I like to think that when I’m old, I will be able to look back on my life and see a succession of Sundays, like pearls strung together on a necklace. A highlight reel consisting of the meals we ate and the people with whom they were shared. Sunday is, after all, my favourite day, the highlight of my week, a day dedicated entirely to family and food, when meal preparations start early in the day and dinner lasts long into the evening. We spend almost every Sunday with family, a tradition that’s as old as I can remember. As a girl, our Sundays were spent with my grandparents; my grandmother in the kitchen standing over a simmering pot, my grandfather in his vast garden, tending or harvesting the vegetables that would eventually make it onto our plates and into our stomachs. As kids, we flitted carefree between the two, picking up the basics of cooking and gardening simply by observance of both.Continue reading “Orecchiette with Broccoli”
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared a wine review. My family and I have all been fighting what seems like a never-ending cold. I finally felt a little more like myself this past weekend, so we opened a bottle of Elouan 2017 Oregon Pinot Noir. This Pinot Noir is made with grapes grown in the temperate climate and fertile soil of the Oregon coast. Pinot Noir grapes thrive in cooler temperatures. With a long growing season and the gentle sunlight that’s plentiful in the higher latitudes, Oregon provides the ideal growing conditions for these delicate grapes. In crafting this wine, the winemaker sought to reinvent Oregon Pinot Noir. By sourcing and blending fruit from three distinct terroirs along the coastline from North to South, each selected for the unique characteristics of the grapes they produce, the winemaker created a wine that has incredible depth of flavour and vibrancy while maintaining the purity and bright acidity for which Oregon Pinots are famous.Continue reading “Elouan 2017 Pinot Noir + Braised Beef Shanks”
The still life arrangement of seasonal fruit and vegetables on our kitchen table is slowly transitioning from winter to summer. It makes me think of the living statues you find at carnivals. Looking at them, it’s hard to perceive any change in movement at all, but if you walk away and return five minutes later, the statue is in an entirely new position. It’s the same with the table – bowls that contained oranges and apples suddenly contain fresh berries and lemons. Asparagus, chive blossoms and herbs from the garden are appearing next to aging pumpkins and squash. Continue reading “Butternut Squash Spaghetti”
Chicken breast is such a staple in my kitchen, but sometimes it can feel a little repetitive and a bit boring. I compensate by trying to hide it within elaborate casseroles or stews, but there’s no reason why chicken breast can’t take the spotlight of the meal, if it’s cooked correctly. This Chicken Paillard is an elegant dish that comes together in just minutes and showcases the chicken as the star of the show. It’s neither bland nor boring, and is a great dish to make if you find yourself in a weeknight meal rut. Continue reading “Chicken Paillard with Lemon Orzo”
I have a fondness for formulas – mathematic formulas, scientific formulas, photographic formulas, and, of course, kitchen formulas. I feel that if I follow a formula, nothing too bad can happen. If I you think about it, living “the good life” is one huge formula waiting for us to figure out. The key is knowing that formulas build on one another. Like a pyramid, the most highly specialized ones – recipes, techniques, ratios, etc. – form the foundation. I think many people equate a formula to something that is dull and predictable. “That novel was so formulaic, it bored me to tears,” someone might say. But on the contrary, I see formulas as a road maps of sorts. They are the best and fastest way to live the life to which we aspire with the least amount of interruptions or obstacles . No one would ever consider planning for retirement or purchasing a home without a reliable formula to consult first. There is a reason we have the phrase “a recipe for success.” . . . And while I don’t often cook with recipes, formulas are something from which I never stray.
While many people become depressed in the dark months of mid-winter because of the lack of sunlight, I become depressed by the absence of green. In Colorado we have plenty of sunshine year round, a photographer’s dream, really, but in winter, nearly every where you look nature is dead, brown or sleeping. This, I have to tell myself, is the price you pay for living in place where the light is so pure and the air crystal clean, but Colorado is essentially a high desert with a lot of wind and little moisture, leaving everything parched and dry in wintertime. Continue reading “Linguine with Chard and Bacon”