Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Last week I made mozzarella, and have been meaning to retype my printout to tell you just what I did, but that is extremely tedious, so I went out and found you some links to great guides.

THIS RECIPE is pretty spot on to what I did.  I don't have a microwave, so I did everything by hand, and melted the curds to knead into cheese by lowering them in heated whey.  I feel like the microwave might be more effective.

THESE TIPS are extremely useful and are worth reading before you start.

If you go for it (and you try the microwave method) let me know how it goes!

What I'm Wearing - Welcome Sun!

Remember when I bought new shoes?  I finally get to wear them!  The forecast is sunny and dry today, so I'm celebrating!
My office dress code is casual, and my only restriction is no jeans, so here I come with shorts!  ...and a button-up to keep it classy.  The shorts I'm wearing are actually a butter yellow twill, but there is nary a picture on the internet that is appropriate for this post, so I had to settle for tan, which is in the spirit but not quite as flamingly preppy as I am.

Let's hope this warm spell lasts; Lord knows I need it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Everything From Scratch

Guess what I did last night!


Give up?

I made fresh mozzarella!! 

It took only two hours.  I have recently been on a mission to make as many food staples as possible from scratch.  I like to control the ingredients and cut down on preservatives in my food (not only because I am an admitted control freak, but also because I want to live healthier), so the effort and time investment is worth it to me.  Monday night two of my very good friends took me to a cheese making workshop where we learned the basics of ricotta, mascarpone, chevre, and mozzarella.  I think this will prove to be one of the more valuable life skills I have acquired, ranking up there with perfecting chicken. I wanted to put my new knowledge to the test right away, so I decided to start with one of the cheeses I didn't have a chance to get my hands on the night before.

It just so happens one of Andrew's favorite things to eat is caprese salad, so mozzarella was really a no-brainer decision. When the mozzarella was ready, I sliced it, piled it with halved cherry tomatoes (so they don't squirt or jump away from your fork), and some basil leaves, which I like to chiffonade so they're easier to eat and don't overpower the other flavors in one bite the way a whole leaf would.  I drizzled a little olio ai funghi over the whole thing, gave it a sprinkle of sea salt, and voila! Dinner.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What I'm Wearing - Anchors Aweigh!

It's been a while since I've done one of these.  In truth, my wardrobe hasn't been updated in a looooong time and so most of my outfits you've already seen.  I did, however, recently get a new shirt that I love.  Here's how I wore it today.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lemon and Shallot Braised Lamb Shanks

This lamb died for a good cause.  I couldn't have been more pleased with the way the dinner turned out.

I took four lamb shanks, put a coarse salt crust on them, and let them sit for a bit at room temperature to lose the chill from the fridge.

In a dutch oven on the stovetop, I seared them two at a time in bacon grease and then placed the seared meat in a separate dish to rest.

I melted 4 tablespoons of butter in the dutch oven and then threw two thinly sliced shallots and a couple of sliced garlic cloves into the dutch oven and browned them.

I added a cup and a half of chicken stock to the shallots and laid a lemon that I'd sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices overtop and then set the shanks and any juices in the pan back into the dutch oven.

I sliced a second lemon the same way and laid it overtop of the shanks, ground some pepper overtop, and put the lid on.  It cooked for about an hour on the stovetop, and then I moved it into the oven and baked it at 375 for thirty minutes, then reduced the heat to 300 and let it braise for another hour.

I served it with this potato dish and a glass of red wine.

It was a perfect mix of simple flavors.