Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Bo is ready
The house is ready
Now I gotta get ready

We are ready!

Lolly Pop, Lolly Pop, Ooo La La Lolly Pop
& Salt Walter Taffy - Candy Corn Flavor of course!

Hamilton, our sweet neighbor and one of our trick or treaters

Bo wanting some candy too.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cowgirl Sue

This is me at the office today. Jennifer took photos. Phillip was so nice and gave us the afternoon off, but true to form there are several of us still here working. I should go get Bo, and put him in his outfit and bring him up here! :)

Miska Pup

My sister, Ashley, just sent me this picture that I had to post. Our Miska as a pup! She is such a sweet, precious dog that we have loved having as our family pet. She is coming up on her 16th birthday in November. She was our Christmas present 16 years ago. Funny thing is after all these years sometimes she can still look like a pup.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

All Things Thai

One of Jim's close friends from Pomfret School lives in Thailand. Jim hopes to take me there to meet him, enjoy the spicy cuisine, culture, and beauty of Thailand as well as the Thai people. Jim's friend Krit has a restaurant Yura An,
Looking forwward to trying their creations.
I also want to stay at Villa Lawana it looks fabulous and the owner also went to school with Jim.

Thai Chicken Basil is another one of those meals like pizza - something we have often - at least once a month.

Thai Chicken Basil

3 - 4 Chicken Breast chopped
3 tbs. Peanut Oil
8 - 10 garlic cloves
½ onion sliced
1 green bell pepper
2 Thai Chili peppers (we use 4)

3 tsp. Soy sauce
2 tbs. Fish sauce
1 cup fresh basil
dash ground white pepper
hot pan - oil

On med high heat stir garlic for 30 secs, add onions stir another 30 secs, add peppers and stir another 30 secs, add chicken chopped - cook through - can cover and stir or stir constantly 4 mins or so depending on if it's diced or cubed, add chili's, sprinkle soy - 15 - 10 sec., add fish sauce & stir in basil - stir fry 30 secs. Sprinkle pepper .

Serve over Rice
Serves 4

Food, Fun, and Singing!

Jim spent most of last Sunday preparing dinner. He used the recipes of Michael Chiarello - brined short ribs, 5 onion cavalo nero, and potatoes "Da Delfina." A fabulous dinner, great company, and lots of good karaoke singing.

Taste and see, but make sure you have plenty of time, and have friends over to enjoy.

2 quarts water

2 cups brown sugar 

2 cups kosher salt 

2 tablespoons juniper berries

3 bay leaves

4 cross-cut short ribs, about 1 pound each (ask your butcher to cold smoke them if he can)
Olive oil

2 cups onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup carrot, coarsely chopped
1 cup celery, coarsely chopped
1 cup red wine

1 quart chicken stock

2 cups leek whites, small diced
2 cups scallion whites, sliced
2 cups shallot, small diced
2 cups red onion, small diced
2 cups yellow onion, small diced
2 cups carrot, grated
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 case black cabbage, chiffonade


Bring all ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool completely. Cover short ribs with brine and refrigerate 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Remove short ribs from brine and pat dry. Heat a large high-sided sauté pan over moderately high heat until hot. Add a film of olive oil. When oil begins to smoke, brown short ribs on all sides. (They brown quickly because of the sugar in the brine.) When richly browned, place in a dish that can go from stovetop to oven. Add onion, carrot and celery to sauté pan and cook over moderately high heat until vegetables are well caramelized. Transfer vegetables to dish with short ribs. Add red wine to sauté pan and simmer until reduced by half, scraping up any stuck-on bits with a wooden spoon. Add stock, bring to a boil and pour over short ribs. Bring short ribs to a boil on top of the stove, then cover and bake until fork-tender, about 4 hours.

Slowly sweat all onions and carrot in olive oil. Add raisins, sweat briefly. Add cabbage and cook slowly stirring frequently until cooked very soft. This will take a two hours.

1 1/2 pounds (about 16) small "creamer" potatoes, preferably Yukon gold
Peanut oil
Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (or cilantro)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped garlic

Put the potatoes in a large pot of cold, well salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until a knife slips in easily, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes. Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until cool.

When they are cool enough to handle, hold 1 between your hands as if you were clapping and press gently with the heel of 1 hand. You want to smash the potato to about a 1/2-inch thickness while keeping it in 1 piece. The skin will split, but the potato should not fall apart. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. You can prepare the potatoes to this point several hours ahead.

Pour 1/2-inch of peanut oil in the large skillet and heat over moderately high heat.
Combine the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest in a serving bowl and set aside.
When the oil begins to smoke, carefully put the smashed potatoes in the oil and cook on both sides until crisp and well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over moderately high heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to the bowl with the parsley-lemon mixture.

When the potatoes are ready, add them to the garlic mixture and toss gently. Serve immediately. Save the leftover garlic oil and use it to dress a salad or vegetables the following day.


“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Audrey Hepburn

Monday, October 26, 2009

Malia Bags

A beautiful thing it is when fashion meets function as with the creations of Malia Designs. I was just made aware of these bags this weekend when I ran into my friend Paige at Fresh Market. She had one and just looking at it I knew it held a story.

Malia Designs is a socially-conscious company that produces attractive, purposeful messenger bags, totes, scarves and wallets made in Cambodia by vendors with a human rights' mission. Malia bags provide sustainable income for disadvantaged people.

The Cambodian groups that make the bags are non-governmental / non-profit organizations dedicated to preventing human trafficking and providing employment for land mine victims, the disabled and street people.
The goal is to bring their crafts to Western markets and therefor expand their access to sustainable income. Valerio Malia Designs' products are made from recycled rice bags, repurposed mosquito netting and locally-produced silk. They range in price between $30 and $60.

Malia Designs donates a portion of profits to an organization that fights human trafficking. This year the money contributed by Malia went towards buying beds for a specific orphanage in Cambodia where children had requested this need.

Human trafficking adversely affects one million people every year, including people living in the United States. One way to counteract this global issue is to increase access to economic opportunity in the most affected areas. A great handbag, designed to carry a cause is a much needed accessory to any wardrobe!

The creations are available nation-wide:

Apples, Cookies, and Fall

I went to my friend Terri's house this past Thursday night. She had a beautiful fall spread that we all enjoyed.

Cut up some red Honey Crisp & Green Granny Smith apples and mix up some dip for a delicious fall treat to share with friends.

1 8 oz cream cheese
Mix with 1/2 cup of sour cream
Powdered sugar to taste
Top with melted carmel sauce & chopped walnuts

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bo's Halloween Costume Top Contenders



More pictures to follow of Bo in his costume on Halloween.

Happy Birthday Twins!

Megan and Charlie's Mallory & Brody (technically my cousins but really my niece & nephew) are 8 weeks old today (I think). Precious little things - want to hold them right now!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bottle Shock

The movie Bottle Shock recently debuted The cast & crew had finished filming right before we visited Chateau Montelena in November of 07.

The judgment of Paris, 1976, was a historical event that changed the way the world viewed wines from other regions oustide of France. "As they swirled, sniffed, sipped and spat, some judges were instantly able to separate an imported upstart from an aristocrat. More often, the panel was confused. When the ballots were cast, the top-soaring red was Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ ’72 from the Napa Valley, followed by Mouton-Rothschild ’70, Haut-Brion ’70 and Montrose ’70. The four winning whites were, in order, Chateau Montelena ’73 from Napa, French Meursault-Charmes ’73 and two other Californians, Chalone ’74 from Monterey County and Napa’s Spring Mountain ’73. The U.S. winners are little known to wine lovers, since they are in short supply even in California and rather expensive ($6 plus). Jim Barrett, Montelena’s general manager and part owner, said: “Not bad for kids from the sticks.” Time Magazine June 7, 1976.

On Being Gracious

Designer Elsie de Wolfe, pictured to the left in 1936, was the legendary decorator who said, "Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you."

The Leaves Are A Changing

Friday, October 9, 2009

Colorful Fall Fun

Last year the Young's went to see the colorful turkeys for some colorful fall fun. They will be doing it again this year too with baby Andrew. Looking forward to seeing those photos. Wish Jim and I could join them. I've never visitied a colored turkey farm. What a fun tradition!