Lamb stew

8 04 2015

just sent my father a note about what I did with the leftovers from Easter:

I made lamb stock yesterday with the leg of lamb.  Stuck the bone in the le cruset and filled it with water and let it simmer all day. Let the stock cool and put in fridge.  Today I skimmed all the fat off of the top of the stock and did the onions in it. Carrots, the lamb meat, some fresh rosemary (I realized after it went in I should have done dried and then some fresh at the end…). Let it simmer for a couple of hours.  Dumped in some sliced mushrooms.  Then about an hour ago I chunked some potatoes into it.  The house smells great and will warm my wife’s soul when she walks in the door. 



Been a while

31 08 2014

Summer always crushes me. With the kids and work etc nothing gets done. Including this.
Yesterday I got back into the swing.
Of things. Took a roasted turkey breast, slow simmered it and got a nice amount of turkey stock. Took the turkey and chopped into big chunks, added it to some Pipette pasta, tossed with olive oil, fresh basil from the garden, some freshly grated parmigiana – delicious dinner !


quick bite: Moody’s Delicatessen and Provisions

8 04 2014

Ditto !

Moody Provisions

21 12 2013

I was fortunate enough to have Thursday off this week – and among the items on my list was to finally get over to Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions. It is a beautiful space with amazing food that is produced all in house by New England Charcuterie. I wrote in an earlier post about them. Now I’ve been here and can tell you this – it is meat heaven !
I ordered a sandwich using what I call the “Chez Pascal method” – [derived from many experiences at Chez Pascal and being waited on by Roger – the consummate waiter – close your eyes and touch the menu – it’s a no lose situation]. I digress.

On the menu for hot sandwiches they all looked amazing. The sandwich that I wanted least was the Cuban. But unable to make a decision, I was left with the CPM. Sure enough it was the Cuban. Additionally I picked up a bag of their house made truffle chips.
I also bought a 1/4 pound of mole soppresatta. Made with mole, chocolate, ancho chili and GHOST peppers. It is delicious. Spicy but not lingering and not dangerous.
Ok -so I took my leave and started driving home. On the way I dipped I to the bag to see how the truffle chips tasted. They tasted like slivers of heaven, with truffle essence and salt. Somehow the entire bag disappeared before I got home ! Note to self – get more chips next time.
Got home took out the sandwich and thought – kinda small.
Then I took a bite and fell in love.
Not only was it delicious – each bite had layers of perfection – the size was right too.
After I was done – I literally walked around the house laughing. It was by far the best sandwich I had ever eaten !

I can’t say enough about the quality of the products of the that they offer.

I realize that they haven’t been open too long and are working out some kinks. They either need to embrace selling a solid selection of cheeses – perhaps only from Massachusetts’ cheese makers (or New England) or none at all. The selection of cheeses are haphazard at best. Likewise – a selection of 6 or 7 winning side salads/dishes for the case would round it out better than what is in the case now.
When I worked at the now-defunct Wickford Gourmet in RI, they had 140 cheeses, 25 kinds of meats, 16 types of olives in those great tall white crocks on the counter, and the salads. They had the visually and palate pleasing orange lentil salad; the pasta salads and interesting slaws, not to mention the tarragon chicken salad.
These so take time and effort – but I think more people will come often if they can purchase more of what they need at this one spot.

Twice in 3 days – I will go back again and again. It is my kind of place.

Please go and enjoy it too.

Address is 468 Moody Street in Waltham Massachusetts. Parking is on street or around back next to Tedeschi’s. Pricy but worth it.





A truly Happy Thanksgiving

29 11 2013

So much to be thankful for this year, this season, this month ! With an important exam for work out of the way, I was able to concentrate on food again ! One week after the exam was Thanksgiving, and so planning was fast and furious. We hosted for the first time – it was awesome ! We got a beautiful bird from Russo’s and made a good amount of food. Not too much and enough turkey leftover for sandwiches and soup.
I made creamed onions for the first time – and they were a hit ! At no point did I feel rushed, out of control or worried about the food.
With a new table able to fit 6 adults and 3 kids comfortably, we sat and said grace, and ate and ate and drank and laughed.
After dinner we sat in front of the fire, sipped some Allagash Victoria Ale, watched some football and told stories that made us cry with laughter.
All in all a great day. This morning found me up with the boys, making Uncle Phil’s great popovers. I took one out and split it with our daughter – light airy crunchy and delicious. Even plain. However, with butter and some fresh berry jam…
Off to make soup and entertain another day !








Maine Beer Co

6 11 2013

Absolutely love Maine Beer – Lunch is impossible to find.


Kids lunches & my lunch

15 10 2013

Just a quick shot of today’s lunches for the kids. Slipping some matzo balls into one lunch – see how that goes. My lunch is the rest of the matzo balls and the delicious soup that goes with it !


The “new” kitchen

6 10 2013

For those of you who saw pictures of our old kitchen, here are pix of the “new” kitchen


Making Mozzarella

5 10 2013

Well, my neighbors got me thinking about making my own food, so today I attempted to make mozzarella.  For a first try, I won’t like, it was better than it could have been, but I have higher standards for myself, so I didn’t think it was so great.  Others, however, did enjoy it.  I have to say that the quality of milk that you use is the biggest thing.  I used a gallon of Hood whole milk.  I think even at this level, it is too pastuerized to come together the way you would prefer.  Whole raw milk would like result in the smoothest mozz but the curds that I was able to create were very small.

Here are the ingredients and the basic steps

1 gallon of whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid

1/4 teaspoons rennet, combined with 1 cup water

1 to 2 teaspoons salt, to taste (pref Kosher)

  1. sprinkle citric acid into a cool empty non-reactive stockpot.  Pour 1/4 cup water over it to dissolve it.
  2. pour milk in and combine
  3. put pot over medium low heat and heat to 90 degrees.  If you see curdling, this is ok.
  4. Remove the pot from the burner and pour in the rennet/water mix.
  5. stir for 30 seconds, slow wide turns.  bring contents to a stop, cover and leave it alone for 20 minutes
  6. using a knife or flat spatula, cut the curd into a large checkerboard
  7. put back on heat, stir gently until curds and whey come to 105 degrees.
  8. using a slotted spoon or long handled strainer, transfer the curds to a collander.  Set it over a bowl if you want to keep the whey.
  9. once the curds have drained off as much as you think they can, transfer the curds to a microwave safe bowl, and heat for 1 minute on high.
  10. drain the whey that has come out, and put back into the microwave for 30-40 seconds.
  11. repeat #10 once or twice more.
  12. take cheese out of bowl, knead it and work in your salt.  you will likely undersalt it the first few times you make it.  Stretch the cheese, and fold into a ball like you would with dough.
  13. place cheese ball into an ice bath until it is completely cool.
  14. ENJOY !

My first attempt came out more like a really rustic mozz or a firmer ricotta.  I think that the quality of the milk that I used had a lot to do with that.  The curds that were created were quite small, instead of the thicker curds that a better milk would have produced.


These are some of the pictures of the process and end result.   And like any thing – practice makes perfect.













Hello again ! Welcome back…

24 09 2013

So the past 3 years have seen huge changes in our lives.  Now we have 3 kids !  And since we both work full-time jobs, it makes any “free” time tough to come by.   Just feeding the kids and ourselves becomes a production.  I’m going to try to turn this more into an “everything” food blog, because while I might not be cooking as much or as creatively as I used to (or will again soon i hope!), I still know what is going on in my community – and environs – and it is fantastic !

The fall is here, and with it comes a cornucopia of squashes, pumpkins, leaves, meats, and more.   We look forward to picking up the cow we split with friends, the roasts and steaks that we will be grilling, slow-roasting and curing.  Apple picking with the kids.    Raking leaves and finding children hiding in them, ready to burst out and surprise us.

I hope the fall surprises all of us with its bounty.  There are many exciting days ahead.Image

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