Monthly Archives: November 2017

A Night to Remember

summary: Chateauneuf du Pape Clos des Papes 1990; almost like new after all these years; Picanha; Sauce d’Auvergne; crazed black cat;

We used to splash out and go to a fancy restaurant for our anniversary. But every time, no matter how great it was, we would always end up thinking that we could have had something easily as good at home.

So now, we splash out at the grocery and wine stores. Well, actually, we splashed out at the wine store almost 30 years ago in:

Clos des Papes 1990
Chateauneuf du Pape Clos des Papes 1990

We had been married three years when the grapes for this wine were being harvested. How can that be?! How can we be so old? (continue reading )

Pasta with Orange, Ham and Gremolata

summary: delicious pasta from Jamie Schler’s cookbook “Orange Appeal”; in praise of Ilva’s photography; minor substitutions; adding Gremolata and Swiss chard;

Too bad they didn’t ask Ilva to take the photos…. -TPH, looking at the images in another cookbook

The day after we had mussels with orange and fennel, T was leafing through Jamie’s book and after gazing at Ilva’s beautiful photograph on page 101, announced that he was going to make the orange sauce for pasta.

Orange Appeal, Page 100

I was thrilled. As I was dancing around the kitchen, he said, “I’m really liking cooking with oranges.” Ha. Lucky me! Because I’m really liking eating the fabulous results.

And look! This is how things appeared a short time later.

Orange Appeal Pasta

You can see why I was dancing!

(continue reading )

And we have cake!

prune pits summary: annual vinarterta making; disaster averted once again; reading labels; using timers (click on image to see photos taken on previous Cake Days)

They had fruit but we have cake….

Ha! At last the phrase has been righted. Dad would be so pleased!

spread the filling We made vinarterta yesterday. Or, perhaps you prefer to use our non-Icelandic family’s traditional name of “vina tarta”. Or is that “vine terta”? Or is it “vinaterta”??

But. What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;

Well, some of it would smell as sweet anyway.

It’s that stinking almond extract. I thought maybe it was because of fact that we were using commercial almond extract. Perhaps it was an ester. But no. The label says “pure almond extract”.

For a second, I toyed with the idea of learning how to make our own almond extract but quickly threw that idea out the window. I have no clue how to extract oil from an almond and suspect that it would take weeks to do….

We made two versions of the cake. One has ground almonds instead of almond extract and the second one is laced with the vile liquid.

Sure, it’s a little late to be making the cake – it has to age – but we think we’re okay because it’s still November. (continue reading )

BBB English Muffins are Perfect for Mock Bennies

summary: Mock Bennies with Homemade English Muffins; easily as satisfying as Eggs Benedict but not nearly as filling;

That looks just like Eggs Benedict there, doesn’t it? But no. This is a Mock Benny.

Mock Benny

A Mock Benny?! What on earth?

First of all, let me reassure you that j’adore Eggs Benedict. Almost as much as Eggs Florentine.

But after Thursday’s splash-out breakfast at a wonderful little cafe (Emma’s Country Kitchen) a short bike ride from here, I just wasn’t ready for them again. We had the most brilliant Eggs Benedict made with Mousseline Sauce at the cafe – they add heavy cream to their Hollandaise…. The eggs were delicious; we never ever ever want to have Eggs Benedict again. That’s the thing about Hollandaise Sauce, isn’t it? Sometimes there CAN be too much of a good thing.

But we had all of these beautiful BBB English muffins. So yesterday, T announced that he was going to make cheese sauce, then hard boil some eggs – so we could have Mock Bennies. (continue reading )