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Blood Orange & Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots

20150120-070551.jpg I have written in the past of my fondness for Instagram. It is such a creative outlet for ideas shared. It is also the place I find lots of inspiration & ideas about food. The chef Tyler Florence posted awhile back some carrots he roasted with tangerines and brown sugar. I was smitten with the idea. Last eve, I gave it a try. We did not have tangerines but we did have a blood orange. This refers back to a comment I made a few weeks ago about putting your own twist on things. If you don’t have a tangerine or a blood orange, but you do have a clementine or some other citrus, give that a go.

This is so simple. Have the oven nice and hot at 400 degrees. Yes, once again, 400 hits the mark. On a sheet pan lay your peeled carrots. Take your cut up citrus and squeeze over the carrots so the juice coats them. Then sprinkle liberally with brown sugar and sea salt. I tossed the citrus pieces in the oven too, for visual on the finished platter. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes turning them every so often to cook evenly. You will have a caramelized bit of tasty heaven when all is said and done. We had them with roast chicken. They really would be divine with practically everything.




Really Amazing Herby Vinaigrette

20140715-064607.jpg You know when I make something we really enjoy, I like to pass it on and share. Given the season and that herbs are so plentiful, this uber herby vinaigrette is one of those things. We got our hands on a beautiful piece of tuna last week, so I tried to make from memory a Salad Nicoise I had enjoyed at Buvette on a solo visit and really wanted to make for Ted. After a little Google searching, I came up with a vinaigrette recipe, as this was the one component I was coming up dry on for the salad. A recipe by Tyler Florence was what I took the most away from, so I want to give a shout-out in thanks! I altered it just a bit. Here is what I whipped up that is pretty tasty, really herby, and also worked as a marinade for the tuna before I grilled it. So it really did double duty.

Mince 1 large garlic clove as finely as you can. Chop up 2 tablespoons of parsley, as well as 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh chopped tarragon. Put all of that in a jar that has a lid. To that jar add the juice of 1 lemon, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add liberal amount of salt and fresh cracked black pepper and a half of a cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on. Vinaigrette is always the time to use your very best olive oil. Now put that lid on and shake, shake, shake. Make this very first thing when you start your cooking so it can sit a bit and all blend together before you dress your salad. This is divine on any salad, not just Salad Nicoise. Just know it packs a serious herby punch, but what a good punch it is. This can easily sit in the fridge for a few days too. Enjoy!




Tyler Florence Sauvignon Blanc Blend #4

20130724-055502.jpg Over the years, I have really come to enjoy Sauvignon Blanc. I think it pairs beautifully with a host of foods, as well as just having it by the glass, solo. This leads me to this tasty bottle by Tyler Florence, Food Network host, chef, restauranteur, cook book author, and now wine guy. He is putting together a fab grouping of wine, with the Sauvignon Blanc being the white offering. We have had this with oysters as well as a roasted chicken, and the citrusy characteristics shined through–think Meyer lemon, orange blossom and grapefruit. Together with Rob Mondavi, Jr. of the famed Mondavi wine family, they have crafted a lovely, lovely bottle of wine out of the Napa Valley. On these hot Summery nights, this Sauvignon Blanc is just the ticket, with a meal or to just savor by the glass.



A Very Memorable Dinner

20130712-071331.jpg Our niece Caitlin was recently visiting us for a little vacation. She is a chef in New York, and the restaurant she works for closes for the July 4th holiday week, so it was a perfect time for her to make a trip to Seattle. We have spoken for years about her making a meal for a dinner party when she was here. This was the time, and it all could not have been more lovely. The meal was off the charts.

20130712-071937.jpg I wanted to set a creamy white table so the food would be the star. I always think food looks best on a white background. Vintage game pieces would serve as place cards.

20130712-072647.jpg Tyler Florence Sauvignon Blanc and Bieler Pere et Fils Rosé were the wine offerings. The Sauvignon Blanc will be the next ‘Wine Wednesday’ post. Look for it in the coming weeks. So tasty.

20130712-072945.jpg It also gave me a chance to set the table using our new white D. Porthault napkins. The first of the dahlias have started to show up in the Market. They are a sure sign that Summer has arrived.

20130712-073314.jpg It was also a chance to use the vintage mother of pearl handled silverware that we found when we first met, but have not used in quite awhile.

20130712-073447.jpg With the table all set, it was now time for Caitlin and the food to shine.

20130712-073625.jpg I apologize in advance. This is the only course I snapped a photo of. When I first started writing the blog, I made a promise to myself that it would only enhance my love of living in the moment, not hinder it. Once the meal begins, the wine is poured, and the stories begin, the last thing I want to do is start taking photos of the plates. But, it was my best intention to try and take more as this was such a special meal, but only the salad course was photographed. Caitlin created quite a meal, working away all afternoon creating each and every last bite. Here, in words, is the glorious menu that was served.

We started off with an assortment of oysters from Taylor Shellfish that Caitlin had made a red wine tarragon mignonette for. Then an arugula salad with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, asparagus, roasted red & golden beets, with a chèvre croquette. The main course was pan seared rainbow trout, tomato marmalade, crispy polenta cakes with roasted corn, and thyme roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes. There was also a delightful mixed herb salad that was placed on top of the trout, but for the life of me I am not finding the proper French spelling. That aside, it was delightful. Dessert was a chocolate pot de creme, with Chantilly cream and mixed berries with a blueberry syrup.

20130712-081122.jpg It was an evening filled with much laughter and love. Taking photos at the table while all the festivities are taking place is another thing I generally don’t do very often. Again, back to that living the fullest in each moment. But, this crowd insisted I snap a few. There were times I was laughing so hard I was crying.

20130712-081634.jpg Cheers!