Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Move in is Complete!!

A huge huge HUGE thank you to my mom, dad, and sister for helping me FINALLY get all moved into my apartment today. It is decorated, and thanks to Shelby, feng shui-ed to be best of her ability so I will have the optimal rest and relaxation space. (I type this with a chuckle since I am listening to "I Gotta Feelin'" by the Black Eyed Peas... not so feng shui.) The beautiful canvases that Shelby and I painted are hung, along with a homemade white bookshelf, some more canvases in our living room, and a bulletine board or two and hot dog we are in business. I gotta feelin' this is going to be a great year! (Pun intended.)

So as a thank you I thought I would reminisce for this week's post about a wonderful dinner we had together a few months back. I had actually forgotten about this meal so thank goodness there was photographic evidence! A culinary catastrophe was most nearly avoided just there.

A while back I was inspired by some really beautiful renditions of meat and potatoes, so thought I would make some of my own. Here is a picture of the meal I made:

More closely now - we have grilled asparagus (by far the best way to prepare asparagus in my opinion,) and roasted garlic mashed potatoes (place a whole head of garlic with the tip of it head cut off, drizzled with olive oil, in an aluminum foil package and bake at 350 for an hour or until golden, soft, and fragrant. Squeeze the desired amount into your potatoes and save the rest for garlic bread, marinades, compound butter, hummus...) The meat of this meat-and-potatoes meal is also a variation on the typical beef candidate. I roasted a pork tenderloin with lots of fresh rosemary (by far my favorite fresh herb to use) and then topped it with a sauce made from some of the yummy pan drippings and macerated cherries.

And let us not forget dessert! What is a celebratory dinner without dessert, I mean really. This is a simple shortcake variation made with smoked bourbon salt and lavender, topped with homemade lemon curd and fresh sliced strawberries. Oh how I miss summertime cooking already!

See the difference between Shelby's plate and mine? (Hint: she LOVES to play with the whipped cream...)

And because she is a big jokester, here is Shelby!

A quick note to all of you who thought Shelby should get her own photography blog to feature her wonderful pictures and talents... SHE HAS ONE NOW! Follow this link and check it out!


  1. Yum yum yum! Pork is one of my favorites! Those potatoes look absolutely delicious as well!

    And I will make sure to check out your sister's blog!

  2. Yum! That desert looks awesome. Elaborate?

  3. I have had a request to elaborate on the dessert I made above. I basic shortcake recipe is almost dead on a biscuit recipe, only you add sugar to the mix to made it sweet. In this instance, I brought out my favorite biscuit recipe (which include sour cream as a binder) and replaced the ionized salt (the kind that comes in the black cylinder) with sea salt that was smoked in an old bourbon barrel. This salt is fabulous and I love to use it in sweet dishes to add a complexity to the dish. I also picked up some fresh lavender on a family vacation to Michigan and have let it dry by handing it up. I used about 3/4 of a TB of the dried flower leaves to give the shortcakes a flowery lightness but avoid making them taste like soap.

    The lemon curd is also easy; just like making a cooked pudding from the olden days (not pudding from a box.) It is a process of cooking egg yolks, sugar, milk, butter, and your flavoring (in this case lemon juice and zest) together until it become creamy, thick, and glossy. You can then use it in a whole manner of ways, just make sure you store it in the fridge with some cling wrap pressed to the surface of the curd so it will not develop a crust.

    Layering the berries in was a no brainer since they were simply gorgeous that time of year, and whallah! We have dessert!

  4. Oh wow this post really makes me want some steak and greens and mashed potatoes, old-fashioned style. Asparagus happens to be my favorite veggie, it's just so lovely.

    And I think I gained ten pounds just by looking at that desert, my mouth is watering, yum!

    (The bottom link seems to be broken, just pointing that out.)