Blue Ribbon Living

food + Music = happy
#vscocam #porkchops #dinner #spooningmeat #365dinners #love

#vscocam #porkchops #dinner #spooningmeat #365dinners #love

The Cake

My future mother in law makes this cake called Italian Cake. I have never tasted anything like it. Custard chocolate and cream, liquor and sponge cake. I love to love it and hate it right after I swallow. 

Big Mama Thornton / Muddy Waters Blues Band

—Wrapped Tight

This is what you listen too when you are at the Boiling Pot!

My best friend recently got married. My gift to her was to cook the food for the reception. She lives in brooklyn where its really easy to get lots of authentic Mexican ingredients, we really thought a pinata what would be fun, so we made TACOS! Tacos are great thing to have people help themselves to and its great party food.  I made beans, rice, pork and chicken filling. The groom made the pico de gallo, my other best friend help me cook (she rocks).  I started with a organic pork butt and two organic whole chickens. The pork we cooked at a low temperature, with onions, garlic, clove, cumin, cinnamon stick, salt, pepper, chiles and beef broth  overnight. (it was kinda wierd to open our bed room doors and be bombarded with rich meat smell) For the chicken I marinated them in onions, garlic, oranges, lime juice, orange juice and lots of whole cilantro, then roasted them in the oven. When the chickens had cooked we pulled the meat from the bone.  After the pork had cooked at 250 f for 8hrs we pulled it apart and added organic canned tomatoes and more cumin, we let it cook for another hour. Both of the meat dishes were awesome! As for the beans, we soaked them for 12 hrs, then cooked them in organic vegetable broth, cinnamon stick, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaf and chile pepper. They were also awesome! We had 250 corn tortillas, lots of Tequila and Love. One of the best parties I have ever attended. Congrats Jessie and Luis!

This IS GOOD!
While in Austin last week my wonderful boyfriend treated me to a mind blowing lunch. At the boiling pot, you sit outside in the deep southern heat gnawing on Crawfish (not really my favorite, something about catching them as a child), shrimp perfectly moist and full of flavor, corn packed full of rich cajun spices, blue crab joyfully tender and red potatoes. They bring it to you in a bowl and they dump it on table and you then you eat. The bib is a necessity. The joy could not have been suppressed, an excellent southern meal. Love..

This IS GOOD!

While in Austin last week my wonderful boyfriend treated me to a mind blowing lunch. At the boiling pot, you sit outside in the deep southern heat gnawing on Crawfish (not really my favorite, something about catching them as a child), shrimp perfectly moist and full of flavor, corn packed full of rich cajun spices, blue crab joyfully tender and red potatoes. They bring it to you in a bowl and they dump it on table and you then you eat. The bib is a necessity. The joy could not have been suppressed, an excellent southern meal. Love..

American Thanksgiving in Montreal

Ok it has been a while since I cooked for more than 4 people. We have a very small kitchen and it was a lot. People arrived on time which meant I was still in the middle of it. My ginger carrots were pretty mushy and I was so focused I forgot to photograph and bring the turkey out to the table before I carved it. My boyfriend is still talking about it. All in all it turned out to be extremely fun. We stayed up unitl 4 am. Thats how you know you threw a good one.

The Menu:

Salad Course:

Roasted figs (on the BBQ) goat cheese and argula salad. My boyfriend made this one.

Winter Salad (I loved this!) the recipe is here below in full. I put lots of parsley which made it amazing!

Yellow beet, goat cheese and dill. Very simple with nice olive oil, salt and pepper.


Dinner Course:

Turkey (grain fed from the Jean Talon Market)***Brine yes! I think that the brine made my turkey much better. This is the recipe I used. Also if you want crazy American down home cooking recipes, The Pioneer woman is the place.

Sausage, Sour Dough, Pear stuffing. Meat muffins as they were being called at that table were an adaptation from this recipe I got from the NYTimes. I just kinda went on instict and it came out awesome. I used my boyfriend’s dad’s homemade sausgage because we had them instead of pancetta.

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ginger Carrots

Roasted Purple Cauliflower with sage and lemon zest. The recipe also from the NYTimes.

Roasted Mint Corn (I don’t reccomend this one, its very hard I think to roast corn properly)

Rustic Mash Potaoes (aka I don’t own a masher so I used a fork, and they were still really chunky).

Homemade cranberry sause. Its really easy, fresh cranberry’s, the juice of 2 oranges, the zest of two oranges and sugar kinda  a lot of it, cranberry’s are very bitter.

Winter Salad

1 garlic clove, smashed to a paste with a little salt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Salt and pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 fennel bulbs, trimmed

4 ounces firm white mushrooms, wiped clean

6 radishes

A chunk of Parmesan, for shaving

Parsley leaves, optional

Arugula leaves, optional.

1. Put the garlic in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest, a good pinch of salt and a little freshly ground pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.

2. Thinly slice the fennel bulbs, mushrooms and radishes. Put them in a salad bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add about 3/4 of the dressing and toss gently.

3. With a vegetable peeler, shave curls of Parmesan over the salad. Garnish with a few arugula and parsley leaves, if you like. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

I could be an Italian Wife, but I am not

I really love cooking. I really love my boyfriend and he is Italian. When I met him I wanted to learn how to make pasta. So I taught myself by using Frankies Spuntino’s Cook Book (I totally recommend this!) I am pretty much addicted to making pasta and especially ravioli. You think its hard, but its not. Mind you I have an advantage. I get to use his mother’s 1960’s italian pasta machine that she brought over when she immigrated. Isn’t it beautiful.

Know Your Meat

For my boyfriend’s birthday this year I bought him a whole bunch of organic beef  for the grill.  We had two blissful months where we ate a lot of deliciously rich beef. I have never had an experience where gnawing on the bone was so pleasureful. My boyfriend’s dad was a butcher so I kinda got the inside track on the differences between organic and store bought.

1. Store bought meat is red because they inject red dye into it. GROSS! Real meat is brown. Brown meat is good meat.

2. Meat needs to age. There are two different types of aging dry and wet. Dry aged beef takes 15-28 days and is the good way. The meat is stored at near freezing temperatures, while the moisture in the meat slowly evaporates and therefore enhances the beef flavor. Wet aging is when you just put the beef in vacuumed packed bag and wait 2-3 days. Its not the same thing. Dry aged beef is much more expensive but totally worth it.

3. Eat  organic meat or not at all.

Recipe: Lamb Shank Love

Braised Lamb Shank with Pot Barley and Oven Roasted Vegetables:

November always gets me down, Lamb shank always brings me up. Its my boyfriend’s recipe. Its warm and rich. It makes the whole house smell good and it basically cooks itself.

How to Make Braised Lamb Shank 

Tools: You will need a dutch oven or a big casserole you can cover tightly. You want to keep all of the aromatics in the pot.

Ingredients:

2 lamb shanks (there are two different cuts see my next post about cuts of lamb, but either one works)

1/2 cup buck wheat flour

1 splash of organic corn oil

1 onion cut in half

2 carrots with skin, cut to fit in the pot

4 cloves of garlic crushed

1 bundle of herbs, rosemary and thyme

2 cups of red wine or enough wine to cover three quarters of the shank

1 cup of port

Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Rinse the shanks and pat dry with paper towel. Dredge the shanks in buckwheat flour. Heat dutch oven with oil at high temperature. Brown shanks on both sides. Remove the shanks from the pot and set a side. Add carrot, onion and garlic to the pot and let them brown a bit (maybe 3 mins). Then add wine (turn down the burner to medium), shanks, herbs and salt and pepper. Cover and put in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for about 3. 5 hours.

The longer it cooks the better it gets. After 3.5 hours they should be done. Remove from the juices (they are really fatty) and place over pot barley and roast vegetables.

Enjoy with this play list!