Weekend Special – A Cozy Dinner

Mom_SusieI confess. It’s my birthday, not exactly this weekend but close enough. After a bit of internal debate between me, myself and I, I’ve decided to keep it simple. There will be no red carpet, no cast of thousands, just a girls’ night with a few friends. We’ll enjoy a glass of wine in front of the fire and then gather around the table. It’s been a busy couple of months and it will be nice to take an evening to relax and chat.

Keep it simple. For a quiet dinner with your nearest and dearest, you don’t need to serve a plethora of fancy hors d’oeuvres. A sparkling glass of Prosecco, a wedge of great cheese, a few of my famous Rosemary Cashews and a dab of Tapenade is all you need.

While we relax in front of the fire, a beautiful chicken will roast in the oven. Roast Chicken is one of my favorite (and easiest) dinner party dishes.I think that we’ll start dinner with a lovely salad of Radicchio, Fennel, and Arugula. For the main course, roast up some Cauliflower and Baby Potatoes along with the chicken. Then again, maybe I’ll go with Couscous with Dried Fruit and Pine Nuts instead of spuds.

To top it all off …  At this point, it’s a toss-up. Bake Carrot Cupcakes or stir up some smooth and creamy special Chocolate Panna Cotta? Decisions! Decisions!

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

What are your plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2015

Consequences & Chocolate Panna Cotta

highway_signWhether it was your mom, dad or a stern teacher or boss, chances are good that you’ve heard the dreaded words, “There will be consequences.” Not once but hundreds of times. And if you’ve never heard them, well heck, loosen up a little! The whole concept of consequences, especially the unintended kind, intrigue me.

Some unintended consequences are well known, even infamous like prohibition. Instead of cleaning up life in the United States, the Eighteenth Amendment led to significant increases in lawlessness and alcoholism. Plus, the loss of revenue from excise taxes on liquor forced many states to institute or increase their income tax.

So, what other unintended consequences come to mind?

Remember the boom box? It’s invention led to many wonderful consequences. Mimes could fight their way out of imaginary boxes to music. A whole generation of talented kids danced their way into our hearts on New York street corners. John Cusack set a whole new bar for teenage romantic gestures. In spite of all that good stuff, this wonderful treasure has gone the way of the dinosaur and phonograph.

Thanks to Steve Jobs, we now get our portable music from a tiny iPod attached to even tinier earbuds. Instead of sharing our music and joy with the entire neighborhood, we bob our heads and listen alone. Oh, we might hum along tunelessly or share a bud with a friend but it’s not the same as the rambunctious, in-your-face boom box.

And oh, it’s not just the boom box. Gone too are cassette tapes. This loss might not seem like such a big deal until you pause and remember the mix tape. I’m sorry, I know all sorts of counterfeiting laws were broken but nothing says road trip like a mix tape of your favorite songs. Or happy birthday but I’m broke and wanted to get you something special and this is what I came up with. Or I love you madly, miss you terribly or think you’re the greatest and here’s the proof.

Eons ago, kids from the suburbs received their first cameras at about age ten. Off to camp or summer vacation, they’d go with their shiny new cameras. Hundreds of pictures were snapped and then rushed to the pharmacy for developing. About a week later, proud and happy kids shared all their out-of-focus, head-chopped-off, under- and over-exposed photographs with friends and family.

Today, there’s a camera in every cellphone. Kids go off to camp or summer vacation or just down the street for the afternoon. They take hundreds of pictures and within minutes post all those out-of-focus, head-chopped-off, under- and over-exposed photographs on Facebook.

Yes indeed, the cellphone for all its convenience has created a long list of unintended consequences. At least I assume they were unintended. Before its invention, restaurants were filled with people, talking to each other, even laughing. Now, diners sit at tables and text or talk to absent friends and family. What ever happen to love the one you’re with?

Plus, and this is a big one, cellphones led to the demise of the phone booth. While you may not miss them, think of poor Clark Kent. That’s right, when was the last time Superman swooped in to save the nation. It’s been awhile and with all this snow, we need him, desperately. Roofs are collapsing, cars are piling-up on the highway and fisticuffs over parking spaces have become commonplace. Where’s Superman in all this mayhem? He’s still looking for somewhere to change.

With a toast to future inventions, I wish you, bon appétit!

Chocolate Panna Cotta
Not all that recently, a reader wrote in to say she couldn’t find my Chocolate Panna Cotta recipe. She asked if I could email her the link. My response – “Sorry, it’s not lost. My Chocolate Panna Cotta recipe is still in my head and not yet in a post.” So, consider today’s recipe a consequence of that request. Enjoy!
Serves 6-8

2 cups heavy creamChocolate_Panna_Cotta_Blood_w_Orange_02
1/2 cup brown sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup whole milk or half & half
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee
5-6 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup sour cream
2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Garnish: fresh orange segments segments (blood oranges if you can find them), raspberries or strawberries and whipped cream

Combine the cream, brown sugar and orange zest in a large saucepan. Stirring frequently, cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the cream is steaming. Remove from the heat and let the orange zest steep for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the chocolate and put it in a large measuring cup. Put the milk in a small bowl, sprinkle with the gelatin and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.

Reheat the cream to steaming. Add the gelatin mixture and espresso powder and whisk until the gelatin dissolves.

Pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve into the measuring cup with the chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for 5 minutes and then whisk to combine.

Put the sour cream into a small bowl. A little bit at a time, whisk 2 cups of chocolate cream into the sour cream. Stir in the Grand Marnier and vanilla and then whisk the sour cream mixture into the measuring cup with the chocolate cream.

Pour the panna cotta into small dessert or wine glasses or espresso cups. Chill uncovered until the panna cotta has set, 4-6 hours. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Remove the panna cottas from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving. Top each panna cotta with a generous spoonful of fresh fruit, a small dollop of whipped cream and serve.

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One Year Ago – Turkey Scaloppini with Prosciutto & Sage
Two Years Ago – Cheese Fondue
Three Years Ago – Flatbread with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions & Spinach
Four Years Ago – Tuscan White Bean Soup
Five Years Ago – Wild Mushroom Risotto
Six Years Ago – Swimming Pool Jello
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Do you have a favorite story about an unintended consequence? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2015

Weekend Special – A Star Studded Oscar Party

oscar_nightSunday is Oscar night. Okay, so it’s been blistering cold. It’s winter; it’s New England. It’s okay to take a pass on the glamourous get-ups. Forget the strapless dresses and strappy shoes. Invite everyone to bundle up and enjoy a cozy evening of small bites and a mug of chili or soup.

Start with star-studded finger food. For glam? (It is the Oscars after all.) Savory Blinis Smoked Salmon & Caviar, of course! Not quite as glamorous but still delicious, you might prefer my Zucchini Pancakes with a small dollop of Tapenade . For cozy you can’t beat Tartelettes au Fromage avec Saucisse et Poireaux (Cheese Tartlets with Sausage & Leeks) or Flatbread with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions & Spinach. For a taste of the sunny Greek Isles, my Spanakopita Triangles, of course. And don’t forget the Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli!

Save some room for a warm and wonderful mug of my Black Bean & Beef Chili. Unless you’d like a little international spice and my Curried Thai Soup with Noodles, Turkey & Vegetables. (It’s one of my favorite post-Thanksgiving soups. If you don’t have a leftover turkey sitting around, chicken works just as well. Just poach boneless chicken breasts in a little chicken broth and dry white wine.) Or let cozy meet fancy with Lobster-Corn Chowder.

Just in time for best picture and the final statue, bring out a sweet treat or two. Who wouldn’t love a mini cupcake … especially my Double Trouble Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes. Unless you have a hankering for oh so creamy and luscious Panna Cotta with Strawberries (strawberries are on sale at my local supermarket this week). Then again, my Triple Threat Brownies are irresistible.

Enjoy the party! Bon appétit!

What are your plans for Oscar Night? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2015

Snow Daze & Black Bean & Beef Chili

snowy_day_New_London_02It’s been a snowy February. While the snowbanks in front of my house are not yet up to the roofline, all sorts of all-time records have been broken. And it’s not over yet! There’s still plenty of time before winter calls it quits. In the meantime, school has been cancelled left and right.

Growing up, snow days were a special treat, an unexpected and welcome holiday. Life was put on hold for a day. We slept in and then played outside in the snow. Eventually the cold drove us back inside for hot chocolate, old movies, books, jigsaw puzzles and marathon matches of Scrabble.

When I was in the eighth grade, February turned into a month of snow days. Okay, that might not be strictly accurate but it’s how my mother and I like to remember it. It started on a Sunday. We spent a snowy morning on the ski slopes. By noon, several inches of fluffy, new powder had fallen. Regretfully, we grabbed our skis and headed back to our little house in the woods to pack up and return to Massachusetts. The roads were slippery and the visibility nonexistent. That’s when my parents, Mom in particular, decided that the next day was sure to be a snow day. She decreed an extra night in New Hampshire.

One could say her insistence was for our safety. One would be wrong. Pure and simple, we stayed in New Hampshire because, snow or sunshine, Mom loved being there. That said, it was the right call. While we were hunkering, more than a foot of snow fell. Boston and its suburbs were wiped out. There were countless stories of stranded motorists, abandoned cars and impassable highways and byways.

Even worst, New York was an absolute disaster. Fifteen inches of snow coupled with the city’s broken down plows brought New York to its knees. Mom’s joy of spending extra time in New Hampshire was tempered by her dismay. The Big Apple’s mayor, John Lindsay, was her favorite politician. Not necessarily for his politics, she had what could best be described as a schoolgirl crush on the handsome mayor. The snow debacle destroyed his presidential ambitions.

Throughout New Hampshire, the plows were out all night and the roads were quickly cleared. We spent a carefree Monday on the ski slopes. Meanwhile, the news from the Commonwealth was bleak. Overwhelmed by the snow, it took the Bay State almost a week to dig out. We stayed put and enjoyed our winter wonderland. Finally, late Thursday afternoon, the awful announcement: school would resume on Friday.

My wise mother insisted that little if anything would be accomplished in those few hours. After all, it was a Friday and the following week was February vacation. She saw no good reason to pack up and head south. We all agreed; mother knew best.

It was a terrific vacation; the snow was great and the sun was shining. Shining until Sunday morning when clouds drifted in and weathermen began spouting dire warnings of another nor’easter. Having heard the horror stories of that first storm, we took no chances and stayed in New Hampshire, safe and warm. Heavy snow on top of heavy snow was a recipe for trouble. It took Boston and the suburbs several days to dig out again. Meanwhile, the Nyes enjoyed another glorious ski week with another foot of new snow and no lift lines.

Although she never really liked to ski, Mom loves New Hampshire. Years later, she’d smile and reminisce about that February. It was the perfect vacation. Well, almost, she’d wistfully amend; perfect except for the handsome mayor’s fall from grace.

Enjoy the snow and bon appétit!

Black Bean & Beef Chili
A great dish for February vacation. It feeds a crowd of hungry skiers, skaters or sliders. Enjoy!
Serves 10-12Black_Bean_Beef_Chili_02

Start the Beans
1 pound black beans
1/2 large onion, trimmed and cut in half
1 carrot, peeled and cut in 3-4 chunks
1 stalk celery, cut in 3-4 chunks
1 bay leaf

Pick over the beans and discard any stones or shriveled beans. Rinse and toss in a pot with enough water to cover by 3-4 inches. Add the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer until the beans are almost tender 1 – 1 1/4 hours. You may need to add more water as the beans cook.

What? No soaking? After reading several articles with clever titles like – To Soak or Not to Soak – I did some experimenting with black and small white beans. My conclusion; there is no need to soak the beans before cooking. You may need to add 15-30 minutes to the cooking time.

While the beans simmer …

Begin the Beef
Olive oil
About 3 pounds chuck roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 large onions, trimmed and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon or to taste dried chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon or to taste minced jalapeno pepper
3 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup dry red wine
1-2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup espresso or very strong coffee
1 bay leaf

Garnish: grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a little olive oil in a heavy casserole over medium-high. Generously season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper and brown each side for about 3 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot and reserve.

Reduce the heat to medium. Put the onion, carrots and bell pepper in the pot, sprinkle with the spices and herbs, season with salt and pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and jalapeno and sauté 2 minutes more.

Return the beef to the casserole. Stir in the wine, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, espresso and bay leaf. The vegetables and liquid should come about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pot roast. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook at 350 degrees, turning the roast once or twice, for 1 hour.

Combine the beans and beef
By now, the beans have been simmering for about an hour, drain them, pick out the bay leaf and as much of the carrot, celery and onion as you can and add the beans to the beef. Turn and wiggle the beef around so the beans are submerged in liquid, season the beans with salt and pepper and add more chicken stock if necessary. The vegetables and liquid should still come about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the beef. Return the casserole to the oven and continue cooking, covered, until beef is very tender about 1 hour more.

Remove the meat from the casserole and let it sit until cool enough to handle. Cut and/or tear the beef into bite-sized pieces and return it to the pot with the beans. Give everything a good stir, cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Bring the chili to a simmer on top of the stove over low heat. Transfer to a 350 degree oven or continue simmering on the stovetop on very low heat for 15-30 minutes. To serve: ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with a little cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.

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One Year Ago – Coq au Vin
Two Years Ago – Crostini with Beef Tenderloin & Stilton
Three Years Ago – Flatbread with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions & Spinach
Four Years Ago – Lemon Cheesecake
Five Years Ago – Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms
Six Years Ago – Raviolis in Broth with Meatballs & Escarole

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Do you have a favorite vacation memory? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2015

Cooking Together – Valentine’s Night Special

roses_02Saturday night, date night – perfect for Valentine’s fun in the kitchen. Sure, you could go out and enjoy one of those special prix fixe menus … but cooking together is a delightfully delicious way to spend this romantic holiday. Plus, a blizzard is forecast for Saturday night. Better to snuggle safe at home than be out on slippery roads.

Start the evening with a glass of champagne or a Strawberry Tini. Nothing says I love you like a pink drink! Stay with the pink theme and nibble Smoked Salmon Mousse while you cook. Unless you’d prefer some Savory Parmesan Shortbread with Tomato Jam or adorable Tartelettes au Fromage avec Saucisse et Poireaux (Cheese Tartlets with Sausage & Leeks).

For dinner, start with a beautiful salad of Roasted Cauliflower, Radicchio & Arugula or, just as delicious, Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese.Then it’s time to take inspiration from Lady and the Tramp with a bowl of pasta. But take it up a notch with lobster! Think luxurious with Capellini with Lobster & Caviar or homey with Lobster Mac & Cheese!

End the meal with a sweet, little bite. What could be better than Almond Macarons with Chocolate-Raspberry Ganache , Triple Threat Brownies or Chocolate Truffles?

Have a delicious Valentine’s Day and a great weekend. Bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What about you? What are cooking this Valentine’s night? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2015

Aphrodisiacs & Capellini with Lobster & Caviar

bleeding_heartsHappy Valentine’s Day! It’s a day to celebrate love with flowers, chocolates, sentimental cards and intimate dinners. In warmer climates, the first hints of spring have sprung. I lived in California for a short time and my garden was full of daffodils in February. Here in New Hampshire, well, daffodils are still months away. Oh well, if nothing else, the cold weather encourages cuddling. And the kid with wings and bow and arrow loves cuddling couples.

Since we are dressed from head to food in layers of wool and down, an aphrodisiac, maybe two, would not be out of line. Whatever you’ve heard about rhino horns, forget it. It’s all a myth so stay away from the poor endangered rhinoceros.

Instead, indulge in any and all of the wonderful, romantic foods out there. Who cares that it is mostly legend or urban myth with maybe just the tiniest smidgeon of science? There are a number of foods revered as aphrodisiacs. At least they are on Valentine’s Day. Go for it.

Made famous by Casanova, oysters are perhaps the best-known of all the aphrodisiacs. History’s most notorious womanizer, Casanova started each day with a breakfast of fifty oysters. But that’s just the start. History, or maybe it’s legend, suggests that the Queen of Sheba used cinnamon to seduce King Solomon. Cinnamon, ginger, chilies and garlic (yes garlic, as long as you both indulge) will warm you up and add spice to your romance. Not to mention, wonderful flavor and depth to any number of dishes. With arctic winds blowing a gale, adding a bit of spicy heat to your special Valentine dinner will be especially welcome these days.

On the other hand, something luxurious can certainly spark romance. Perhaps a luscious avocado, beautiful, ripe fig or rich lobster and caviar will add intrigue and more than a hint seduction to your special dinner. Add some out-of-season cherries, always in-season whipped cream and champagne and you won’t be sure if you are in love with your date or the dinner. We’ll just assume it’s your date, helped along by the beautiful food.

Or better yet, make strawberries part of the deal. This beautiful red, heart-shape fruit with its wonderful taste, aroma and texture is the perfect love food. Not convinced? Well, take a moment to remember Richard Gere feeding Julia Roberts strawberries and champagne in Pretty Woman. Get it now? (Your morning cornflakes and strawberries will never be the same, will they?)

And don’t forget chocolate. There is loads of science explaining the passion power of chocolate. Please ignore it and let the mystery live on. Whether it’s a beautiful, heart-shaped box of chocolates or a single, scrumptious truffle, nothing says love and Valentine’s Day like chocolate.

So, what are your plans this Valentine’s Day? Will you cuddle by a fire in a cozy country inn? Maybe you’ll take your sweetie uptown for a spectacular view from the top floor of a big city hotel? Then again, there’s nothing like an intimate evening at home. Whatever you do, it is the perfect night for a romantic dinner. Include lots of beautiful dishes (and at least one or two aphrodisiacs), don’t forget the champagne and let the sparks fly.

Happy Valentine’s Day and bon appétit!

Capellini with Lobster & Caviar
A cozy dish on a cold night, the luxurious ingredients are sure to spark a bit of romance. Enjoy!Capellini_w_Lobster_Caviar_06
Serves 2

1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, white and tender green parts, finely chopped
1 scant teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
1-2 tablespoons Pernod
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
1/4 cup heavy cream
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 lobsters, cooked, the meat removed and cut into bite-sized pieces – about 8 ounces lobster meat
4 ounces capellini
1-2 tablespoons caviar
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the leek, season with salt and pepper and, stirring occasionally, cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the wine and Pernod and simmer until reduced by 3/4. Stir in the cream, cover and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the tarragon and cover to keep warm.

lobsterCook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until barely al dente. Reserving a little of the pasta water, drain the capellini.

Add the pasta, 2-3 tablespoons pasta water and lobster to the saucepan with the leeks and toss to combine. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 minute.

To serve: divide the pasta and lobster into 2 shallow bowls and garnish with caviar and grated lemon zest.

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One Year Ago – Sour Cream Cupcakes with White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting
Two Years Ago – White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Coulis & Fresh Raspberries
Three Years Ago – Mixed Greens with Roasted Beets & Lentils
Four Years Ago – Chicken Niçoise
Five Years Ago – Greek Pizza
Six Years Ago – Triple Threat Brownies

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2015

Eeyore & Roasted Cauliflower

eeyore_snowEeyore was a great dog. Perfect really. At least he was perfect for the kind of life my sister and I led on Jackson Road and later near Pleasant Lake. He never yipped and rarely barked. He wasn’t the kind of dog that demanded that you constantly throw a ball or Frisbee or otherwise entertain him. That said, he did like to retrieve sticks from the lake. As long as you agreed to throw them, he’d swim out and bring them back. After all, he was a Labrador Retriever. Except for the thing with the sticks, as far as I know, he didn’t have a single trick.

A very loyal friend, Eeyore didn’t so much as play with my sister Brenda and me as hang out with us. No matter where we went, he would lope along. He was happy to join us for an adventure in the woods and just as happy lie in the grass while we read a book. If a bunch of kids got together to play dodge ball or kick the can, he’d patiently wait on the sidelines until we were done. He never tried to intercept a ball or steal the can. Believe me; he was fast. If he’d wanted to take that ball and run with it, he could have.

During the cold, winter months, Eeyore was in his element. He didn’t just tolerate the cold; he adored it. Maybe it’s because he was born at the end of November, in New Hampshire, no less. Nothing made him happier than sitting, face to the wind, in a howling blizzard. Whenever a nor’easter blew in, he would beg to go out. Then, he would sit on the deck for hours; a big grin on his face.

It generally took several appeals to convince him to come inside and warm up. Finally, he would shrug, stretch and saunter into the house. It became quiet worrisome in his later years. In spite of his gray beard and arthritic limbs, he still loved the cold. On the coldest day of the year, he’d hobble outside, find a snowdrift and plunk himself down. After indulging his love of the cold, my mother would coax him in and feed him an aspirin to sooth his creaky joints.

But that was much later.

Longfellow Pond was a big neighborhood attraction when I was a kid, especially in winter. After school and on weekends, all the kids in the neighborhood skated down on the pond. We stayed down there for hours. Meanwhile, Eeyore would lie quietly in the snow and observe the action. He never stole the boys’ hockey pucks or ran across the ice, tripping young skaters. If one of us fell, he would come over to lick a face and make sure all was okay. When the streetlights came on, it was time to go home. Eyeore would reluctantly return with us. I’m pretty sure it was his rumbling stomach that convinced him that it was time to go and not his little girls.

When we weren’t on Longfellow Pond, we were with the rest of the kids, zipping down the Dosdall’s hill on our sleds. It would never have crossed Eeyore’s mind to chase the sleds or get in the way. It would be, well, unseemly. He’d have been absolutely mortified if we’d ever had to drag him home in shame like some of the other dogs in the neighborhood.

If we weren’t skating or sledding, we were building snow slides and forts out of the giant snow banks in front of our house. Eeyore would calmly observe. He was more than happy to sit quietly in a snowdrift and watch the action.

I think of Eeyore on nights like this, when the wind is howling and the cold is bone chilling. Many people imagine their best loved dogs are chasing tennis balls or rabbits in heaven. Not Eeyore. If there is a heaven, it is filled with snowdrifts and he sits calmly, watching kids twirl on their skates and fly on their sleds.

Enjoy the latest snowfall and the love (or memory) of a good dog. Bon appétit!

Roasted CauliflowerRoasted_Cauliflower_03
A perfect side dish for a cozy dinner after sledding or skating. This versatile vegetable is good with roasted anything – chicken, lamb, beef or salmon. Enjoy!

Serves 4

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil
Sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 medium onion, cut on the horizontal and then in thin wedges
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup or to taste grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the rack in the upper and lower third of the oven.

Spread the cauliflower onto a large rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with just enough equal parts olive oil and vinegar to lightly coat and toss. Roast the cauliflower at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic, drizzle with a little more oil and vinegar if necessary and, tossing occasionally, continue roasting until almost tender, another 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle the cauliflower with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and roast until the cauliflower is tender and the cheese is golden, 5-10 minutes more.

While the cauliflower roasts, combine the parsley, thyme and lemon zest.

To serve: transfer the cauliflower, onions and garlic to a large platter or individual plates and sprinkle with herbs and zest.

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One Year Ago – Savory Blinis
Two Years Ago – Lettuce Cups with Shrimp & Noodles
Three Years Ago – Caribbean Black Beans
Four Years Ago – Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower & Bacon
Five Years Ago – Chocolate Mousse
Six Years Ago – Shrimp & Feta

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Do you have a story about a good dog? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2015