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

shaved fennel (1 small bulb + veggie peeler)

handful of fresh dill
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