Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Wig Rides Again

The holiday season was off to quite a start with Heather N' Brad's Holiday-O-Rama. The holiday spirits, including rosemary and cinnamon vodka, bourbon-spiked homemade eggnog, single malt scotch and a variety of Christmas ales, flowed freely in our crowded apartment. The $1.99 present swap couldn't have been a bigger hit - even if Brad hadn't invented the double-or-nothin' coin toss - and the word on the street is that a great time was had by all.



Once we cleaned up and recovered from the festivities, a week of Christmas shopping and holiday preparations ensued. Brad and I had some delicious Christmas Eve Eve dates with close friends and our own little present exchange before heading off to visit our families. The holiday itself was spent in New Jersey were Brad decorated our new car with Christmas Eve vomit and I cooked a Christmas day feast for the Marold clan.


After that we headed to Colorado Springs for a little Thomason time, and if all were going according to plan we'd be in New Mexico right now gearing up to ring in the New Year in Santa Fe, but the weather just won't let that happen. Today is day two of being stranded in Colorado because the interstate has been closed since Friday, and with just 12 hours of 2006 to go, we're weighing our odds on a standby flight back to Brooklyn in time for midnight. At this point I'd say festivities have pretty much ground to a screeching halt.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wet Rat

A few weeks ago we took Francine to the vet and dropped a few hundred clams. One of the things we tried to address in doing so is why she's always so darn itchy. So, we've been feeding her supplements and an antibiotic for her coat for three weeks now with little change, and then it occurred to us . . . perhaps the problem is the cat.

We gave Turtle a bath the other day to rid her of any potential flees or other itch inducing bits in her coat. Have you ever seen a cat claw her way up a glass shower door? I have, and I have some nice welted scratches up my arm to prove it. But we pulled it off, I held her down while Brad gave her the scrub. And although she was not happy, she certainly came out clean and soft.


The other main to-do this week has been the preparations for our holiday party tonight. Brad and I are hosting a Holiday-O-Rama featuring a selection of "holiday spirits". I've been infusing vodkas, making peanut brittle and in an moment I'm gonna head into the kitchen to started cooking up some spiked egg nog. The apartment is glistening with Christmas lights and the only thing left to do is wrap up some gift swap presents and put on our "outfits". It outta be a good one!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's Been Too Long Since This Blog Has Seen A Recipe!

My oh my it is good to be home. Brad and I returned late yesterday afternoon to our little apartment in Brooklyn, and it sure does feel big. Eight days in a little hotel room with nothing but restaurant food and home feels like a palace. We had a good time in Miami, saw lots of art, furniture design and more art. We attended the occasional party, drank a few cocktails, had a day on the beach, some time by the pool and watched plenty of bad TV.

Brad did a bit of shopping while we were there. He couldn't help himself in the presence of fashionable men's boutiques and brought home a few great new wardrobe items. I on the other hand brought home a nasty case of strep throat. After fighting it for the last few days of our trip, the plane ride did me in. Brad returned to work today and I happily spent the day in bed hoping to sleep off the last of it. So, despite my complete and total exhaustion with mediocre restaurant food, I am not so inspired to cook tonight and thought to fall back on one of our very favorite frozen meals, yummy homemade veggie burgers.

Veggie Burgers

*One of the great things about this recipe is that there is lots of room for experimentation (or error).

4 carrots, grated
4 parsnips, grated
1 large or two small sweet potatoes, grated
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4-6 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1/2C bread crumbs
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 handful parley, chopped
1 handful cilantro, chopped

whole wheat English muffins
good cheese and Dijon mustard for serving

Combine all veggies in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. In batches, pulse in a food processor adding oil as needed to process until coarsely chopped and moist. Return mixture to large bowl.

Mix in 1 egg, breadcrumbs, seeds, chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Use your hands like you would with any burgers to mix until well combined. If the mixture is too moist, add more breadcrumbs.

Form the mixture into balls, and place on a non-stick backing sheet. Press flat with the palm of your hand to form patties. The mixture should yield approximately 8 burgers.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the patties are soft and golden brown. Serve on a toasted English muffin topped with some good cheese, like goat or sharp cheddar, and Dijon mustard if you'd like. Goes great with a big mixed green salad.

Layer any uneaten burgers is a flat container with wax paper between them and freeze. To cook, simply place the frozen burgers in a 375˚ oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Gittery Side of Me

Last Friday, Brad and I attended the first of our holiday season parties. It was a raucous one, gift swap and all, but the most important thing that happened thanks to this event, was the discovery of our alter-egos - and they are good lookin'!


All it took was an invitation to dress up and a can of aerosol hairspray. Wind storms and tornado warnings be damned, that hair wasn't goin' nowhere. Fuhgedaboudit!

This Is An Expensive Blog Post

Maybe it's for the privilege of doing it in a overpriced bathrobe, but the internet is costing me $9.99 for 5 hours here at The Richmond. The little info card says the service is available for 1 daily fee, but when I signed on at 10am, it warned me the session would expire at 3pm. Oh, and the connection? Spotty.

Today is day 3 here in Miami and I am in fact sitting in a hotel robe watching the palm trees sway outside the window in front of me. Brad is over at the convention center installing some sculptures in his gallery's booth at Art Basel. I opted out after helping with a 9am-7pm on my feet day yesterday that left my dogs barking. And besides, I have all this important computing to do - emails, internet browsing, blogging and of course updating this year's amazon wish list* for receiving Christmas presents.

Since our arrival we have already managed to go on a shopping spree and take in a movie, as well as many restaurant meals, but tomorrow the real fun begins. The art fairs and accompanying parties will commence and Brad and I will slather on the sunscreen and hit the beach.

Maimi goal number: Return home to snow and freezing temperatures with a tan.

*Gifts accepted regardless of religious/holiday affiliation. Contact me for shipping information if you're feeling generous.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Chilling A Smelly One

I picked these leaves up off the path in Prospect Park this morning while walking Francine. It has been sunny and 60˚ in the afternoons all week and despite the fact that today is December 1st, there are still some leaves on the trees. Global warming or not, I have been enjoying the sun and the warmth.


The other thing I picked up and brought home from the park this morning was a vile of Francine's poop, per the vet's instructions. They say it is necessary for her records and when we were there last Friday they sent me home with a vile containing a tiny scooper, labeled 'prepaid'. My instructions were to bring it back half full and I have been avoiding the task ever since. But, this weekend Brad and I are heading to Miami again where we'll enjoy temperatures in the high 70˚s and attend Art Basel Miami Beach with his gallery, so today is the day to do all those chores I have been procrastinating about. That is why there is poop in my refrigerator.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dirty Ho

One of the cooler things in our neck of Brooklyn is BAM, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, although it is so much more than it's name would imply. What we love most about it is the movie theater. They show everything from the best big studio releases to the smallest of independents.

For the past few weeks they have been showing a series of Kung Fu movies as a tribute to the Shaw Brothers and last night we attended a screening of the original 1979 release, Dirty Ho. I don't know how easy this one would be to find on DVD/video, but it comes very highly recommended from this little bomb. It's a comedy that made the audience laugh out loud with some really
great fight choreography. Gordon Liu, who you may remember as the Kung Fu Master, Pai Mei, that trained Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, plays an awesome character.

This was one of those great movie experiences that made you want to clap afterwards. As we left the theater Brad told me it was the best date he had ever been on and at that point I felt the same. Kung Fu movies rule!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Time Mismanagement

Today marks an official two weeks of freedom since leaving my job. So how is it with all this new 'free' time on my hands I am always busy? I've had days of being at home alone in the apartment and the to-do lists just keep getting longer. Give the dog a bath, pick up Brad's dry cleaning, drop off my dry cleaning, call about this, fax about that, email this person, follow up with that person, move the cars, start some laundry and the apartment always seems to need a cleaning. Now all this is not mentioning those ideal to-do items that I always fancied getting around to when I was at work all day. But those things are still looming in the distance, when I get around to them.

On top of the day-to-day there is this new business of the gym. That's right, I did it, I finally joined a gym again. It was time, the dog walks just aren't enough for this butt. And besides I've got all this time on my hands now, so why not fill some of it with Yoga and Pilates classes? Oh, and I still need to have time left do things like organize our photos into albums, bake Christmas cookies and there's that talk of this year's cookbook.

Six months of working at an agency with a head spinning amount of responsibility and I never needed to keep a calendar, just an ongoing list on my desk with reminders and the rest was all up in my noggin. But this stay home, unemployed/freelance business is crazy! I think I may need to implement a management system so I can get it all done and still have time to make dinner and watch a movie at night. Let's be honest, now that I own my time again I have to prioritize what's really important, relaxing.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Delayed Turkey Time

Close call. . . but we pulled it together and I was thankful!



Our oven got fixed at 11am on Thanksgiving morning and still many more obstacles lay ahead. Brad and Heather's Thanksgiving bonanza, f
eaturing guest chefs Steve, Shamus and Masako, felt like the meal that might never happen right up until we sat down to eat after 8pm. Half of our party faced obstacles getting to our house on time, and when Brad finally drove to pick up Masako and her pies because she could not get a car service to answer her call, he got lost driving in the rain and disappeared for an hour while a roasted turkey was already resting on my counter!

But eat and eat well we did. The menu featured a 17lb. herb roasted, farm-raised turkey, sausage and cornbread stuffing, sweet potato pureé, brussel sprouts with bacon and apples, creamed spinach, parsnip pancakes, a salad with roasted squash, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds, cranberry chutney and gravy that flowed almost as freely as the booze. As if all that wasn't enough, we topped it all off with pecan/pumpkin and apple pies, Irish coffees and ice cream. It was goooood.

Happy and fed we were in the end, and the celebration went on past midnight. Thanksgiving is truly the best American holiday - good food in the company of good friends. We'll continue to enjoy our leftovers into this coming week and I have some turkey soup in the works. Soon I'll start dreaming of next year's feast.










Oh, and since I feel like I should share a recipe, here's something even better - the secret to my perfect gravy. It's not really mine, it's Martha Stewart's and you can find it here. You won't believe the results and your guests will be impressed, I promise!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Case of VERY Bad Timing

It is officially count down to Thanksgiving time. While I have spent the last few days pondering the possible benefits of a maple glaze and whether or not to brine the 17lb. farm raised turkey thawing in the fridge the most unimaginably aweful thing happened - our oven broke.

Yes, that's what I said - 17lb. turkey, dinner guest list is apporaching 8 and we have no oven to cook in! Our landlord has been working with us to remedy the situation since we realized it's seriousness on Monday, but unfortunately, a holiday week is no time for rush orders.


The repairman was just here and he diagnosed the problem as a broken safety valve. I don't know what that means, but I do know that without a new one, the oven will not work. So maybe he has one at his office and if so he will make an emergency visit on Thanksgiving morning to install it. But, if not, the situation is grim. 5-7 days, thanks to this darn, wonderful holiday, for them to order and receive a new one.


I don't know what exactly my chances are - so we'll call it 50/50. Right now I am just waiting for the phone to ring with the good/bad news.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New Leaf

I am actually sitting here watching the near last of the yellow leaves fall from the tree outside my window as I type this post. Isn't that poetic? But really, today is the first day of my return to independence, following my resignation from Public New York.

You know what that means, right? More time for blogging again! I also need to start collecting the best of the best of this year's recipes for what I hope will be mine and Brad's annual collection.
Heather and Brad's Recipe Book: Greatest Hits from 2005 was a very popular Christmas Gift last year.

So yes, recipes, photos and more stories to come now that that blog hiatus, otherwise known as a full-time job, is over.
Check back soon . . . Thanksgiving (otherwise known as the holiday that is all about food and cooking) is right around the corner!


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween Happiness

These pictures are worth many thousands of words.





Monday, October 30, 2006

Throwing a Bone

You think I don't love you anymore? I do. I've just been busy galavanting around in silly outfits.

Tomorrow is halloween you know, quite possibly Brad's favorite day of the year. Some costume fun has already been had and photos will come, but first I have to wrestle my camera back from the jaws of a Doberman named River who is holding it hostage. Five bottles of wine, four people, some duck and a dog and these things can happen. Did I mention that the cat spent the night locked in the basement?

Confused yet? Me too.

Look out for those costumes. And if you you need to keep busy while you wait, check out Brad's latest project.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In the Moment

Because it was in the fridge . . . how's this for a salad?

Rainy Night Fall Salad
greens

shaved fennel (1 small bulb + veggie peeler)

handful of fresh dill
sprigs
roasted acorn squash (400˚ tossed with olive oil, salt, peper and rosemary till tender)

lemon honey vinagrette (olive oil + white balsamic + blob of honey + splash of lemon juice + salt and pepper)


Well I'll tell you - it was delicious. Try it some time.

Goes great with a good October Fest!


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pet Names

Reading back through my previous blog posts I came to the sad realization that it's officially been A WHILE. Already the summer farmer's market season is passing and I have been cooking with butternut squash again. The apples are abundant and so are yummy delights like spinach and fennel. If you thought I had fallen off the food wagon, you are very wrong - it was simply the blogging wagon, my friends. Last night we had a little impromptu dinner party with friends and I made a great dish of braised beef. All you need is a 3.5lb round roast and the following ingredients to have a good time:

Coffee and Orange Braised Beef with Cinnamon


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1.5 cups brewed coffee

1 cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

3-3" strips orange zest (use a veggie peeler)

cilantro (optional)


Preheat your oven to 325˚


In a dutch oven sauté the onion for 5-6 minutes until golden. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute until fragrant. Add coffee, orange zest, cinnamon stick and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer.


Meawhile, heavily salt and pepper roast. Place in simmering liquid and cover tightly.
Bake for 3.5-4 hours until the roast is very tender (be careful of the steam when you lift the lid). Remove roast and slice. Return to pot and toss with braising juices, then served with orange wedges and chopped cilantro.

I served this with creamy polenta and there was lots of excitement around the table. You can thank the back page of my most recent
Gourmet if you decide to cook up this magnificent recipe. I might also mention that I have been doing quite a bit of 'inventing' in the old kitchen. Yes, that's right, recipes of my own. Only problem is I haven't been posting them here, so many of them may have been lost to the moment - I'll work on that.

***


I had been thinking of how to break the ice that has frozen over this blog - and what better than a top-ten list of the most exciting events that I haven't blogged about? But, while I edit that list, here's another top ten to entertain you:

Francine's Best Pet Names

1. Snuggle Bug
2. Puppy Face

3. Pony Head

4. Francy Pants

5. Señora Pantalones

6. Frankelstein (aka "Frankels")

7. Frankelstilsken

8. Frankelpuss

9. Franks and Beans

10. Francois

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hot Town

Wondering where I've been? Why I haven't been bloggin'?

You might have guessed I've been working hard, but it is also possible that I have melted. Can you melt from humidity? Sure feels like it.

Check out tomorrow's forcast:

Monday, July 17, 2006

Trashy Treasures

This weekend Brad and I headed out to Coney Island to sample the Siren Music Festival. We didn't actually end up listening to much music, but as we hoped for, Coney Island was a true pleasure. If the people watching alone isn't enough for you, here are 5 other things that make it special:

1. Hot Dogs! Not to mention that Nathan's also has the best deal in town on beer. A giant cup of a cold draft (we guessed about 40 oz.) for only $4.50. Try to beat that! And while your at it, try to hold on to the beast while eating your dogs at the same time.

2. The board walk. In the past I have been drawn to the break dancers and roller skaters, but you tell me - what's better than oiled-up, shirtless, hip hop boys of fitness selling and autographing calendars for a good cause? Mr. January (on my left) even wrote me a personalized message.


3. The beach. Where you can also eat cotton candy.

4. The view from the Wonder Wheel. Over 85 years of service and never an accident.



5. The CLYLONE! Every year it costs a dollar more and seems even sketchier than the last time I rode it, but you can't buy a more thrilling 40 seconds.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Saved

If any of my other 5 readers aside from Brad were finding this blog as 'hard to take seriously' as he was, due to my frequent spelling mistakes and occasional grammatical errors - you are about to be saved:

I FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO USE BLOGGER'S SPELL CHECK.

But I don't have an editor yet and I wasn't an English major. So you'll have to bear with me on the grammar.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Something Fishy is Always Good

While we were in Mexico this spring, one of the highlights of our trip was eating the fish we caught on a deep sea trip. I will note that I was sea sick for 3 out of 4 hours out of that trip, but bringing back bags of freshly caught and cleaned tuna and mahi mahi for the kitchen at our hotel to cook up for us, almost made me all but forget about my earlier discomfort.


Brad has reminded me that in my recent post about the farmer's market and it's prominence in our life at this time of year, I have yet to mention the best part of our new market at Grand Army Plaza - Fish! The line for Blue Moon fish is always long, but worth the wait. Fresh from Long Island, in recent weeks I have not been able to resist the tuna. Although it goes for $13/lb - all it takes is some salt, pepper and a quick sear on each side to taste heaven.

We have also enjoyed scallops, sea trout, steamers and best of all, mussels. This past weekend I couldn't resist the price on their mussels and it was a most rewarding experience. After making the purchase I happen to come across this recipe in Real Simple that was so easy and unbelievably delicious. If you can get your hands on some fresh mussels, I can't reccomend it enough. You don't even need the fries if you've got some great bread.

And since I mentioned it, here is my other favorite photo taken by Shawn Linehan in Mexico, where we ate more fresh fish than we could have dreamed of. A la plancha!


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fresca Season

So in this post I will try to address several different topics, seamlessly integrating them under the general subject of "fresca". Read on . . .

Farmer Market Season is in full bloom with the excitement of new seasonal arrivals each week. Strawberries and asparagus are old news already and I just can't get enough of those summer beans. Even more exciting for Brad and I, this year's CSA share has finally commenced! No longer are we eating veggies from the Garden of Eve, but for he next 23 weeks, we will be enjoying both fruit and veggies, from Wildflower Farm, in upstate NY. This week's bounty included such goodies as strawberries, radishes, Tokyo Bekana (similar to both Broccoli Raab and Bok Choy), lots o' greens and even a potted thyme plant!

Last year's surplus of basil from our farm share aided in my perfection of pesto. However, with all the strawberries in my fridge I was excited to stumble upon this recipe for strawberry pesto at chocolateandzucchini.com. What an excellent idea! It brings back fond memories of Nectar, in Mérida, where Brad and I experienced the most amazing dessert, when we were served basil ice cream topped with starwberries and honey. You drooling yet? Well, for those of you who have been in need of new recipes and culinary inspiration like you are probably experiencing right now, but are disapointed by me recent lull in blogging, might I also recommend, some amusment from The Amateur Gourmet and as a resource, Epicurious.com.

But wait, I am still here right now - typing away. And on the subject of summer surplus recipes, the other thing we began to have more than we could handle from our farm share last season was tomatoes. You might ask yourself, what else do you do with tomatoes besides make pasta sauce? Salsa, silly! How surprised I was when I whipped up a batch at a BBQ the other night (hosted by a friend on the roof of a stranger for whom he was housitting - what fun!) and the general public response was "Wow, this is good. How do you make it?" It is so easy, my friends, just check out my recipe below:

Salsa Fresca
to make a party-sized batch
(Ingredient quantities need not be precise, this is just how much I used last time. Experimentation is encouraged.)

2.5-3lbs ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 large or 2 small red onions, chopped
As many jalepeños as you dare, but at least one, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 3 limes
A few tablespoons of olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt
One bunch of cilantro, chopped

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and serve with good corn chips.

That's all there is to it, so make some salsa. And while you're at it - here are some fun "upgrades" reccomended in my most recent issue of Real Simple:

1. Black beans and corn
2. Bell pepper
3. Mango
4. Diced cucumber and sliced radishes.

Oh, and doesn't that remind me of the most delicious sandwich I ate for lunch yesterday from a gourmet deli near my work in SoHo. On a beautiful 7 grain roll I was served, grilled chicken, havarti cheese, endive and cucumber. That's all, and it was deeelicious. So warm and soft and salty the havarti was .
. . mmm. It was actually quite a culinary day for me. Brad and I had dinner later in the evening at a local green market restaurant, Restaurant Sorrel, here in Brooklyn where I ate some truly inspiring dishes as part of a three course $25 prixe fixe menu, including braised, organic duck legs. We will be going back!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Apologies

Lately the work days have been leaving me burnt out and exhausted with little energy left for blogging. So, if you grew tired of seeing the picture of our busted Honda whenever you visited this site over the past two weeks, I'm sorry.

This past weekend Brad and I traveled to NJ to drop off our card to be fixed with salvaged parts and then carried on to Chéz Marold for my brother's college graduation party. We drank beer, played drinking games suitable for such a collegiate celebration, and I ate more pork in the form of various BBQ dishes than any one person should ever be allow to consume in one day - topped only by Brad who later confessed that he ate 3 pulled pork sandwiches, as well as his plates of sausage and peppers, seared pork and onions, grilled chicken, cheese steak, french fries . . . need I go on?



So now I am back to the grind, and a bit worse for the wear.
This article is the most fascinating thing I have come across over the past few days and I thought I'd share. I came to me in an email from Brad with a subject line that read, "This will get you riled up" - if you're wondering my feelings about it, Brad was just about right. Do read about all that is good and bad of Walmart's hunger to join the organic craze. When I showed it to my Creative Director, he asked, "What's next, organic Bud Light?" -Gross.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Workin' For The Weekend

It's funny how idealized the "weekend" becomes when you spend your week slaving (did I say slaving?) at a full-time job. Friday night and the two days that follow glisten with endless possibilites as the work week comes to an end.

***
Brad and I properly rung in the weekend following my first real work week with a drunken night out. Several friends joined us in eating cuban food and drinking beer in a smelly bar. We beat the hangover that followed with a nice Saturday of walking in the park, shopping and lounging at home. Sunday was looking fine as well, when we walked over to the the 5th Avenue street fair, here in Park Slope, and ate quite a bit of yummy food while browsing the local vendors. However, the lovely weekend and perhaps our recent string of seemingly good luck and happy days came to a screeching hault when we headed to our hockey game.

While driving over the Manhattan Bridge at approximatelt 45MPH, thinking how good the car was running after having it's exhaust problem fixed by the mechanic this past week, the hood of the car flew up, tore off by all but one hinge and slammed against the windshield. It all went down sort of like this - driving . . . thinking . . .driving . . . WHAM!!!!!!!!seeing nothing but the black car hood. I don't remeber stopping the car. But I do remember saying to Brad "What the F@%! just happened?" And then I looked up to see that the sun roof had shattered from the impact and later noticed the rear view mirror was lying on the car floor.






If you're wondering why the car is all tied up, it is because Brad is a manly man and was keeping some string in the trunk for unseen events demanding string, just like this one. (Or so he claims - I don't know if he really "put" it there.) We used it to tie the nearly detatched and now inverted car hood on in order to drive it the rest of the way across the bridge and then back over the other side to return it to Brooklyn.

To answer your questions: Yes, we're OK. Luckily nobody was behind us. And no, The Dark Winbows didn't win the hockey game - we never made it and the team lost 2-1 in overtime.

And speaking of crap luck. Tonight I stepped in Francine's fresh dog poop while I was walking over to clean it up. So much for the wonderful weekend. Looks like I'm going to be working for the car payments from now on.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

This Blog Needs a Jump Start

It will not die. Hopefully the regularity in my life, due to my recent change in employment status, will help this blog to prosper - Once I am adjusted that is.

In the mean time, how about a recipe?! I've been cooking, I just haven't had the time to be blogging about it.

For Brad's birthday I made a dish that was so good we already repeated it, last night. If you've been reading this blog I bet you can guess where it came from, still my favorite cookbook, Tyler Florence's Eat This Book. If you love sausages and artichokes - wait, should I stop there, because aren't those foods so intensely satisfying alone that it might actually be dangerous to combine them? Hold on tight - you will LOVE this dish. And although it takes a little time, it is easy.

Artichokes With Lemon, Sausage and Sage

Artichokes
1 handful of fresh, flat leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, halved
salt and pepper
4 whole artichokes

The Rest
olive oil
4 pork sausgaes (6 oz. each)
4 fresh sage leaves
2 shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, cut into paper-thin slices
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbls unsalted butter
chopped parsley for garnish

1. Combine parsely, garlic cloves, wine, bay leaves and lemon halves in a large pot and add 2 quarts water. Bring to a simmer.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the artichokes by trimming the end of the stem and shave the outer layer with a pairing knife to expose the tender green flesh. Snap off the outer leaves until you reach the soft , pale green leaves and cut approximately 1 inch off the tops of the artichokes.

3. Slide the artichokes into the simmering broth. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. A knife inserted in the stem should have no resistance when done - remove them from the broth with tongs. Halve the artichokes length-wise and with a spoon, remove the hairy choke. Be gentle and try to keep the artichokes in tact.

4. In a deep skillet heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and brown the sausages for 7-10 minutes until cooked. Remove them to a separate plate.

5.
In the remaining oil, toss the sage leaves and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes to infuse the oil. Add the shallots, lemon and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer.

6. When the stock has reduced and thickened, swirl in the butter. Add the artichokes and toss them to warm.

7. Serve the artichokes and sauce over the sausages and ENJOY!!!!

MMMmmmmmmm. Oh my!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It's All About To Change

My freelance lifestyle as I know it is over.

Last week I accepted an offer to become a full-time designer with Public New York. I start tomorrow morning around 10am and from that moment on I will continue to work five days a week, every week, for a long time . . . I don't think I can even express in writing the anxiety I am currently experiencing over this commitment to change.

Exciting though, isn't it?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Another Milestone

So many important occasions and events have been passing for Brad and I lately that I have had little time to sit down and write about the day to day stuff. Having just finished traveling on occasion of our first wedding anniversary, this weekend was no exception. Yesterday we celebrated Brad's 30th birthday!



A few days previous, Amanda (sister-in-law for those who don't know her) arrived from San Fransisco to take part in the festivities. She and I spent Friday afternoon enjoying spring in Park Slope and shopping for Brad's gifts. Later on the three of us attended the Whitney Biennial, where there was a suprise (for us anyway) performance by Matmos, and ended the night with dinner and cocktails.




On Saturday, Brad's birthday started with a big brunch including coffee from his new french press, presents and a beautiful day. Many preparations were in order, and some decorating was done, for last night when we threw a party (the first in our new home) worthy of such a memorable date. In the company of some great friends, we ate great food, drank great wine (beer and wiskey!), ate great cake and partied well into the night. I nearly singed my eyebrows - 31 candles creates a lot of heat - and we even hosted a raffle of our most desireable unwanted belongings, which our lucky winning guests stumbled home with. I'm pretty sure we all fell asleep happy.





Today, I am finally experiencing downtime. The party has been cleaned up, Amanda has gone home, and Brad is now in his third decade. In an hour or so, we'll head off to our street hockey game (for hopfully a fifth consecutive Dark Rainbow victory). And then finally, we'll come home to a quiet house, with our precious little pets, and relax.