Monday, April 25, 2011

Pasta Testing and Dinner on the Patio

After a rather late dinner we got a slow start Saturday morning. Dan’s breakfast was his usual green smoothie: kale, frozen banana, wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger and stevia.  My breakfast fresh juice that consisted of: 1 beet, 4 carrots, 1 small apple, ½ lemon, 2 handfuls of baby collards.

Dan had to go downtown to work so I packed him lunch and got busy doing things here. I knew I wanted a pasta test run today since it has been so long since I was making it regularly. Additionally I wanted to use whole wheat flour as part of the recipe so I needed to play around with the proportions. I used this recipe from Mario Batali as the starting point.

I made the pasta with ½ whole wheat and ½ semolina and then again as ¾ whole wheat and ¼ semolina. I decided that the first version would be better for my parents though I preferred the one with more whole wheat.

Once Dan got home from the office we went out to dinner. We had warned the guys that we were coming in so they had a menu planned for us. It was a gorgeous night on the patio, the weather was darn near perfect all evening. If only my toe didn’t hurt in shoes that night it would have been a perfect evening.  I love to look up through the trees in the evening and that is what is pictured above. You can see the trees just beginning to bud...definitely a sign of spring.

We had some time to chat with Ian before he left for the evening which is always pleasant. He was leaving early because there were 130 reservations for Easter brunch which meant we was coming in to work on Sunday at 5 am. Something to think about for those of you considering a life in food. ;-)

Like always we started with a pot of tea but this time we poured it over ice. I loved the look of the light coming through the tea in the glass.

Our first course was a salad of romaine, thinly sliced red onion, olives and oranges and dressed with a tarragon vinaigrette.

Our next course was red and white grilled onions and roasted red peppers topped with a chunky tomato sauce perfumed with cinnamon. This was not something that I would have thought of on my own but now that I have had it you can expect to see my version of it in the future.

The pizza course was a small whole wheat pizza topped with artichokes, roasted red pepper sauce, olives, onions and arugula. Dan never gets tired of pizza and Will has figured that out so pizza shows up often for us these days and my hubby is always happy to see it arrive.

The last course was a red wine syrup spiced with cinnamon, cloves, all spice and cardamom that was the base for supremed oranges and mint. This was my favorite of the evening and I am not a dessert person. The aroma on this was nothing short of intoxicating.

Since we always eat a leisurely dinner we had time to chat with most people on and off all night. It was good to catch up with Ian, Corey, Jenn, Will, Michael and Jonathan.

Happy thoughts:

Things have been good since I last posted although I have been very busy.

• Easter went well, but Dan did have to work a little which in this case meant driving about an hour north to look at a construction site. Since most of this time was riding in the car I went with him so we could chat there and back. It was nice to have a couple hours to chat. Dan and I always enjoy spending time together even if it is doing something mundane like driving somewhere.

• The Easter meal with my family was universally enjoyed which was very nice. It is tough to find things that are healthy enough for us but that my parents also enjoy. It makes me happy when I can get it right for all concerned.

• Additionally my mother didn’t once mention meat or dairy during the Easter meal. This was a very welcome holiday first. Hopefully it won’t be the last time something miraculous like this happens on a holiday. LOL

• We have clearly finally entered spring here and have been enjoying some beautiful weather. Being spring we have been getting our share of rain but overall the weather has been fantastic. With all the rain things are sprouting and turning green. Everything is starting to look very lush and I love that. The farmers must be enjoying all the rain we have been getting.

• My toe is still messed up, but I think it is starting to heal. I anticipate it is going to be a while before I am comfortably wearing shoes. For now I am happy that I don’t have anywhere that I have to go so that I can continue to go barefoot for as long as necessary. 

• Dan ordered me a new electronic toy today that should be here soon. Once I have a chance to play with it I will let you know what I think of it. As you all know I am not the most technologically savvy so if I can work the new device that means anyone can. ;-)

• My little precious Masi woke me up this morning with cat cuddles. Who doesn’t love a little feline love first thing in the morning. We are so lucky to have three little fury babies to share our life with. I just love our fur kids.

Signing out:

Sorry that it took me so long to get a post up today. I was having technology problems and had to wait for Dan to get home to resolve them. I know I should learn to take care of these things myself but since Dan is so good at it I just never get around to it rather like he never learns to cook. We are the perfect pair when it comes to things like this.  ;-)

The next post be a step-by-step tutorial for making malloreddus (the pasta pictured above). Dan was kind enough to photograph the steps for me as I was making them on Sunday. It is time for me to go and spend some time with my sweetie.  I hope you had a great Monday and that your weather was as wonderful as ours. Talk to you tomorrow.


  1. The pasta looks great. I haven't made any in ages. The last one was a Tal Ronnen recipe that used tofu. It was really pretty good, but lots of work of course.

    You're killing me with that yummy looking pizza ;-)

  2. Hope to try some of your recipes soon. Everything looks so great!
    I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. If you accept you comment that you accept and nominate 15 other bloggers.

  3. Wow, that dinner looks epic! Especially the dessert!


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