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Baked Brie with Chopped Dates

I started looking through the Starters/Appetizers recipe of my blog and realized "Sheeesh, for as much entertaining as I do, I sure don't have a lot of quick and easy appetizers on the site . . ." Sweet and salty inspiration then struck us; W and I decided to wrap some brie and some sort of fruit in some puff pastry, bake it, and call it a day. But then the question came to us; Which fruit should we use? There's the ever popular preserves option, but we don't keep a lot of preserves handy in the fridge, so that was out. I thought, for a moment, about going savory with some sun-dried tomatoes as an excuse to use the last of our soon-to-be-dying basil due to the impending winter. But, ultimately, we went with chopped dates since they were in our pantry and I had no impending plans for them. The possibilities are endless here, so go nuts! Continue Reading

Porcini Crusted Ribeye with Gorgonzola Butter

W and I have had an incredibly eventful few weeks. Having just returned from nearly 2 weeks in Sardinia and Capri, for some reason, I haven't felt much like cooking, and quite truthfully, we weren't in the mood to eat so much of the rich food we gobbled up in Italy. I will make an attempt to cover Sardinia and Capri in another post, but a stroke of inspiration came last night and I wanted to share this unbelievably delicious meal that we grilled in an attempt to create a dinner to live up to our favourite bottle of wine; Alexander Valley Silver Oak Cabernet. Those of you who know me, know that I hoarde this stuff. But, last night felt like a cause for celebration, so we cracked that bad boy open and enjoyed the heck out of it. As for the ribeye, our butcher found an unbelievably well-marbled boneless slab of meat that I instantly fell for. The porcini dust made for an amazingly unctuous flavour that just melted in our mouths, and with our first 2 ears of corn from our garden (which were still a bit too young, but tasted FAB anyhow), I do believe we created a dish worthy of a little Silver Oak. Continue Reading

Red Snapper en Papillote

Every single time I suggest making a fish dish, Weston sort of turns up his nose and suggests something else, often beef, lamb, or pork based. However, Alton Brown is a complete genius and I owe him a debt of gratitude for opening W's eyes to the beauty of fresh fish! While watching Alton's The Pouch Principle this past week, my dear, normally fish-isct husband suggested that he might actually eat Alton's Red Snapper en Papillote. Excited that I might be able to change his mind about fish in much the same way I was able to change his mind about pumpkin based dishes, we set out to gather the freshest and best ingredients we could find. One thing we did notice, is that often an entire fish is much less expensive per pound than a comparable fish filet ($19.99/lb. of filet, and our entire 2.8 lb whole snapper was $24.99 total), so if you don't mind a few bones, baking a whole fish in an envelope of parchment paper is probably a much more low cost option for a significant payoff! This dish is certainly impressive once the envelope is cut open and the lovely smells waft your way. I guarantee, if you have a fish hater in your house, they will surely change their tune if you offer this delectable buttery fish dish to them! I'm so glad we tried it, because you'll be much more likely to see more fresh dish on my blog from this point forward. Yay! :) Continue Reading