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Came out really, really well. The pork was braised in heavy cream, buttermilk, three heads of garlic, and a Parmesan rind (and a sprig of Sage) for three hours. Worth all 200 minutes of waiting.

Dinner started with appetizers as ever, with B handling the cocktails making caipiroskas while noshing on bread and Fourme d’ambert, a delightful French blue cheese (wifey never touched it, of course) as well as some La Tur and another nameless French cheese (which my wife wouldn’t touch after one initial foray–she tried, at least)

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As the cooking had mostly been done the day before I had more time to spend with our guests so I decided to use the two little duck breasts which I quick-seared and basted with a honey-thyme syrup. Came out great!

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Ultimately, I had to prepare a few other items–browning the pork, reducing the creamy garlic sauce, and a quick sautée of the broccoli Raab.

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Of course, guests are always a special occasion and so…dessert is always a standard, and our deep thanks to A&B for sharing the dessert with us– by taking half the calories outta the house as leftovers.

I won’t stretch your tongue by saying it in Italian, but its a chocolate and sour cherry cake which came out very nicely.

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Nobody eats like this everyday, but once a week…why the hell not?

Found a nice, simple recipe for Clams and Chorizo in Wine with Peppers and noted that nowhere did it include adding salt or pepper to the recipe. Huh. What an oversight, I thought, and once the clams were open and finished, the garlic and pepper and shallot was suitably cooked, I simply added a light…light sprinkling of salt.

Big oops. Wife took a sip and looked at me. A moment later I was in total agreement; the slight addition of NaCl had pushed the dish over the edge to salty nasty. My wife refrained from ‘I told you so’ (a wonderful favor on her part) and I was allowed a moment to, so to speak, stew in my own juices of despair and disappointment.

Taste for seasonings. Taste the food. Idiot!

OK, glad that was over, and I learned the lesson. I hope I get better into practicing this for the sake of all our future dinner guests, though for the record, this rarely happens when guests come over.

Of course, she had the last word when she said that the clams were too ‘rubbery’ and that maybe next time I could try smaller clams. Hmm. I’ll have to look up the food science of cooked clams to figure out how to avoid the rubbery result.

At least we still have the sour cherry chocolate torta!

IMG_4849.JPGOnce again, it’s a Friday and once again, our stalwart buds will be coming over to share in an evening meal which, god help me, I simply cannot scrimp on.

Not that the dinner is expensive (pork butt roast, heavy cream, buttermilk, garlic, sage), but as usual, as I insist on a decent dessert, I’m pushing both ends of the candle. No, wait. See, I can’t even get my metaphors straight. Plain fact is, I’m just sorta tired and lethargic. I just want to sit back and have a cup of coffee, eat a damn pastry, read one of my books, and chill.
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Megan Gordon is a cookbook author (well, one book anyway) who wrote Whole Grain Mornings featuring a good deal of recipes for your AM moments; granolas, grain mixes, how-tos, and suggestions. At the kitchn.com where she occasionally writes, she came up with this simple idea.

1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup cream
1 apple cut into small pieces
1/2 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
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Back on the duck kick. Bought four Maryland duck legs tonight along with a small package of duck breasts from Mary’s Ducks. Four breasts in the package, two pairs. Very tiny. Almost like…baby ducks. If anything, they were slaughtered at a young age or maybe the local drought affected them. Who knows?
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My wife and I don’t often necessarily have the standard protein, carb and veggie meals. I like carbs, but I figure that throughout the course of the day…and in life, we often get enough. So for lunch today, given that I was working a split shift, I biked home with a fresh andouille sausage which I cooked in some Spanish red wine I had from a previous dinner, and served up with a couple of tablespoons of good French rustic Dijon mustard.
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Godawful picture.

And expect more to come while our house is in such disarray from cleaning, tidying, etc. Chalk it up to the worst lighting in our kitchen that you can imagine. First thing Friday (after doing a ton of work related to our damned mess of a housecleaning effort) on my day off I’m going to get myself some sort of better lighting…anything…to make these pics look better.
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Late night many people (I’m not necessarily one of them) prefer lighter fare later in the evening…not sure why! Me? Just watching my waistline, folks, so when I saw this recipe for Spinach Stracciatella Soup (egg- drop soup Italian style essentially) and that it took only a few minutes…I was hooked.
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Tonight was fun, and simple foods. Three dishes, all ‘sorta’ Italian.

First, tuna steaks with a green sauce. Olive oil, a sprig each of thyme, basil, parsley, an anchovy, and some capers. All in a blender leaves a solid green sauce to pour over a quickly seared tuna steak. Add a bit of freshly ground pepper and fleur de sel, and garnished with some watercress.

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I don’t have much time today to provide details, but for the past couple of weeks our buddies A&B have been letting us use their truck. And after two days use, they come over for a Saturday night dinner and I pull out some stops.

Highlights. Most of these pics are courtesy of Astrid Barros!

July In Talisay cocktail!

July In Talisay cocktail!


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