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chuck wagon.

February 9, 2014

it is a rainy, grey day & that is a great reason to be cozied-up in the house with good music & slow-roasting a chuck roast with red wine, garlic & herbs.  my favorites are coming over for dinner this evening & i am so looking forward to seeing them.  when i have friends over for dinner i want them to anticipate an amazing meal – obviously it has to be delicious, but i also want it to make them feel taken care of, relaxed & happy.  this past week was a somewhat taxing one but i am hopeful that this braised, fall-apart, tender beef will usher in a restful weekend.

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chuck roast with wine, garlic & herbs (serves 6 – 8)
4 – 5 lb chuck roast, well-marbled & boneless
6 cloves garlic, peeled and each cut in half
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 T worcestershire sauce
1 C red wine
1 C beef broth
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley

fistful fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

preheat oven to 275 degrees.

cut 12 slits into the top of the meat (halfway through) & place one piece of garlic in each slit.  generously season the meat with salt & pepper.  place meat in a shallow braising dish or dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.  add the worcestershire, wine, beef broth, thyme, oregano and parsley.  cover, place in the oven & roast for 4 1/2 hours or until meat is tender & pulls apart easily with a fork.  top with fresh parsley & serve.

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nyong’o on & on.

February 2, 2014
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it is no secret that lupita nyong’o has been killing it at every single sartorial opportunity & last week at the naacp image awards was, for me, a highlight.  it may have been the burnt orange (oranje boven!!) givenchy dress, perhaps her natural-short-yet-always-different hair or her radiant face, subtle make-up & that smile.  she has been, at every turn, flawless.  moreover, it is energizing to see a young actor who comes across as genuinely humble & eloquent, joyful & at times plain giddy.  i look forward to seeing so much more.

2014 naacp image awards / givenchy

2014 naacp image awards / givenchy

out & about.

January 19, 2014
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terry jumpsuit, goodtimeisland on etsy /boots, nine west / necklace, versa / arm cuff, natureware on etsy / bangles, ashby flea market in berkeley, ca

ending on a high note.

January 2, 2014

wishing all of you all of the best in the coming year.

for new year’s eve i made this decidedly decadent creamed kale with bone-in rib-eyes.  cheers!!

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creamed kale with parmesan (serves 6)
1 T olive oil
2 leeks, white & light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pints heavy cream
1 1/2 lbs. lacinato kale, stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
chili flakes to taste (optional)
1/2 C parmesan

heat olive oil in saute pan.  add leeks & saute over low heat until soft.  remove from pan.  add cream to pan and heat over medium heat until reduced by nearly half, about 15 minutes.

meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  add kale.  boil until just tender, about 3 minutes.  drain and rinse under cold water.  squeeze remaining water from leaves.  add to cream.  add nutmeg, leeks, salt, pepper, chili flakes (if using) & parmesan, stirring well.  let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes so that flavors meld and sauce thickens.

lighten’ up.

December 13, 2013

it has been brought to my attention that i have been slacking in the recipe department.  ahem.  and i can’t even explain what happened with thanksgiving – i cooked the whole thing but somehow documentation of the meal eluded me.  you’ll have to take my word for it that everything was delicious.  so i am easing my way back in with this appetizer of sauteed shrimp – easy to make and especially nice this time of year when there is so much heavy food happening as it is a light beginning to a brunch or festive compliment to cocktails.  the spiciness of the dipping sauce can be adjusted to however spicy you like it.  and yes, yes i do.

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shrimp with lemon & chives (serves 8)
1 T. olive oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined, tails on
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
zest of one lemon
juice of one freshly squeezed lemon
3 T. freshly snipped chives

heat oil in a pan, preferably cast iron, over a high flame.  add shrimp in a single layer & leave undisturbed for two minutes, then toss and  cook for one more minute until just opaque.  remove shrimp from heat.  add salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice & chives, tossing well.  serve immediately or at room temperature.

sriracha mayonnaise
3/4 C mayonnaise
1/4 C sriracha

combine in a bowl & mix well.  serve with shrimp.

leaving on a jet plane.

November 27, 2013

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wrap sweater, jewels4pandas on etsy / pants, aorta apparel on etsy / boots, nine west / lion pendant, thrifted

that’s amore.

September 27, 2013
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let me begin by saying that my boy made oh-so-very happy sounds while eating this pizza.  it is a lovely beginning to a very good morning, the perfect antidote to a hard afternoon at the office & just right for lunch in between.  it is decadent, to be sure & with all of the amazing ingredients – bacon!  brie!  eggs!  fresh mozzarella! – is comforting but surprisingly not heavy.  let me also say that scrambling eggs is a pursuit with which i am fairly obsessed.  i like them cooked slowly, over low-heat, soft & creamy (though made without cream).  the eggs for this recipe should be very soft as they will cook for a few additional minutes in the oven.  when prepared this way, the eggs are custardy & will melt into the pizza topping in the most delicious way.   

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pizza with bacon & egg (makes one 12-inch pie)
(adapted from food & wine magazine)
6 oz. thick-sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large eggs
kosher salt
2 T unsalted butter
all-purpose flour for dusting
1 pizza dough (purchased from a pizzeria or trader joe’s), i like whole wheat
1/3 C. crème fraîche
3 oz. brie, with rind, thinly sliced
2 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
chili flakes, to taste
a fistful of rocket (wild arugula)

preheat the oven to 500°.  spread the bacon in a pie plate and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once, until nearly crisp.  using tongs, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.

whisk the eggs in a bowl.  in a medium nonstick skillet, cook the eggs & 1 T of the butter over low heat using a rubber spatula, until curds form & the eggs are creamy, about 12 minutes.  remove the eggs from the heat & stir in the remaining 1 T of butter (this will stop the eggs from continuing to cook) & season with salt.

on a lightly floured work surface, stretch out the pizza dough to a 12-inch roundish rectangle and transfer to a cookie sheet.  spread the crème fraîche evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around.  top with the crispy bacon.  tear the brie and mozzarella into smaller pieces & evenly distribute across the dough.  sprinkle with red chili flakes.

slide into the oven & bake for about 7 minutes, until lightly golden and bubbling.  remove the pizza from the oven and spoon the scrambled eggs on top.  return the pizza to the oven bake for 2 minutes longer, until the eggs are hot.  top pizza with the rocket, cut into wedges and serve.

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