartain an easygoing, peace-loving man. But the few who crossed the young drifter knew there was nothing he liked better than a good fight. When cattleman Jim Targ challenges Sartain's right to ride across an unclaimed stretch of meadow, Sartain decides he'll do better than ride through: He'll put down stakes there and homestead the land. Soon there's more at risk than land and pride when Targ hires a gunman to teach Sartain a permanent--and deadly--lesson
Jan has a DVD documentary to recommend - In The Shadow of the Moon - this is a documentary about the Apollo program - sounds fascinating.
Website of the Week: http://www.oculture.com/2006/10/audio_book_podc.html - free books to download in podcast form
Podcast of the Week: http://www.chow.com/stories/92/category - these are podcasts from one of my new favorite tv shows - Top Chef - in the interest of full disclosure, I haven't listened to them yet but perhaps we can discover them togtether.
Vocabulary Word of the Week: from the CU Conference on World Affairs catalog (don' forget, the Conference runs from April 7 - 11 - www.colorado.edu/cwa - Barb is going to be moderating a session on Tuesday, April 8 from 2 - 3:20 PM - Politcal Change: Buzzword vs. Reality) - the word is Prosopography
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In historical studies, prosopography is an investigation of the common background characteristics of a historical group, whose individual biographies may be largely untraceable, by means of a collective study of their lives. Prosopography is an increasingly important approach within historical research. Prosopographical research has the aim of learning about patterns of relationships and activities through the study of collective biography, and proceeds by collecting and analysing statistically relevant quantities of biographical data about a well-defined group of individuals. A uniform set of criteria needs to be applied to the group in order to achieve meaningful results. The term is a popular one, and the concept is easily inflated.
Cass invented a new word which we'd like to share with you - shalidity - refers to the state of thinking in a shallow manner
Cooking and Dining Report:
A restaurant review from Rita - she and a friend really enjoyed their meal at the Empire Restaurant in Louisville - definitely want to check this one out. It occupies the space formerly known as Collaci's - http://www.theempirerestaurant.com/.
Rita had the pork chops and her friend had the short ribs - the menu looks great!
Two big cooking nights here this week:
Monday night was book group and in keeping with the theme of Geraldine Brooks new novel, People of the Book, I put together an abbreviated, "mock" seder (thanks for idea, Janet!). Here's the menu with most of the recipes from Fine Cooking Magazine:
Haroset - the traditional mixture of honey, nuts and apples - http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/apple-almond-haroset.aspx - I used walnuts instead of almonds
Hummus - http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/hummus-mellow-garlic-cumin.aspx?ac=fp
Olive tapenade - from Whole Foods - these first three items were served, of course, with matzo and carrots, celery and cucumbers
Mediterranean-style Brisket - http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/mediterranean-style-brisket.aspx?refer=96302 - a bit labor intensive but well worth the advance prep - great to make a day or so ahead - then just re-heat when ready to serve.
Potato, Thyme, Olive Oil Gratin - http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/potato-thyme-olive-oil-gratin.aspx?refer=96302&ac=fp - helpful to have a mandoline to get the very thin potato slices
Roasted Brussel Sprouts (this is from Ina Garten) - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_21617,00.html - I used garlic pepper instead of plain pepper - very yummy!
Flourless Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cake - http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/flourless-chocolate-vanilla-marble-cake.aspx - oh my! This was divine - especially with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top - also perfect to make ahead and even store in the freezer.
Saturday night we had a lovely meal with our friend, Dave - here's the menu:
Hummus (kept well from earlier in the week) and a fresh supply of tapenade with crostinis
A hunk of Parmigianno Reggiano served with honey, walnuts and grapes
Boston (Bibb) Lettuce Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts, red Belgian Endive and Deep-fried Capers - this was inspired by the Simple Salad on the menu at Brasserie TenTen - what fun making those capers - I had to get salt-packed capers which Whole Foods doesn't carry but they had them at Peppercorn. The ones I usually get are packed in a salt and vinegar brine. Here's the recipe for the capers - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/107814 - they really do make a delightful garnish for a salad. I just made a quick Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette for this salad.
Chicken Saltimbocca - a recipe that I shared a few weeks ago - definitely worth repeating - from Cooks Illustrated - http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipe.asp?recipeids=4862#topOfPage
Basic Risotto - also from Cooks Illustrated - http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipe.asp?recipeids=331 - this turned out well but it does require a lot of attention and patience - don't think I'll do this very often.
Roasted Haricots Vert - got a bit overdone - those "skinny" little grean beans don't take very long!
Glacier (our local ice cream shop) Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberries - an easy and very elegant dessert - I served them with thin waffle butter cookies on the side - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_15207,00.html
An Entertaining Tip - when you're planning a pretty complicated meal, keep the appetizers simple - you don't need to make everything from scratch!
A brunch recipe from Jan - absolutely delicious - Golden Corncakes with Bacon and Goat Cheese http://www.capriolegoatcheese.com/RecipesChild.aspx?RecipeID=19
Whew - that's enough for now! I'm not cooking dinner tonight!
Have a great week!