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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Enter to win!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  In fact, it is exactly six days, two hours, and 28 minutes away (at least it was when I was writing this).  Need that top-shelf pie pan to make that perfect pumpkin pie sure to impress the whole family?  With the holidays just around the corner maybe you're more interested in buying your mother, father, spouse, brother, sister, etc. that kitchen accessory that will end all kitchen accessories.  Or if you're me, you'd treat yourself to a little luxury.

Let's cut to the chase.  I am GIVING AWAY a $25 gift card to the Uptown's fabulous Kitchen Window as well as this fashionable, never-been-used apron (though I did buy it quite a few months ago).  I have far too many aprons.

Please excuse my less than quality photo!

How do you "enter to win"?

Become a follower OF my blog NOW, and your name is in!  It's that simple.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

A fabulous autumnal meal

Last night my good friend David so graciously hosted a few of us gals for a fantastic seasonal feast.  He is a phenomenal cook - I could use a few lessons from him.  I might also add that he created such a cozy, relaxed setting with candles, music, and dim lighting; not to mention a fabulous and creative table setting for four.

The handsome chef himself:

Guest post by Mr. David Silha Reimann

After having been invited to the establishments of others for food tasting, I needed to return the favor for all of my experiences.  I thought about the changing seasons and the need to enjoy a harvest of its goodness through a hearty meal. 
Three ladies (Emily B., Kath K., Sarah T.) were brought to mind when thinking about conjuring up the meal. It would be created to warm the limbs and soul before a freeze sets in for the number of months I do not care to think about. 

I steamed two Acorn Squash in the oven a few hours before the guests arrived. 
I fought through the tough skin of the squash with a knife to divide them into halves. I filled a baking sheet with ½ inch of water and set the squash face down for their steaming. Oven= 350 for 45 minutes. 

Within in the month of October, I mastered a warm recipe of sautéed Kale leaf: garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.  The leaves of the long and broad Kale plant give a feeling as though it stores (they do) essential fiber and vitamins.  The first crunches of the leaves inside your mouth awaken your belly as if it were to say, “okay, I’m getting ready for something down here that will clean me up.”

1 head of Kale 
4 Tbps of olive oil
4-5 cloves of garlic
½ Lemon

  • Trim the large stem from the center of the pre-rinsed leaves- if you don’t, while you eat your finished product, you will find yourself chomping away on something that is tough and unnecessary. 
  • Cut the leaf into large squares (don’t make it any more difficult than it sounds – just cut). 
  • Turn the burner onto high/med-high for 3 minutes, so it gets the heat up pretty high on the pot (with lid).
  • Add oil, followed be the garlic after 30 seconds. Let the garlic sizzle/fizzle for no more than 1 minute or else it will burn and be bitter.
  • Add chopped Kale leaves. It is like spinach; it cooks down a lot. You may think that you have too much before, but afterwards, you may be surprised.
  • Turn the heat down to medium – cover with lid. Wait 2 minutes.
  • Move the Kale around so the ones on top go to the bottom surface of the pan. Repeat twice. Adjust the heat up and down (if you have an electric burner) so you can hear/see steam rising; if you have a gas burner, I’m jealous. 
  • When the leaves have wilted, raise the heat so when you add ¼ of water it really rises with steam; cover it.
  • Turn it to low once the water has evaporated from below the leaves.
The longer you cook, the better the dish.

The meat of the meal was Pork Tenderloin. I bought two that had been pre-marinated: one) lemon garlic; two) honey mustard. 
I pre-heated the oven to 500 and turned it down to 400 when I was ready to throw the ‘loins in for 45 minutes. As my dad taught me over the years, “tent” (with Tinfoil) any meat for at least 5 minutes after it has left the heat source. This allows the meat to soak up/hold its moisture.

I re-heated the room temp. squash in the oven 5 minutes before we sat down to dinner. I put ½ Tbsp of butter, and a pinch of brown sugar into each half so they would melt and mix in with one another.
Squeeze the lemon over the Kale right before you passing.

I didn’t lie to the guests when it came down to dessert. On my way home from Rainbow (where I bought everything leading up to this), I stopped in at Lunds and walked around three serving tables of pre-baked desserts for probably five minutes.  Right before I pulled the trigger on a purchase of $5.99 sugar cookies (with orange and brown M&Ms), my eyes met a container holding Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip cookies. I was sold just by how good they looked, so, I bought them.  

They were fantastically paired with a cup of Good Earth – Spice Tea (K.K. and I were the only two who wanted to cap the night off with something extra warm).  

The night was full of conversation, laughter and cheer as the four of us were surrounded by music, the light of candles, and conversation.