I’m started to get really excited for the holidays, simply because they give me a reason to try new recipes and spend hours in the kitchen. Sometimes, when schoolwork and regular work and household chores take over, I can’t justify kitchen experimentation. The holidays, though, they beg for a new cookie recipe, an experiment with bread, and squash sizzling in the oven.
We spent this weekend with friends and the world’s largest bonfire. With temperatures in the 70’s for the last time, I had to be outside. That said, instead of a recipe, take a look at a few things going on with me:
I came home to this wonderful package on my porch this weekend. Food Should Taste Good and Larabar put together this 2012 Holidays’ “Simple Survival Kit.” It included:
chocolate and sweet potato Food Should Taste Good chips
Justin’s organic peanut butter cups (not pictured because they were in my mouth before I could whip out the iPhone)
Sprout all natural cocoa butter/coconut oil cinnamon lip balm (this stuff is amazingly soft)
and those purple things in the top right corner? SmartWool socks!!
I was not expecting this package and was thrilled when I opened it up. Thanks to FSTG Chips and Larabar!
Recently, I attended one of STLWineGirl’s Traveling Tables. Angela organizes a small group dinner at one of the many quality St. Louis restaurants and pairs wine with each course, then dines with you while explaining how she chose each pairing.
I had to go to her last Traveling Table because she held it at Cleveland Heath . I’m sure you’ve heard me rave about CH on the blog before. They’re doing fantastic things with American cuisine, and I knew the menu they came up with for Angela’s dinner would be nothing short of fantastic.
This Traveling Table experience was unique in that, instead of dining in the actual restaurant, we were able to use the intimate space inside Township Grocer next door. Township Grocer is a speciality grocer that serves local meats, cheeses, eggs, and a fine selection of beer and wine. The rustic look served the dinner perfectly (much as it will my Illinois shower in February!).
The dinner started with a salad of baby beets, farro, feta, and chimichurri. Paired with a reisling, this salad was the perfect light starter to accompany our main course.
The main course was a crispy skinned arctic char with Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, roasted mushrooms, and pomegranate. I loved the sweetness added by the pomegranate seeds, and that crispy skin tasted even better than it looked.
Really, the dessert made this dinner. A s’more with chocolate pot de crème, toasted marshmallow, and housemade graham crumbles. I’m still dreaming about this pillowy dessert.
I had a great time at the event, and was so happy to show off not only my city, but the fantastic food and drink that you can indulge in when you take the trip across the river!
Lastly, we are currently in the middle of the 21st annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival . There are a few food documentaries being showcased, including Betting the Farm , featuring a group of Maine dairy farmers that were dropped by their national milk company and launched a cooperatively managed milk company in a bid to save their farms, and Three Stars , which I was lucky enough to preview.
Three Stars follows 10 Michelin Guide 3-star chefs through their restaurant kitchens. It discusses the stress over not only earning, but maintaining their stars, and why some chefs just don’t care. Though I was dying to see more about the food, I thought the movie gave insight into a little known world where restaurant chefs not only run their kitchen, but constantly reinvent their menus to keep up with everyone and no one at the same time. I loved looking into the kitchen at noma (Copenhagen), Sergio Herman’s Oud Sluis (Netherlands), and one of my favorites, Risorante dal Pescatore (Italy). Head chef Nadia Santini is one of the few women chefs with a 3-star restaurant rating, and gets most of her ingredients from their on-site family farm. She prefers a quiet kitchen, with no yelling or rushing, and serves the freshest, handmade pasta. If I ever make it to Italy, I will make it to dal Pescatore!
You can check out Three Stars at Plaza Frontenac Cinema this Tuesday, November 13th, at 7:15 p.m.