Thursday, March 24, 2011

Themed Meal: St. Patrick's Day

Christmas of 2009, Jeanette got each of us subscriptions to Bon Appetit magazine and the Food Network Magazine.  The first Bon Appetit we received was for February 2010, and in it was a recipe for Bison and Red Wine Shepherd's Pie.  We had talked about making it for a long time, but never got around to it with all the other things we we making.  When St. Patrick's day came around again this year, we decided to re-visit that first magazine we got in the mail, and make a St. Patty's day themed meal based around the shepherd's pie.  Ian and Jeanette purchased half of a cow a while ago, so we used beef short ribs instead of bison, and we also substituted cippolini onions for the pearl onions because there weren't any pearl onions where we shopped for ingredients.  The recipe made enough for a 9x13 pan, but we made about half and put it in a deep dish pie pan instead.

We liked the egg wash and parmesan on top of the mashed potatoes - it seemed like an exciting addition to the topping, and really became golden brown when it was baked!  

The filling was packed full of flavor, especially because it started with pancetta made by farmstead meatsmith, which we substituted for the bacon in the recipe, and included home-made chicken broth made with chicken from cornerstone farm.  The eggs and herbs also came from cornerstone farm.

Cabbage seemed like an essential component of a St. Patrick's day meal, so the next thing we made was Crisp Roasted Cabbage from the March 2011 Food Network magazine.  The recipe uses duck skin and fat, but we substituted pancetta again.  If we had used the duck fat, maybe it would have come out more crispy, but it definitely wasn't lacking in flavor!

The last dish we made was French Onions from the April 2011 Food Network magazine.  We substituted home-made chicken broth for the water, and Jeanette made croutons out of home-made bread.  The worcestershire sauce was also home-made, from a batch Ian and Jeanette made at Bethany's apartment in the Summer of 2010.

Everyone really enjoyed the meal, and thought that everything went really well together!  It was so flavorful, Ian and Bethany didn't even use any hot sauce!

For dessert, we made milkshakes with Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur.  Jeanette made vanilla bean ice cream, and we each made our own shake with things like purchased cookies 'n cream ice cream, raw milk, dark chocolate, and vanilla sandwich cookies.  The flavor of the Bailey's in the shake was delicious, but we wished the blender was more powerful so that we could make them thicker!

Bethany spent the night at Ian and Jeanette's, and we made breakfast the next was nice breaking up the cooking and making dinner one day, and breakfast the next rather than make everything on the same day like we have usually done in the past.  The only part of our breakfast that had to do with the theme was the Bailey's we added to our drinks (Bethany's coffee and Jeanette's steamer).  We made Blueberry Breakfast Pies with Lemon Cream Cheese Dip from Lauren's Latest, which are like turnovers with a cheesecake-like dip!

We made the crusts with spelt flour that Jeanette ground, and we cut the dough circles quite a bit larger than the 2 1/2" size that the recipe says.  

We got 5 individual pies out of one single crust dough, but used the full amount of filling that the recipe calls for.

The combination of the sweet blueberry filling, surrounded by lots of crust (which we love!), with the slightly tart lemon dip was perfect!  

We'll be back soon with more cooking in a little kitchen!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


This is a blog of Jeanette and Bethany's cooking adventures. We started having a weekly day of cooking together around October 2009, and we've made so many things it's become hard to remember them all! We have been talking about recording all the things we make for a long time, and are actually going to do it now! We plan to post pictures, descriptions, and our opinions of the things we make, as well as where the idea or recipe was from. That way we can look back and remember all the hard work we have put into the things we have made and how much we enjoyed eating them!

From the start, Wesley has been with us in the kitchen--beginning soon after he was born, we would put his little pillow bed on the dining table to watch us. When he started moving around more, he would go in the ergo carrier with Jeanette (if he wasn't napping). Then he would cruise around the kitchen in his walker seat, playing with things and watching us. Now he is in and out of the kitchen: going in the other room to play and coming back in for a snack, to pull things out of the cupboards (his favorite is the food processor) and pretend to mix things, and just to be a part of the action! As he gets older, if he's still as interested in what we're doing, he'll probably be able to help us more with pouring, stirring, and of course, tasting! We can always count on him to have a big appetite, and to provide us with entertainment!

Though we would like to have a complete record from the beginning of everything we've made, we'll just start blogging about all the things we make now, and put our perfectionist mindset of not wanting to leave anything out aside!

Here we go...