Sunday Pot Roast…and ‘bama cheese…
December 19, 2011

What a treasure trove of cheese....

OK, my sisters and I have gotten to the point that instead of us buying individual gifts for siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews, etc., we give a family gift…usually of food. Which, as you know…I love. Audrey, who lives in Gulf Shores.. came across a little fromagerie(tho they don’t call it that)…called Sweet Home Farm in Elberta. An homage to Sweet Home Alabama, I’m sure.

Perdido Pass is water passage that separates Florida and Alabama

And all the cheeses are named for places in LA(lower Alabama)….like Perdido(as in Perdido Pass), Montevallo, Bayside Blue….and they are soooo good!

Made an old-fashioned pot roast this weekend…though with an Italian twist….Strocotto…

Giada's Pot Roast....with red wine and beef broth...

Pot Roast with Porcini mushrooms by Giada di Laurentiis-here.Not difficult at all, just don’t get started too late…it takes about 4 hours to prep, cook and puree the veges into a sauce.

Sunday lunch for 7....

We had a few friends over for Sunday lunch…which seemed perfect for pot roast..here’s what the table looked like. And see that little feather wreath around the flower base?

LIttle feathery napkin holders(she found them at Pier One)

A friend brought me these napkin holders….that are so much fun….and look like they were madefor the feather wreath.

Used Magnolia leaves for place cards....free!

It's alive!! (SO far....)

And I love this “living wreath” I found this year on One King’s Lane….It likes the cold weather on the door….all you have to do is water it once a week or so. Think it will survive the winter? We’ll see, won’t we….And last but not least…finally… a server for sea salt.

Got this from The Salt Works....

One of my guests this Sunday really loved this….she has sea salts from different places, but thought….how do you serve them? I found this at a really amazing website(if you like salt!)…The Salt Works-here. These people are serious about salt…whether it’s in your food or your bath.

Their collections are 25% off right now....

And they have “salt collections” like you see above, some of which are flavored…Spanish Rosemary, Thai Ginger, Lime Fresco …and they all come with the little glass tray and 3 wee, tiny spoons…free shipping(you know I love that), and 25 % off right now. Great gift!

 

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Love and other drugs…like sea salt…
September 6, 2011

Chirpy-chirpy....a hot mama cardinal is in the house!!

You may remember when I came upon the body of a female cardinal in  my yard earlier this summer….killed by Muffy the ca,t is my guess, though I didn’t catch her in the act. But all summer long, I have heard and watched her mate call for her in the trees…and he never gave up. “Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp“…all summer…it’s been heartbreaking.

But this morning, I heard a weird chirping( not sure how to describe it but it caught my attention) in the front yard. I peeked out…and there was a female cardinal, clearly showing off for someone…and  on the other side of the walk, acting all cool, was my male cardinal, pecking at the ground, as though he didn’t notice. I think they are in some kind of mating dance. And while I don’t know the male is my heartbroken friend…and I don’t know for sure this is a new female, that’s what I hope has happened..that he has found a new lady love. Wouldn’t that be the best??

This weekend was spent cleaning up after the storm, so when someone asks, “How was your holiday weekend?”….I worked Labor Day, and the rest of the weekend, didn’t feel that ….weekendesque, if you know what I mean. But we didn’t lose power, a tree didn’t fall on the house, and the basement stayed dry…so all is good.

Love, love, love roasted red peppers!!

Did venture out to the Farmer’s Market Sunday morning…fearful of traffic…because of the road race downtown. Misplaced fears though…no traffic and I would say foot traffic was off by at least 30 % at the market, probably because others were scared off by traffic too.  But I bought some great, end of season red and yellow peppers….sliced them up and tossed with olive oil and sea salt, and roasted them.

Morton's gets in on the sea salt craze...

And speaking of sea salt, even Morton’s caught onto the sea salt craze….though theirs isn’t little chunks of salt, but looks like the regular stuff.

The lovely Jennifer emailed me the other day about a new place that has opened in the West Village called The Meadow-here….it is completely devoted to…yep, salt of every description.

Mark Bitterman...salt guru...

And the place looks very cool….it’s the brain child of chef Mark Bitterman(whom you may have seen on The Today Show) …one reviewer gushes “It will change the way you cook“….doubtful. Doubtful. But you can buy slabs of Himalayan sea salt, on which you actually cook food! Or in their words..” a 500 million year old slab of luminous pink salt quarried from a primordial salt deposit in Pakistan “…..ok. The Meadow also offers cooking classes for the oh so very few of us who do NOT know how to cook on a salt slab(or why).

Maldon sea salt....of course.

For my money though, Maldon is the best sea salt…beautiful flakes that you can crush between your fingers….. as Dan Crane from  Slate magazine said about Maldon…It’s half the price of a movie ticket in New York City. Shut up and buy this salt.” And fyi, at a website called Saltworks, you can buy a 8.5 oz box of Maldon for $6.49 and free shipping(and tons of other salts as well)…while that same amount at The Meadow will run you $11.50. I guess it’s the location….West Village real estate ain’t cheap.