May 26, 2009

I'm back!

I just couldn't keep these babies to myself. Beautiful strawberries from Delvin Farms purchased at the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago. They were just gorgeous and the first of the season.

Hi everybody! I know I've been gone for a while and it seems like forever since I wrote but the hiatus was good for me. And now I'm ready to roll again with the blog... and share what I've been up to, food and otherwise. I'd love to hear from anyone out there who may still be reading. (And come back often because I have something big in the works that I hope to announce soon. Sorry for the teaser; I couldn't resist).

So the strawberries were used in the mini strawberry shortcakes I made for the 2nd annual Slow Food Hot Dog day at I Dream of Weenie a few weeks ago. We had a great turnout again this year despite the rainy weather and lots of wonderful add-ons made by local chefs using local products. I think the condiments even outshone the dogs this year.

And the dessert, well, who wouldn't love a mini shortcake biscuit with fresh local strawberries and whipped cream? They went so fast I didn't have a chance to snap a shot of a finished one.

In April I took a lovely trip to see my friends in Boulder. Good friends + good food + bad weather = lots of eating and drinking! It was a great trip. First stop, a new stylish little noodle bar in Denver called Bones where my friend Kiki and I indulged ourselves with escargot dumplings and noodles washed down with local beer and soft-serve ice cream for dessert (made with *real* ingredients, not the powdered stuff!) A great way to start our food-centric weekend.

Then, in Boulder, it was girls' night out beginning at Frasca where, five years after opening around the corner from my apartment, my friends are accomplishing amazing things at their little neighborhood restaurant.

Here are some pics of a beautiful lunch at one of my favorite hangouts, The Kitchen, after a day of shopping on Pearl Street.

flatbread with gioia burrata and La Quercia prosciutto

two lovely salads...

And, the main event, our home-cooked dinner at Kiki's house the last night, where all of us got in the kitchen and pulled out all the stops. Kiki opened a special bottle of Slovenian bubbly she'd been saving that required a very complicated opening procedure involving strange tools, a water bath and an upside down uncorking.

The menu included Suzanne Goin's herb-roasted pork loin with haricots verts and spring onions, bruschetta with garlic and swiss chard, a warm spinach salad with shrimp and cannellini beans, roasted beets, and a mixed berry cobbler. Whoa. We cooked, we ate, we conquered. And then we cleaned up her tiny little kitchen. But not until the next day.

there is a pork loin under there, before going into the oven.

beautiful spring onions

the bruschetta

the salad

And, this month, my dad came to visit and I made all kinds of yummy things that didn't get documented like a slow-cooked pork loin with green beans and roasted potatoes, a local beef shoulder from Walnut Hill Farms braised with wine and veggies that we made the best tacos with, and my dad's favorite- a mixed berry tiramisu with lime curd that was incredible. This is just the prep; the main event was devoured by all.

And, lastly, we've been remodeling. First the pink bathroom, then a new closet for me, then... the kitchen. Help. I will die, surely, when that happens. But until then, I have also been gardening like a madwoman. And the results are so rewarding. Looking good so far. I can't wait to pick my first radishes, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and peppers.

We've had lots of rain here in Tennessee and everything is green and lush. I am excited to go into Summer with so much on the horizon. I will be highlighting it all for you here. Just don't expect a comeback album. I'll leave that to Green Day.