Thursday, January 29, 2015

Finally an actual picture of my Sticky Toffee Pudding

Obviously I've posted this recipe before for sticky toffee pudding - it's one of my favorites - people go crazy for it and they never believe its got dates in it! I just finally took a picture before it all got eaten - this time I brought it to my dear friend Rey's bday - New Year's Day - and there was not a scrap left. I have to make this again soon - not just a holiday pudding (I do love the English name for any dessert) as this is good any old day. Actually it makes any old day a holiday! Cherrio!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fondue Night with the Girls

When Richard was out of town I decided to have my Healdsburg Girls over for fondue night - and boy did we have a spread! I baked bread (yes, those big babies!) and everybody brought so much food - I had leftovers for days. And you may wonder - what on earth do you do with leftover fondue - well never fret! The first week I made Potatoes Au Gratin to go with our brisket - oozy cheesy potatoes - yum.

Then last week I made Suppli - which are basically fried balls with leftover risotto and inside I stuffed a slice of cold Romesco Fondue  - it had roasted peppers and almonds with manchego and montery jack - oh yeah. Seriously don't throw out any fondue - it can make your next meal!

Thanks to all my girls for making it a special night! XOXO

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Measuring my bread

Usually I don't break out a measuring tape when my bread comes out of the oven - but this time I just had to - it was just so amazingly big I couldn't help myself! (is this what it feels like to be a guy? hehehe) 
 And look at that those huge holes! I'm sorry, but I just had to brag a bit. 

Damn, I'm addicted to this bread making. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chase away the mid-January Blues with Comfort Food!

Coq au Vin
Well this first dish was actually our Christmas Day dinner - Coq Au Vin - I tried the recipe from My Paris Kitchen (love this cookbook - thanks Rey!) and it was AMAZING. I even tried his suggestion to add cocoa powder to it - I know - sounds weird but it gave it a earthy flavor that was out of this world. Along with some seriously creamy mashed potatoes and of course some roasted brussel sprouts - it was a lovely holiday meal - even if not that traditional. 

 Next I was craving some beef last week and for my darling husband's first night back after visiting his Dad in Florida I made a long time favorite Everette's Beef Brisket - I can't believe I have never shared this E A S Y but delicious recipe! I searched and it wasn't there! So here you go - easy but you must plan ahead as it needs to sit overnight. I'll even translate - cracks me up how Richard took the liberty of making some note on the bottom - as if this is not a precious piece of parchment!

Everette's Beef Brisket serves 4

3 pound beef brisket (I only had a 2)

Ok, seriously -buy good quality beef and you need nothing more -let the beefy taste come through! Now, generously salt and pepper all over your brisket. Place in a snug fitting roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours (I did only an hour and half since mine was smaller) Remove from the oven and when cool, drain off the juices and fat and reserve - do not toss this gold! Put the foil back on and put in the fridge overnight. Throw away the fat that solidified on top of the juices and then slice the brisket across the grain and place back in the pan in rows, top with the juices - if your foil wasn't very tight and you don't have very much juice, add a little water and scrape up the bits in the pan. Cover with the foil (tightly!) again and cook for another hour. That's it -ready to serve.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bistro Ralph - A Healdsburg Institution

This is actually the first restaurant I ever ate at in Healdsburg - Bistro Ralph. I was up having a girl's weekend celebrating my birthday - I have no idea which one, but quite a while ago. We were all staying at my friend Jen's house in Duncans Mills and the next day (hungover) we rented a limo and drove to Healdsburg and went wine tasting and had lunch here - the Chicken Paillard is my favorite - a pounded chicken breast fried up with lots of a buttery, lemony caper sauce served on top of of crispy little fries. Recently there was a rumor that they had sold and were closing - but for now they are open - so get it while you can!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I'm in a comfort food mood

 I mean- it IS the time of year for comfort food - so I say bring it on! This is my Italian Pot Roast that I decided to serve with Polenta this time. Pink Polenta? This was the "bloody butcher" variety from Tierra Farms - I usually make cornbread with it - but thought I would try polenta - ahh yes - tasty but weird. It's funny how much you eat with your eyes. Covered in gravy - who could tell? To serve it this way I added a slurry of flour with some chicken broth to the beef to make a thicker gravy and it was wonderful - even if the polenta was pink.

Colorful Polenta
Creamy Polenta serves 4
1/2 cup polenta (yellow is a good choice)
1 cup water
1 cup half and half (you could use milk but this really makes it)
pinch salt
tablespoon butter
1/4 cup parmesan

Cook polenta in liquids until thick continue stirring about 30 min. Stir in butter and cheese and salt to taste. This polenta is best served warm - I don't recommend grilling as it will melt through (oh yes I've tired)

Oh yeah - have a safe New Years! Stay in and eat comforting food!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Comforting Pork Stew - good for a rainy day

Yes - we survived our "Stormageddon" as the Healdsburg paper proclaimed last week - but not all did - If you are in Northern California you have by

Yumminess in a bowl
now seen the infamous car flooded in the Safeway parking lot - with kayakers floating by! Luckily our little creek behind our house was flowing but not Over-flowing. So last week I thought it was the perfect time for a comforting Pork Stew with Mustard, Carrots and Brussel Sprouts - served over rice - Richard has now said "I think this is one of my favorites" He says that a lot ; )

Little walk in the rain

Post Note: Hope you had a fabulous holiday!