This past year was absolutely crazy- what with opening two restaurants, going back to school full time, and throwing a killer 80's birthday party (complete with the RomCom reenactment movie moment to your right)- I have hardly had time to sleep. But it's finally settled down, and I am once again back to eating and writing and writing and eating.
And it's good to be back.
Also, with this new blog post, I have exciting news:
Aaron and I have decided to take our relationship to the next level.
I have been promoted to sous chef.
Yeah, that's not what I thought the "next level" was going to be either. But feel free to pass along this link to the Tiffany Engagement Ring site, and remind him that there are, in fact, 4 C's of diamond buying.
Since my left ring finger is still decidedly bare, for now I have to be satisfied with my new role in the kitchen (and DVR every episode of Say Yes To The Dress until he takes a hint). Being sous chef is actually pretty cool. The fear of all things cooking has subsided, and I have begun to enjoy to take a more active role in our culinary delights. Last Saturday, we decided to party like rockstars and go big or go home. Well, actually, go big AND go home. Go big at our home. Whatever. We shopped and prepped all day, cooked ourselves a five course meal, and enjoyed it all in our pajamas while catching up on episodes of Glee.
It was the shopping that got me, actually. After being dragged out on errands one day, I realized that shopping for food was a little like shopping for shoes actually. Sometimes name brands make a difference- splurge a little and showcase it (read: little black dress, red bottomed shoes). Sometimes you can get away with a generic brand if you accessorize it the right way. What's important is knowing the difference.
So we headed out to go food shopping on Saturday morning. Forutnately for us, we live around the corner from the Italian Market, the epicenter for all things holy in the culinary realm. A quick stop at Claudios to get some house made ricotta cheese followed by a DiBruno Bros. pit stop to pick up sliced serrano ham and I could already feel my salivation glands having an utterly Pavlovian response. These were the designer shoes of meats and cheeses. A splurge, but when you can actually see the guy making your cheese in the back of the glass-walled room, it's totally worth it.
Next, we hit up our local Whole Foods to finish out our shopping list. A ridiculously successful stop at the seafood section yielded a half dozen raw shrimp, an amazing array of fresh oysters, and big, meaty jumbo scallops. On to the meat section, we picked up six lambchops and a few thick cut slices of smoked Black Forest bacon. Looking into our cart, I immediately knew that our night was not going to suck.
Last course was a homage to simplicity and flavor. Three perfectly seared lamb chops stacked neatly on a plate over a dollop of mushy peas- made from fresh ricotta that was literally only hours old. This dish is truly a fine display of unadorned elamentarieness, and a testament to Aaron's cooking finesse. Only the truly great know when a splash of olive oil and a few cracks of fresh ground pepper and kosher salt are all that are needed. The lamb was salty and fatty and melted into a puddle of happiness which enveloped my taste buds entirely.
It was legend...
Wait for it...