Roast Chicken with Wasabi Goat Cheese and Tart Cherries and a Free Long-Winded Post!

Woof. I mean, like, really, woof. Emphasis on the woof part. If you came to the site for the insightful commentary on food, history, charming personal anecdotes about DH and the kids, and artful photography, get the hell out. For the next three years, I’m going to be complaining about Connecticut, law school, gluten, and home decor!

For the remaining three of you, Mom included, you’ll be pleased to know that my roving bachelor lifestyle has allowed me plenty of time to cook and study in equal amounts. It was refreshing to come back from a study session after a beast of a contracts case in anticipation of the meal I’d planned for The Bedfellow and I. I’ve finally finished my first week of law school- just 150 more of them, and I’ll officially be an attorney. Cool, right?

On another note, I’ve been trying to find ways to cook and interact with this new change in diet. As of this moment, I’ve cut approximately 98% of gluten out of my diet. It’s really difficult, but the change is positive and just makes me feel much better than I’ve been feeling. I’ve tried to take a centrist approach to it, in that I’m not eating gluten unless I’m presented with something so incredible, ephemeral, and perfect that the benefits outweigh the risks. Then, I can work around the crippling headache, chills, itchiness, tightness in my skin, sweats, general fatigue, and muscle aches.

As a note, and for clarification, I don’t profess to have any official gluten allergy or celiac’s disease. I have not been diagnosed by a doctor, nor have I made any other significant changes other than realizing the issue at hand- namely, that when I eat gluten, my body feels awful almost immediately after. It’s as simple as that, and I’ve been working to alter my diet to reflect this new need. Don’t think that I’m not trying to resist it, either. I broke the other night and ate a cookie and paid for it in physical ramifications severe enough to force me to lie down for a few hours until they subsided. It’s hellish and strange, but I’m working through it. I won’t stop looking for the best brownie until I’ve exhaustively worked through the long list of gluten-free products. And you’ll still see plenty of gluten-ridden products on the website, but The Bedfellow will be tasting them and relaying her notes to me instead. This isn’t so bad. Hopefully, it will encourage me to make healthier changes, and the ensuing energy and good feelings will help me maintain them.

So, last night, I made us roasted chicken roulades with wasabi goat cheese and tart cherries. The recipe was easy, and came from an abundance of food in my new apartment. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) I had a little round of chevre from Capri that I was excited to use, and The Bedfellow brought some powdered wasabi over. I pounded the chicken flat, and added the cherries, which I’d roasted with lemon salt and olive oil, to the cheese and stuffed the breasts with it. I roasted them in the juices leftover from the cherries, and topped them with wasabi powder and a little more lemon salt.

They were delicious, filling, and pleasantly spicy. This rambling, of course, is both to let you know that I haven’t overdosed on ramen noodles in a fit of panic with school, and also to announce Cookbook Week, which I’ll be starting next Friday. I have seven cookbooks, and I’ll be cooking a recipe from each, all gluten-free, to share with you and give you thoughts on my results. This one was my own, of course, but my trials and tribulations will be broadcasted as they come.

Enjoy!

Foodette
(Bonus GF Gratify pretzel and smoked almond chicken tenders with hot mustard pic!)

Sandwich Saturday

It’s kind of a slow week due to moving and preparing for it- all of my food is mainly packed away, and UPS and FedEx don’t deliver on weekends! I got a little carried away with packing, so I thought I’d give you a peek at some of the sandwiches I’ve been making for the Bedfellow and have eaten myself.

I’ve had to get a little crafty lately, as I wonder if I’m developing a slight intolerance to gluten. When I eat more than a slice or two or more than half a small roll, I end up getting very fatigued and feel depressed until my body digests it. It’s something to look into, so I’ve been trying to be careful lately and stick with more proteins and grains. But this sandwich was certainly the masterpiece, especially as of late- lavender cheese from Rogue Creamery atop sauteed chicken with honey, lime pods, and smoked sea salt.

I also bought a bit of ground beef- not my usual fare, but since I was craving a burger atop little Martin’s-esque rolls, went for it along with some American cheese.

This one was made using the slider method from Serious Eats, steamed atop sweating, grilled onions with pickles on the bottom and American cheese on top. Ridiculously messy but ultimately really tasty. More laborious than grilled burgers and not necessarily tastier in comparison, but still fun to try. The one above was done on a hot pan, and my apartment smelled like burgers for hours. Worth it!

Sometimes when I run low on groceries, I have to get creative. Luckily, I have a lady who is a whiz at making guacamole, and with a little roasted red pepper goat cheese and salsa, this was a no brainer. The best part was how grilled the guac got when it spilled out of the sandwich.

This last selection wasn’t really a sandwich at all, but was a dip that we ate with chips and little pieces of bread- so, a deconstructed sandwich. Barbecue chicken dip, but instead of using cream cheese and dressing like many recipes call for, I switched it up and used labne, a yogurt from Karoun Farms.

The Nosh Show: Episode 8

This week, I broke up the sausagefest on the Nosh Show as a special guest! Listen as I yap about the Fancy Food Show with Junk Food Guy, ignore the scary noises of incoming freshmen crowding the free internet area of the campus center, and ponder the merits of pancakes that taste like doughnuts.

It’s my first podcast, so no comments on: my jarringly monotone voice, my svelte girlish features, or my complete and utter lack of profanity. Balls!

Enjoy!

2013 Summer Fancy Food Show, Day 2

Now come peanuts, and popcorn, and plenty of treats from day two of the Summer Fancy Food Show 2013! There were scorpions.

We started out the day on the second floor, bright and early, with this staring us in the face.

Fifty Shades of Kale? Not for me, although kale does strike me as a rather punish-y vegetable.

The lower floor was definitely more energetic and buzzing, though that could have also been due to sofi excitement and the groove of the show once everyone had their affairs in order. We started the day with pizza…

And more killer packaging. What?! I’m a sucker for handwritten labels and pretty jars.

It was definitely more slanted toward items I gravitate toward- shredded pork tacos from Frontera were a welcome respite amidst the sea of chocolate and ice cream.

Not that I’m complaining about ice cream, of course. After months of Facebook friendery with the good folks at High Road, we finally met in person and I was promptly given approximately twelve hundred bites of their perfect ice cream. The creme caramel with roasted rhubarb, apples, and mint was my favorite.

Sukhi’s chana masala wrap wasn’t new to us, but the smile was too cute to resist.
Dave’s Insanity introduced us to our new favorite friends, Fluffy and Mittens the scorpions!
We also ogled the $1,000 pasta sauce, with heirloom tomatoes, white truffles, and gold leaf, which could only taste good over butchered human flesh for such a price.

It was definitely a more upbeat day, and we brought home some incredible treats to share on the site.

This bee bar was one of the prettiest samples, from the Savannah Bee Company. It has caramelized honeycomb inside of it, but it’s almost too cute to eat. The ladies are illin’ for my bee bar, also. It is gorgeous.

And nothing made the Bedfellow happier than her bacon Bloody Mary, courtesy of McClure’s Pickles.

Despite being at the show from 9 to 5, staying to the bitter end when all the lights shut off, we ached our way over to Sir37, an event space close to the show for Food Fête. We were so full and tired from the day that we couldn’t sample as much as we’d have liked, but the party was a lot of fun and the product selection rocked.
Why, you ask?

Because HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, NEW FLAVORS OF FRUIT 2 O. Please understand that if the human body is 70% water, I’m 80% Fruit 2 O. Fruit 2 O now comes in watermelon and lemon cucumber, and I now come in ‘obsession’ flavor. It tastes like sweat and lust.

I am forever gauche.

Such a good show. Stay tuned for the Top 15 tomorrow!

2013 Summer Fancy Food Show, Day 1

Wow! What a year! We just returned from the 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. And boy, are our mouths tired.

Another amazing show, another great summer event filled with old friends, new ones, tons of food, and plenty of new and exciting products to showcase before I get my cholesterol checked. We have come back with one of the craziest bounties yet, and are extremely excited to show you what’s in store.

We started our day out bright and early, leaving Connecticut on the train to New York. We were lucky enough to catch a little of the NY Pride excitement, too!
The first day was significantly less eventful than it’s been in previous years, likely due partially to the lack of sleep we’d had at the murder-y motel the evening before. At least we got to have Pepe’s summer tomato and sausage pie…

And a sweet lobster tail for dessert!
It could have also been because the first floor, typically the largest, was very quiet. Comprised mainly of international and some larger US sections, it just lacked the energy and excitement of the floor below. Still, we found some great products and spent some time at my personal favorite, Mexico’s cocktail booth with Junior Merino.

Here, we tried a knockout of a sweet corn, elderflower, hibiscus, pineapple, tequila, and lemongrass cocktail. Absolutely insane!

Pallini’s famous limoncello was next, along with a raspberry and a peach liqueur.

After getting our drink on, we admired some of the classic big shot products of the show, like huge legs of proscuitto from Fermin and 5J. 

Always a great snack!

This year had some of the prettiest packaging I’ve seen yet. From these brightly colored bottles and cans of olive oil from Italy, to some jewel-like bottles of balsamic vinegar inspired by perfume, the designs were sharp and pristine.

Cans that fly off the shelf!

Balsamic no. 20…for the lady and discerning gentleman.

Overall, our first day definitely swayed more toward the savory than the sweet side. We sampled more artisanal meats than our stomachs could handle, and checked out the latest from all of the cheese producers, too.

It seemed like the organization was tighter, but definitely led to a bit of monotony. There’s only so many square miles of cheese a person can eat in a day before she needs a break!

The Ginger People had a sauce fountain with their zippy ginger chili sauce for all to dip in. I was more amazed that I was able to sample the sauce without getting any on my shirt.

We bid the day goodbye with some dan dan noodles and a hot bath as the city moved below us.
Still, we had a great first day and met some wonderful new people with incredible products- stay tuned when we give you a peek of our second day, the two after-parties we checked out after the show, and finally, the top 15 sweet and savory products of 2013!

Three-Day Juice Cleanse: Day 3

DAY 3: The Awakening 

No photos. Camera too heavy.

6AM: It was a wonderful, spa-like two days. I danced with unicorns in the center of Westport, Connecticut, and took the Honda out for a spin in Southampton before my deep-tissue massage. Juice cleanses are wonderful. They rejuvenate you—I don’t look a day over 12 now.

Then I woke up this morning after a sleepless night and realized that I ran out of money and went over budget. This must be what it feels like to be Ty Pennington. I found $3.60 in coins on my bookshelf and in the cup holder of my car and, inexplicably, in the bottom of a glass of wine, and bought some lemon juice and spring water with it. I’m kicking it old school with a gallon of water and a head full of crazies. I have Tabasco sauce and maple syrup in my fridge, so I’m taking today to start the Beyonce diet. Apparently, it tastes like Beyonce. I’m pretty sure that if I drink this all day, I’ll start to hallucinate Beyonce, so it’s worth a try.
This tastes disgusting. Four pounds of brownies arrived in the mail.
7AM: I don’t feel hungry, but that’s mainly because I don’t feel anything but cold. Juicing is the equivalent of flushing a coffee-maker out with vinegar, except in this case, I’m the idiot who flushed a coffee-maker out with vinegar. My corpse will be squeaky-clean when I finally succumb to the sweat chills and diabetic coma of too much fruit sugar.
7:30AM: I keep phasing in and out of sleep. I’m going to die in my sleep, alone and bloated with beet juice and Tabasco. Ew. This is going to be like the end of a Richardson novel. I’m going to literally die penniless, malnourished, and delirious outside a Whole Foods. That’s basically the plot of Clarissa, right? I hate lemons. I hate cayenne. I hate water. Every sip of this foul beverage tastes like I’m ingesting my own stomach acid.
8:30AM: All the single ladies, put your hands up. Now put them over your hearts and promise that you’ll never date someone like me. Juice cleanses are murderous. I thought I saw my own blood at the bottom of my “#1 Dad” tumbler, but it was really just a clump of hot sauce. I swallowed it anyway and now my throat aches. This time, tomorrow, I’m going to house a plate of tamales like I’m selling them prime beachfront property in Miami.
9AM: I almost broke. I went to grab a yogurt with my final dying breath, but upon opening it, discovered it was partially frozen from the inconsistent temperatures of my refrigerator. The universe is testing me.
12PM: HOLY CRAP, I ATE A BOWL OF CHILI IN MY SLEEP. There is an empty bowl in my sink and it looks like I murdered a squirrel with my mouth. Betrayed by my own body.
7PM: You guys, food is amazing. It gives you so much energy! 300 calories on the elliptical without breaking a sweat. I feel like I could crack a nut with my glutes. Food, guys. No more juice.
No more.
TOTAL CALORIES: 1,700
JUICING ANALYSIS
Calories/day: 1,246
$/pound: $10.80
$ total spent: $50, and with the gift card, $75 for three days of juicing.
Compare to: $180 for three days on Blueprint, and $130 on three days of Evolution Fresh.
Weight lost: 4.8 lbs
Dignity gained:+4 street cred on my OkCupid profile

Sneak Peak and Trend Prediction for the 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show

Four solid years and here we are – the Summer Fancy Food Show is easily my favorite event of the entire year, birthdays, new car days, and No-Pants Thursday notwithstanding. We’ve been preparing, rejecting outfits, schmoozing with the finest of friends, and receiving samples left and right before the show to give you a sneak peek of what to expect from this year’s new products.

PS- I’ll give you the final update of Day 3 of my Cleanse tomorrow!

Trend Prediction

Here are the top five trends I anticipate seeing. In checking out the sofi nominees, perusing the exhibitor list, and receiving press releases, it looks like the surge of healthy ingredients in foods has not ebbed (although I’m still waiting for Cheetos to make a glorious return) but in the interest of separating from the gluten-free and ‘light’ trends of the past, now, fresh ingredients are taking a stand. We’ve been seeing tons of snacks and drinks that have been including coconut and supergreens/fruits. Here’s a breakdown at the top five trends I anticipate seeing throughout the year.

1.     Healthier/artisanal instant beverages

This is a particular favorite of mine as I absolutely adore instant drinks. Companies like Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen are crafting gourmet instant coffee packets, a trend I’d love to see with other microbrew coffee brands. Agave nectar from True Agave is making its debut, and also featured are a few variations of instant coconut water, and coconut water ice treats to cool your beverages down.

2.    Versatile, curious teas 

Savory teas and bi-temperature curious iced and hot teas are making their debut at the show from Numi and more.

3.      Sundried tomatoes

What used to be an afterthought on Italian-esque sandwiches is making a bold, flavorful comeback in condiment form. Pesto, ketchup, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, and more are being featured – I’m still waiting on chocolate-covered tomatoes.
4.      Exotic spices and alcohol in ice cream and candies

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams featured a meringue and absinthe ice cream this spring, and now Three Twins is bringing their cardamom ice cream to the show. Gelato Petrini is also showcasing their pistachio cardamom chip gelato and pineapple prosecco sorbet. Above, Marich debuts their coconut-curry cashews and dark chocolate chipotle and caramel almonds. And cat packaging from Monty Bojangles.


5.      Goat’s milk and sheep’s milk in various desserts and products

Greek yogurt has had its day in the sun, but how about sheep yogurt? Bellwether Farms is bringing their sheep’s milk yogurt to the show, along with goat cheese cheesecake and breakfast cheese from Belle Chevre, goat cheese pearls from Artisan Biscuits, and Rogue Creamery’s Blue Heaven blue cheese powder.


Here’s a small sample of the treats I’ve been receiving lately—no doubt you will see many more as the show continues! From this selection, I think this is going to be one of the best shows yet. There are some real knockout products here!

Cookies, candies, and confections abound- these seasonal cookies from Dr. Lucy’s were excellent, and packed with pumpkin puree. As were the other seasonal varieties, Merry Mint, Holiday Sugar, and Maple Crunch. I ate them in mere days!

Chuao is debuting their latest flavors at the show, too, in Orange-A-Go-Go and Pop Corn Pop. The latter really excited me, as it seeks to provide not only the flavor of popcorn, but the sensation of popcorn popping. Meta, anyone? I think it’s the best bar from Chuao yet, but you’ll have to read my deeper analysis after the show!

Tonewood’s exquisite maple wafers are up for a sofi- sweet, melting maple flavors in gorgeous packaging.

Hella Bitters from Brooklyn- perfect for the Old Fashioneds I’ve been dying to make the Bedfellow.

Brownie Points sent this gigantic red velvet brownie over along with about fifty other delicious treats- from this alone, I’m really impressed. It’s a massive, gooey confection with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, like a portable layer cake, and wasn’t too sweet at all.


Queen City is back again, with more delicious schnecken! They’re bringing tons of flavors with them this year, like pumpkin, chocolate, and mallow magic, too.

Kelapo Coconut Oil, good for the skin, good for the food. And extra-good for the paleo banana pancakes I made this morning.

Last, but not least, butter and oat shortbread from Duchy’s.

Also, this. See you at the Fancy Food Show, everyone! I’ll be Instagramming, photographing, recapping, and stuffing my face. Juice cleanse who?

Three-Day Juice Cleanse: Day 2


Day 2: The Reckoning

12PM: Splendid news. I was walking through Whole Foods in a semi-drugged haze and found Blueprint Cleanse! I’d been dying to try this and now, for a mere $50, I can! Apparently the cleanses allot you six bottles per day, but I could only afford five, so I guess I’m doing the midget and/or children’s version of a cleanse. Tant pis. The juices are sleek and clear and increased the value of my rented refrigerator by 6.2%.
Also, this is what a $13 bottle of nut milk looks like. I drank it with my shirt off.
Unsurprisingly, the drink that costs two hours of untaxed income is delicious, if basic, like a very filtered horchata, and I immediately cry after I finish it, because it is gone and I will likely never have it again until I am working for a living, and that saddens me to the core.
2PM: I discover that the number of calories I ingest per day, divided by the number of times I nap, added to the laps I do in the swimming pool before retiring to the sauna equals the official number of times I’m allowed to subtly mention on Facebook that I’m doing a juice cleanse. Also, I have five less friends on Facebook. To celebrate my exclusivity, I drink ‘beet, apple, carrot, lemon, ginger’ and can’t help but notice that it looks exactly like cranberry juice, which goes really well with vodka. And pancakes.
It should be noted that this is my 3PM drink instead, as shortly after ingesting the nut milk, I passed out from approximately 9-3.
4PM: I drank the ‘cayenne, lemon, agave’ at an abhorrent coffee date and didn’t once consider choking myself on it. For that, I reward myself with a pair of leather shorts and another sip of juice. It tastes like it’s laughing at me with its minimal ingredient list and trendy typeface. I laugh back and remember that I spent $7 on pepper water. Now nobody is laughing.
6PM: I practice my smile in the mirror with a bottle of ‘lemon, agave, lime, mint’ and decide to take my juice to the gym to show it off like a newborn. Oddly enough, the herbs and citrus give me the impression of drinking citrus water at a fitness area of a hotel, and I burn 12 more calories than I normally do before passing out pantsless to an episode of 30 Rock.
8PM: My final drink with Blueprint is ‘pineapple, apple, mint’ after purchasing approximately $281.39 worth of groceries that I can’t touch for the next 36 hours. The good thing about this one is that it tastes like a very well-made cocktail, and costs about as much, so I can pretend that I’m at a party. A party with food.

I dream that I have cheated on the juice fast and wake up in tears.

TOTAL CALORIES: 990

Three-Day Juice Cleanse: Day 1

The setup: I’m doing three days of juice cleansing from three cold-pressed juice plans to prepare for the Fancy Food Show— Spoiler alert, I die at the end.

The budget: $50
The schedule: I’m awake from approximately 12 in the afternoon to 2AM as I’m off from work for the week. During the day, I work out, eat, write, vigorously— exercise in the privacy of my own home, ball so hard motherfuckers wanna fine me, and take long baths. I have fifteen juices for the three days and am going to drink one every two hours, starting at 12, and going from there, at 2PM, 4PM, 6PM, and 8PM, ending my eating at 8PM for the night. I will do a diary entry every two hours. No coffee, alcohol, or refined sugars.

Day 1 

12PM: Starting the day right with a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice from Evolution Fresh, who graciously helped me with my first day of juices. It’s classic, it’s delicious, and it makes my heart sing. Oh, wait, I can’t drink coffee. That’s not juice. Suddenly, I’m less pleased, and also, my head hurts.

Later, I am told I woke up the Bedfellow in the middle of the night with requests for custom-designed, enormous burgers with four to five layers of meat. Also, all my dreams have meatballs in them.
2PM: I fell into a deep, lethargic sleep at 12:05 after downing the first orange juice. I have awakened now, dreams of packages, exclusive women’s summer camps, dead brown bears, and warped hardwood floors replete in my mind. It is as if my internal clock knows when to alert me to my next juice. 

My mid-afternoon juice is Super Green. I’m not sure if it’s a green juice, but it does have pieces of chlorella, spirulina, and the power of 28 raspberries in it. It is sweet, with a thin texture, and it makes me want to get up and work out. I work out for twenty minutes and then hit the pool. Each accidental sip of chlorinated water makes me feel fuller.

4PM: Something tells me I shouldn’t drive. But the Mango + Fiber tastes so, so good. It reminds me of a Fresh Samantha. Who acquired Fresh Samantha, anyway? It might have been Odwalla. And they sell Odwalla at some Starbucks locations. And Fresh Evolution is sold at Starbucks. Maybe the juices are similar. They taste like childhood. I took another nap today.

 6PM: I’m sweating like the grossest baby alive. The orange juice grew on me. I drank it in the shower and cried a little. It made me happy to realize that it was 7PM when I wrote this, which meant it was a little less than an hour until my next feed. 

 8PM: I watched the Bedfellow eat a cheeseburger and keened quietly on the bed. And then I finished my sweet greens and lemon drink. I didn’t like it the first time I tried it outside of the cleanse, but once it dawned on me that it was my only form of sustenance, I liked it again. I’m developing the Stockholm Syndrome equivalent to juice cleansing. One day down.

I love you, sweet greens and lemon.

CALORIC TOTAL: 1,060

Taste of the Union: Foodette’s Summer Eats

It’s June and I’m already summered out. I’m not sure whether it’s the heat or the lack of entertainment, but suddenly, sitting in my apartment in the dark for endless hours is less appealing than I anticipated. Yes, apparently I’ve matured, as I’ve had this strange desire to do things other than not working, by which I mean to say, I want to work and write and wear actual clothes again and stop trying to sell my possessions online. I mean, unless anyone is seriously interested in these two unlit organic soy candles I’ve been trying to peddle for a week now. You know where to find me.

So here’s my weird little request: I’ve grappled with this for some time. This isn’t an ad-driven site, I do it for pleasure, but I’m looking for something because I’m assuming you like what I provide. I’m looking for writing work. I want to write so I can keep getting better at what I do and give you even better, more amazing content. If you think I can help, I’d love to hear it.

On the plus side, I’ve been able to hone the skills that everyone dreams of having on their online dating profile- home repair, gourmet cooking, and gym ratting, the latter of which has officially negated the ‘child having’ portion of said profile as the gym has been littered with children lately, listlessly watching Spongebob on the elliptical machines and squeezing Vitamin Waters all over the locker rooms. So yeah, I’m a catch. At least, the Bedfellow seems to think so.

In any case, here’s a compilation of some of the treats I’ve been trying, like the BBB (brisket, biscuit, benedict) sandwich shown above. This is a fairly typical selection of the things I eat as treats- otherwise you’d see endless photos of decidedly non-pornographic yogurt.

I have been on a protein kick lately, so most of my meals have consisted of some permutation of meat plus carb, whether it’s pasta, rice, bread, or potato. This is a pulled pork sandwich dredged with some of Dr. Gonzo’s Smoke Isle sauce- we made a trip to Worcester to find it after the store recently reopened. But I’ve also been doing some desserts- this bittersweet chocolate, balsamic, nectarine, and creme fraiche tart was a lot of fun to make and eat.
We split some of these mochi dumplings a few weeks ago- in peanut butter, taro, red bean, and black sesame.

This is a more typical set of larger meals for me, something that I’ll eat after a good workout or as an early lunch before work. Brisket and Onion Crunch on a burrito has been my latest favorite indulgence– it’s so easy to throw together!

I’ve also been trying my hand at different types of grains with fabulous results. This rosemary chicken with maple and red pepper grits was one of the tastiest meals I’ve made in a while.

Pasta has been another easy meal, and this isn’t anything incredibly out of the box, but was very tasty. Roasted red pepper and tomato with chicken, Cajun spices, and onions.

I’ve been enjoying some more celebratory meals, too, to commemorate a successful apartment search, a late graduation shindig, and the potential publication of a short story I’ve been working on. Dad and I drank an ’82 Barton on a cold, rainy evening along with some fried yucca and steak with chimichurri.

The Bedfellow and I also had some wine the next night, along with some of the best steak I’ve ever made. I highly recommend sirloin for inexpensive, tender steak. I used to stick strictly to Porterhouse until I tried this and I doubt I’ll ever go back. It takes kindly to a good sear and also allows you to make a killer pan sauce after. I topped ours with roasted garlic and rosemary butter.

And of course, oven fries! (And yes, I take my steak bleu.)

This was the roasted garlic that went alongside. This is elephant garlic, so the bulbs are enormous!

Strawberries for shortcakes marinated in brown sugar, sea salt, gin, and honey for a few hours before serving.

We drank this 2006 Meerlust from South Africa. Dad and I had tried it at a tasting earlier that month, so it was fun to celebrate with on one of the nicest evenings of the summer thus far.