Monthly Archives: December 2009

Les Ardoises Gifts 2009

Les Ardoises really made out this year with food preparation themed gifts! Raclette grill, slow cooker, vegetarian grilling cookbook, Culinaria France, apron, Bon Appetit (we’ll overlook the incident), fancy wine opener, …and the unlinkable magnetic chalk holder!

I believe it was even constructed (at least partially) from old Gourmet magazines. So awesome, words can’t even describe…

Thanks to everyone for such thoughtful gifts!



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Meal Plan: Christmas

We were off this meal plan before it even began. Christmas Eve doesn’t change much; holiday soup is a tradition. We’re going to add a salad, and that’s it.

Click through to see the revised menu for Christmas Day.

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Speaking of inverno…

We needed some thyme for our boeuf bourguignon and were surprised to find it content under 2 feet of snow!


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Pasta Inverno

This dinner we made out of crudités leftovers from our party. The asparagus spears and green beans had already been blanched, so this came together in the time it took to boil the pasta water. My basic approach was this:

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil/ Add red pepper flakes and fresh thyme/ Stir in white wine/ Add a pat or two of butter/ Sprinkle a little bit of flour/ Add liquid (mostly milk, some light cream, and a dash of mushroom water)/ Stir in veggies: asparagus, green beans, red bell pepper, chopped reconstituted mushrooms, frozen peas/ Dump veggies and sauce into drained al-dente-cooked pasta/ Stir until sauce is absorbed by pasta/ Serve and top with parm cheese for those willing.

It was very good!

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Meal Plan: December 12, 2009

We had some people over Saturday, and those leftovers drove this week’s menu. Leftover crudites make a few meals (pasta primavera, cauliflower stuffed parathas, and the broccoli for the baked potatoes). We also finally used the ham bone (and ham) from S’s Thanksgiving for a soup (making some room in the over-stuffed freezer). The remainder of the fresh salsa will be finished with the omlette and taco salad (also using the tortilla chips and sour cream that wasn’t used for the dip & baked potato).

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Meal Plan: December 5, 2009

Better late than never?

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S is out of town and I’m loading up on cheese.

When I lived alone, I used to have what I called poor man’s raclette on a regular basis. Basically, a plate of potatoes used as a vehicle for large amounts of pepper jack and called raclette to justify it as a proper dinner. This time, I splurged on real raclette cheese, and gave it a zap in the microwave to melt it a bit (I also cooked the potatoes in the microwave). The plate was finished with some leftover prosciutto, but the salad greens were too inedible to include. Good stuff.

Tonight, I’m having a greek salad; romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, and lots of crumbled feta with a red wine vinaigrette.

I’ll also pick up some sandwich bread for grilled cheeses, which will be good for post happy hour Friday dinner. I haven’t bought sandwich bread in a long time (guess that new habit worked out, huh?), but the only homemade bread I have left is filled with sunflower seeds and oats- completely inappropriate for a grilled cheese!

I have a couple more dinners before S returns… what other cheese dishes should I make? Anything cheesy you’ve been wanting to try out, but haven’t had the time?

PS– S, I really do miss you, and would gladly give up my cheesy dinners to have you home earlier!


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