Thursday, March 27, 2008

Most of the time...

Kerrie and I have actually started eating better. Kinda.

We're eating more pasta and MUCH fewer fried dishes. Every week I make sure there is at least one entree size Salad, and I'm forcing us into a semi-regular seafood routine.

But on Easter I decided to piss all over that healthy eating concept and go for something truly rich.

New York Strip Steaks, Crab, Green Beans & Bearnaise

I paired the dish with Au Gratin Potatoes, sparkling lemon water, and fairly safe and uneventful Zinfandel. It was... Exceptional. It was the kind of overly indulgent meal where you have heavy, labored breathing afterwards. You gotta love that...

Bob Dylan - Most of the Time
St. Germain - Sure Thing
Donovan - Catch the Wind
Peter Gabriel - It is Accomplished

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm shipping up to Boston...

Over the last few years I've gotten into the habit of preparing a Corned Beef brisket for each St. Patrick's Day. It started a while back as an excuse for friends to come over and drink, but it turned into a true labor of love. And, not to brag, I make a killer corned beef.

The downside to making my own corned beef and liking it so much is that I pretty much refuse to eat corned beef anywhere else.

Sure, I'm being a little conceited here, but I really like my Corned Beef. Perfect balance of flavors -not too salty or ham-esque- and fork tender. Not a lot of fat and perfectly colored. This is one of those few recipes that I look forward to making each year, and recently realized I oughta be making it a lot more often.

Guinness Braised Corned Beef

2-3 lb Beef Brisket

1 Orange
Whole Cloves

1 14.9oz can Guinness Stout
8 Cups water
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 t Thyme
1 t Caraway Seeds
1 t Ground Mustard

Baby Carrots
5 small Red Potatoes, cut in half


In a medium stock pot combine Stout, water, brown sugar, thyme, caraway, and mustard and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Wash brisket and set aside.

Stud orange with cloves.

Place brisket then the orange into the pot and cover. Allow to simmer over moderately low heat for 4 hours. If the orange collapses during the braising, remove and discard.

At the 4 hour mark, add the carrots and the potatoes and simmer over low heat for 1 hour longer.


Kerrie and I finished the evening off with some Cheesecake and Irish Cream on the rocks. About as perfect of a meal as anyone could ask for...

"I may not know a lot about God, but we sure did build a nice cage for him..."
- Homer Simpson

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Snow Day 2: Electric Boogaloo

This weekend we had a blizzard here in Cincinasty. What started out as 3-to-5 inches of snow turned into 10-to-15 inches of snow with 40mph winds blowing it all over the place. (hehehe... "blowing it"...)

What's odd for me is that this is the first blizzard I can actually remember witnessing. I was around for '78 but I wasn't even 3 yet. This storm, aside from the drive home from work, was not that bad. It didn't seem that bad. In fact, Kerrie pointed out that it felt like a regular heavy snow from Bowling Green.

Nonetheless, we took advantage of being home and just enjoyed doing nothing. Well, not nothing exactly. We played video games, watched episodes of Men Behaving Badly, and ate the good stuff.

On Friday we had Rib Eye Steaks with Straw Fries with a nice bottle of Merlot for dinner. After a romp in the snow and a rousing snowball fight on Saturday, Kerrie and I came back to the apartment for some Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa. For dinner I baked Bread Bowls and made some classic Cosmo's-esque Tomato Basil Soup.

Now that it's all winding down, I have to go out and clean off the cars and think about replenishing the grocery supply. Being outside yesterday, though, brought back a slew of good feelings from the past. Back when a huge snowfall was something fun... Now when it snows, I have to navigate 19 miles of idiots and highway. I don't get to really enjoy the fresh white blanket of snow that everyone else is out playing in. But, as I've said before, this is why I love the winter. Snow leads to a fire in the fireplace, plenty of wine in the glass, and all that great cold-weather food I neglect during the scorching Summer months. Nope, it's really not that bad...