Hope you all had a good week. The Saturday Morning Walkers were just an intimate group of three yesterday - Andrea, Laila and I walked out at Walden Pond in Gunbarrel (yes, we have a Walden Pond here in Colorado!). It is a such a beautiful spot and the weather was spectacular. Coffee with bagels and lox at the Page 2. Nice way to spend the morning. Yesterday afternoon, I joined in the celebration for my sweet baby Helen's first birthday - Helen is one of the little girls that I take care of. She looked beautiful in her new pink dress and fancy silver party shoes.
Here's a recommendation from Libby - The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. This book came up as a possible choice at our book group last week. I may choose it for my turn in December. Libby liked it very much.
Praise for The 19th Wife
“This exquisite tour de force explores the dark roots of polygamy and its modern-day fruit in a renegade cult...Ebershoff (The Danish Girl) brilliantly blends a haunting fictional narrative by Ann Eliza Young, the real-life 19th “rebel” wife of Mormon leader Brigham Young, with the equally compelling contemporary narrative of fictional Jordan Scott, a 20-year-old gay man…With the topic of plural marriage and its shattering impact on women and powerless children in today's headlines, this novel is essential reading for anyone seeking understanding of the subject.”
–Publishers Weekly, Starred and “Pick of the Week”
I just started a book by Marisa de los Santos - Belong to Me - it is too soon to recommend it but I am optimistic and will let you know more next week.
Website of the Week: this site was recommended by Andrea and looks pretty cool, especially for those of us who want to keep our brains sharp as we "mature" - www.lumosity.com - check out this review of this "brain training" site from PC Magazine - http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow_viewer/0,1205,l=213934&s=25234&a=213919&po=10,00.asp
Podcast of the Week: this is a particular Diane Rehm show focusing on Sarah Palin and the media - Diane is able to give voice to this issue without all the anger and hysteria that often accompanies political coverage - http://wamu.org/programs/dr/08/09/04.php#21857 - listen to it right from your computer.
Vocabulary Word of the Week: luminous
Middle English, from Latin luminosus, from lumin-, lumen
1 a: emitting or reflecting usually steady, suffused, or glowing light b: of or relating to light or to luminous flux2: bathed in or exposed to steady light
Cooking and Dining Report:
We had a very fine book group dinner at Janet's last week and I can share one of the recipes with you - she grilled a marinated flank steak which was so delicious - need that recipe! The one I do have is for Ina Garten's Potato-Fennel Gratin- a decadent side dish which was perfect with the steak - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/potato-fennel-gratin-recipe/index.html
A wonderful Vegetarian Chili from Jan -
Vegetable and Black Bean Chili
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium eggplant, pealed and cubed
1 cup onion, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 cups crushed canned tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
¾ cup canned corn, drained
Add the oil to a large non-stick pan and heat over medium heat. Add the eggplant and the onion. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Stir in the pepper, zucchini, chili powder, and cumin. Cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the tomatoes (with juices), beans and corn. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Partially cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until thick. The longer the chili simmers the thicker it will get.
Here are a few recipes from my kitchen this week:
From Giada de Laurentiis, Conghile (small shell pasta) with Clams and Mussels - I like that this includes broccoli as part of the dish - it truly is a one-dish meal and very yummy!
From Epicurious.com, I made Marsala Poached Apricots - this was a part of the appetizer that I contributed to Janet's dinner - I simply combined 3 cups of water, 1 cup of imported sweet Marsala wine, 1/4 cup sugar, a few pieces of lemon peel, brought that to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add 2 cups of dried apricots (use the nice bright orange California or Mediterranean). Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until fruit is just soft but not mushy, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer fruit to a bowl. Boil the liquid until syrupy, about 5 minutes and pour syrup over the fruit. (Can be made a couple of days ahead. Cover; chill and bring to room temperature before serving) I drained the apricots and placed on a platter with carmelized walnuts, brie cheese, cambozola cheese, figs, quartered,
and slices of melon, and baguette slices.
From Sal Scognamillo of Patsy's Restaurant in NY, I took his recipe for Chicken Parmigiana and substituted veal - he did this on The Today Show - http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26564102/
From Bon Appetit, Tortellini with Porcini Mushroom Sauce - for those of you who love Fettucine Alfredo or Carbonara, this is a lovely alternative - very simple to make yet elegant enough for company (Rae, you'll love this one!!) - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/TORTELLINI-WITH-PORCINI-MUSHROOM-SAUCE-243388?mbid=rss_epinr
From The Splendid Table, Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho - try this while you can still get lovely tomatoes!
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
From Latin Evolution by Jose Garces (Lake Isle Press, September 25, 2008). Copyright 2008 by Jose Garces. Used with permission of the publisher.
Yields 4 cup
4 large red heirloom tomatoes
2/3 English cucumber, seeded
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons diced day-old baguette, crust removed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. To make gazpacho: Core tomatoes. Dip tomatoes into boiling water for about 15 seconds then shock in ice water. Peel tomatoes.
2. In a blender, combine tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, and bread. Puree until smooth. While processing, slowly add olive oil until emulsified. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper. Gazpacho can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Quote of the Week from Storypeople.com - There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good.
Have a wonderful week!