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A Great Way to Start a New Year…We’re Engaged!

On 12/31/12, my Paul asked me to marry him…I said yes…then tackled him in the snow.

We’ve been dating for just over three years and have talked bout marriage, so I sort of knew it was coming, but I was still surprised!

He asked me in the Pittsfield State Park in Pittsfield Mass. There were two feet of snow on the ground – nearly untouched. A bright sun providing just enough warmth to make it comfortable. And I was in a terrible mood (until I knew what was happening). Paul made me get out of the car “to take a picture” and I grudgingly shuffled my way out and over to his side, where he did a strange hopping dance and said he was nervous and asked if I was too…then I figured it out, but was still really confused!

 

That was one of those moments that you wait for your whole life and when it happens, you almost can’t enjoy it because you don’t know it’s happening!

 

Even trying to remember a week later to write this I feel like a little kid playing make believe. But I also know how lucky I am to have found my Prince Charming.

 

Moving forward:

 

We have the date, August 31st, 2013, at my grandparents house upstate. The goal is to make it the best wedding ever for a very modest budget.  I’m a crazy DIYer so I could never submit power to a planner! So far we are moving right along. I have me pinterest boards all set up with attire, vendors, DIY decoration ideas, and more. Found the caterer I (I mean we) want. Am looking into having the wine sponsored. and have my crazy awesome giant binder to keep me organized!

Not to mentioned my awesome bridal party, who are already on top of the game!

With any luck we’ll have a bright sunny day, but either way Paul and I will be starting our lives together with wonderful people, food, and a lot of love :)

Hamilton, Montana: Happenstance setting, French meets Asian short ribs. The Adventure Continues!

The pot that inspired this meal.

 

We are back on the road, heading slowly towards the Brooklyn home-base.  It has been an amazing adventure thus far and the wedding last Saturday was absolutely beautiful.

 

I write this post while sitting on a couch in a perfectly breezy living room of an 1880’s farmhouse in the gorgeous landscape of the Bitterroot Valley, Montana. A place we are able to stay in purely by happenstance.

 

Over the course of the week before Shane and Mike’s wedding we met a lot of their friends and family and told everyone about our trip and our tentative plans for the ride home. One of Mike’s aunts perked up when I mentioned plans to camp in Missoula, MT and immediately offered us the use of her house, an hour south of Missoula.

 

We are now surrounded by mountains, there are horses in the yard, our dog refuses to come inside because he’s far too excited, this afternoon we went swimming in an alpine lake – Lake Como!

 

The theme of our trip has become “rebirth”. I know that may sound cheesy, but it’s very fitting for us right now. You know that feeling you get just before something in your life changes dramatically for the better? Well Paul and my “times they are a’changin” senses tingling. There is a kind of magic in the air. The calm before a beautiful and much needed storm – in a very good way.

 

With “rebirth” in mind we decided to let things unfold before us and follow the path that presented itself.  It’s an amazing feeling to trust that the Universe will provide for you. I know I sound very cosmic! But I feel very fulfilled at the moment, and again we ended up here in Hamilton, MT by trusting the Universe, so we must be doing something right :)

 

 

 

French Meets Asian Short Ribs:

 

Ten short ribs

 

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 strips of crispy bacon – roughly chopped

2 tsp’s Anaheim pepper (or any red chili pepper) – deseeded and minced

2 tbps’s garlic – minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger – minced

 

1 ½ heaping tsp Dijon mustard

 

½ a large yellow onion (about a cup chopped)

4 tbsp’s fresh tarragon – roughly chopped

2 cups baby yellow potatoes

 

2 + cups of dry white wine

2 + cups of water – not hot

 

Over a high flame, heat two tbsp’s of olive oil in a med-large dutch oven sprinkle the oil with a generous amount of coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper. Once the pan is very hot place the short ribs in a single layer and brown for 3 minutes on every side (do this in batches if your pan isn’t large enough for one layer all at once.)

 

Remove the browned meat to a bowl and set aside.

 

We start with the Asian ingredients. Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter, two more tbsp’s of olive oil and a little more salt and pepper. Once melted add in the chopped bacon, chili pepper, garlic, and ginger. Stir to combine and scrape the bottom a bit. Allow these to cook for about 8 minutes or until they become soft and melty – if the garlic starts to brown too quickly turn the flame down… you don’t want burnt garlic, bleegch.

 

Now it’s time to add the French influence. Add the mustard and let it melt into the pot, stirring it in.  Next add the onions and tarragon, again stir to combine. Let the onion cook until it starts to sweat about four minutes (this should be over medium heat again if you needed to adjust for the garlic before, bring it back to medium now).

 

Next add the potatoes.  Let these little babies cook and brown a bit for about 8 minutes – stir occasionally.

 

More French influence! Now it’s time to deglaze the pan (add liquid to shock the bottom into releasing all of the brown goodness).  Add a ½ cup of the white wine and scrape the bottom all around, add more wine if you need more to get everything free.  Once you are satisfied with the scraping, arrange the potatoes into a single layer – or close enough to a single layer.

 

Meat time.

 

Arrange the short ribs on top of the potatoes, again in a single layer, a little overlapping is ok, but as close to a single layer as possible.

 

Pour over enough wine to come halfway up the meat, then pour over enough water to just cover the meat – I left some stubborn pieces poking up out of the liquid.

 

Cover the pot, stick it in an oven at 375’ F for two hours, then uncover the pot and cook for another hour

 

 

The beauty of this dish is that, though there are a ton of strong flavors, you taste meat when you take a bite of meat, and you taste potato when you take a bite of potato. Everything melts together in beautiful harmony, but never looses its integrity.

 

 

More cosmic Lindsay from Montana coming soon. Then on to Yellowstone, the Badlands, and Minnesotta.

ENJOY!

Parlez-Vous Francais?…yea me neither…yet

So Paul and I have been making strives to better ourselves, e.g. restarting the blog, Paul quitting a full-time job to work on other projects, cleaning, you get the idea.

 

 

One thing that I have always regretted is not being able to fluently speak another language – what’s worse is that if I had truly begun to learn a language, with any amount of dedication, when I first realized the thought to do so I would have been fluent in multiple languages by now! Alas, I am a procrastinator. Mais il y’a fini maintenant (“but that ends now” – that’s probably way off)

 

 

We are going to start french lessons, AND we are going to promote the “immersion” side of learning by hosting dinner parties at which all participants will only speak french.

 

 

I want to go back to France and speak to people with confidence. Oh, and eat lots of amazing food.

 

 

A New Beginning

It has been far too long. So much has changed, so much has passed, and so much is on the horizon. I write now because I have a lot to share again, the ideas are flowing, the food is growing, and the recipes are spilling out of me!

 

Currently in the works:

 

TRUFFLES! The Mother and I have started a Truffle business, Peace. Love. Truffles., for which we have spent the last few months flushing out all of the hidden legalities of starting a food business – and we’re still finding new surprises! We’re re-vamping the website, but you can get a feel for what we are doing by checking out the current site and place an order through our Etsy shop.

 

I have also been planning for some time to come out with a e-cookbook. A concise collection of recipes – some found on Linzer Tart and others that have yet to be shared. Keep your eyes peeled for the book!

 

On a more personal note, I GOT A DOG! His name is Albus Dumbeldog and he is wonderful!

 

Here are some photos to satisfy your curiosity and stimulate your creativity.

 

 

More to come soon!

Sunday Dinner – Chicken Saltimbocca in Virginia

Tis the season to start traveling!

This week we drove down to Virginia to visit my grandparents. Their house is on an inlet of the Chesapeake Bay. Bright sunny warm weather, kayaking in the backyard, and walking around on the old crab docks…what could be better?

….and now I’m back in Brooklyn and it’s raining and I’m finding it hard to write….sigh…I’ll start with the photos and let the beauty of the weekend flow back into me before getting to the food…



Grandma’s garden: Turnips (top) and Onions (bottom)



Wild Asparagus

 

Old Crab Shack; Pop-pops watching for birds; Morning coffee on the dock

The next door neighbor grew gourds and dried them to make these bird houses

Dunes; the dock

Crab; Ladybugs on the beach, hiding in a pine-cone

Sunrise on the bay

Ahhh….That’s better.

and now on to the food.

Chicken Saltimbocca is a dish that I have been wanting to try for a while – I have no reason for having not attempting so before – and it was delicious!

What could be bad about chicken, mozzarella, and prosciutto? That’s right, nothing!

Chicken Saltimbocca:

4 thin cut Chicken Cutlets – tenderized with a meat mallet/hammer until a ½ an inch thick

1 large ball of fresh Mozzarella

1 package of Prosciutto

1 can baby Artichokes – not marinated

5-6 tbsp’s Capers

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper 

Heat a bit of oil in a skillet on high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken on both side and brown – about 5 minutes on both sides, like always the goal is to only flip the meat once!


Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet – you want to use one that has walls, or line with tin foil and create walls by folding up on each side and pinching the corners together. 

On each piece of chicken place a generous slice of prosciutto, then a generous slice of mozzarella.  Pepper the top of each piece and place the tray either in your broiler or in the oven on 450’ (f). 


When you put the chicken in the oven, tear up the artichokes and place, along with the capers, in the same skillet that you browned the chicken in on med-high heat.  Add more oil if they start to stick too much.  I like these to brown a little and gain a bit of a crust, but really you just want them warmed through – personal preference prevails!

The chicken should be ready after about 15 minutes in the oven or about 8 in the broiler – when the cheese is nice and melted, and started to bubble and brown. Let the chicken sit for a few minutes so that it sets – like hot pizza, if you move it too soon all the cheese falls right off and you have to reconstruct, those extra five minutes are worth the wait. 

Transfer the chicken to a serving tray – don’t overlap, as they will stick together – pour the artichokes and capers evenly over the top of the chicken. Et Voila! 



I served this with my roasted tomato and garlic quinoa and roasted asparagus. 

Hopefully the rain will stop soon and the gloom will leave, so until next week, stay dry and enjoy!