Sunday, October 29, 2006

Good weekend

What a nice weekend. First, there was the news that Bernice's growth wasn't anything to worry about; there was no malignancy. Yay!

Second, as I blogged about last Monday, Byrne was here this weekend. It's always nice to have friends over; it's especially nice when the friends help you cook! And cook we did. Friday night, we had Jess' famous shrimp scampi, and Byrne and I created a zucchini-tomato Italiano-thing on the fly that was very good.

Saturday morning, I made some simple cheese omelettes for breakfast, and the three of us went to get haircuts. Then we went shopping for Saturday's evening meal. Byrne had seen a recipe that Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) had made as a quick fix for herself as she created another dinner for a crowd. It was a simple chicken breast still on the bone, with herbs and cheese stuffed under the skin (in our case, it was homemade mozzarella in olive oil with sundried tomatoes and parsley) and then brushed with the oil from the cheese and topped with coarse flaked salt and freshly-ground pepper, baked for 35 minutes in a 350-degree oven. We also bought items for a bruschetta-like appetizer using Boboli mini pizza crusts and Boboli sauce, with some of the mozzarella and sundried tomatoes and parsley. Finally, we bought vegetables to oven-roast in olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper and thyme: mushrooms, yellow squash, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppper, and eggplant.

The meal was incredible and the prep was not that difficult. Yum!

After dinner, I threw together a batch of chcoclate chip cookie dough and Byrne and I scooped out cookies onto baking sheets and baked them. They were pretty addictive.

Today, I made a fresh asparagus and mushroom quiche with caramelized onions for breakfast, then we went to a dedication ceremony at the library in honor of Jess' mom. They had planted a tree earlier this year, and recently purchased a bronze plaque to go in front of it that bears her name and an inscription. Following the dedication, we attended a mini-concert of the classical guitarist duo Brasil. The concert series is an annual event for breast cancer awareness supported in large part by donations from Jess' family. The talent that the library books for these concerts is pretty amazing. Last year and this year, the artists playing the library held concerts at Carnegie Hall.

After the concert, it was back home for a late lunch of barbequed brisket sandwiches, after which we watched a little television and then put Byrne back on the train to Queens.

When I came back home, a little more holiday baking was in order, so I threw together a batch of chocolate peanut raisin clusters. They were phenomenal! There's nothing like salty peanuts mixed with sweet chocolate and raisins. We'll take them and the other candy and cookies we make to work with us at the holidays. For now, though, they go into airtight containers in cold storage.

All in all, a very nice weekend!


At 11:37 PM, November 05, 2006, Blogger MattInTO said...

Man, you are so efficient about your holiday baking/cooking. I wish I could manage to be so on top of it. And I don't a job to blame my lack of advance prep on...

At 4:40 PM, November 13, 2006, Blogger pinknest said...

wow, so much cooking and it all sounds so delicious!
and salty and sweet is such a lovely combination. now i'm inspired to begin some holiday baking, too.


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