Monday, September 17, 2012

A little cooler, but sun's shining here

You all know that my fascination with Beyonce is somewhat of an anomaly. I tend toward the indie, the slightly-outside-of-mainstream, maybe even the obscure when it comes to music selection.  Nevertheless, I heard "Colder Weather" on the radio yesterday and I remembered how much I really love this song. With it in mind, I offer the following...

Self-indulgent and on-my-high-horse thoughts for the day:
-Don't feel guilty or selfish for expecting those things you know you want.
-"Not settling" is not prideful on principal. Respect yourself even if, in so doing, the necessitated action hurts.
-Rarely do people change. Make decisions based on reality rather than what you wish to be true.
-Liking or even loving someone, yet choosing not to be around them, is not crazy.
-We can justify a gypsy soul when we recognize it in ourselves; it's harder to rationalize when we see it in others. Try. 

Song of the day:

Project of the day:

Recipe of the day:
I first saw this recipe in the book that will go unnamed (since I know you must be tired of hearing me talk about it) and have copy and pasted it from the author's (definitely not Jenny Rosenstrach) blog. My modifications (and there are quite a few) are marked in italics. Despite the changes (in each case, a product of just using what I already had on hand as opposed to some sense of "I think this would taste better"), this was still one of my favorite recipes I've tried in a while.

Yes, that was a lot of asides embedded in parentheses.
Pork Shoulder Ragu with Pappardelle via Dinner: A Love Story

2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast (I used a beef roast)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small pat butter
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 large can whole tomatoes, with juice (I used a 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes)
1 cup red wine (I used 3/4 c. of "Up the Creek" Chambourcin)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (I used a mix of golden oregano and rosemary)
5 sprigs fresh oregano
Small handful of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness
Pappardelle (I used "extra large country wide" noodles from Kountry Kitchen)
Freshly grated Parmesan (Bring out the good ol' green canister;))

Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all. I salt and peppered the roast and put it in the crockpot on low at 7:00 am. Around noon, I sauteed 1/2 onion and one large clove of garlic in olive oil and butter. I then Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. I poured this mixture over the roast and kept it on low in the crockpot for 5 hours. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.) Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir. Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions. When it’s is ready, put into individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of Parm.

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