Sunday, November 06, 2011

falling back [and loving it]

lazy saturday: check
i'm not sure how long it's been since both josh and i were THAT lazy. after sleeping 11 hours, somehow both of us later ended up napping for another 1-2?! i think it was a much-needed day of rest, because i feel better already! hopefully josh does too -- i'll have to ask him when he wakes up.

between sleeping and couch time, we did manage to fit in the few things on our agenda . . .

a workout: originally i was going to run, but decided it was too jarring for such a lax day. i hit the elliptical for 32 minutes with a very old issue of us weekly and then did a few weights instead.

clean-up: check - thanks to josh! he kicks into high gear when we have guests coming over -- and i think he was doubly motivated because these were his coworkers [and one of his attendings]. the kitchen needs a bit of TLC after last night's happenings, but the rest of our place looks pretty decent.

host dinner party: see below. i decided early on in the day that i was NOT in the mood for a big time-consuming production. i turned to my favorite cooking resource these days [good ol' CL] and picked out a menu that i thought would look somewhat festive without being too much work. as it turned out, i was pretty proud of our minimal-effort bash.

dinner tonight
"dinner tonight" is a section in every CL issue that includes recipes for a main dish plus suggested accompaniments, along with a game plan to get it all done within a specified amount of time. i've always loved this series, because someone else has done the planning and strategizing for me -- and they usually do quite a good job.

their lovely shot

i chose the above rosemary lamb chops recipe for a few reasons:

1) the finished plate looked great and so appropriate for fall
2) lamb rib chops are a pricier 'guest-worthy' meat -- yet they don't take much time at all to cook
3) maple sweet potatoes = a personal favorite.

our guests were coming at 7:15, and i didn't even head out to shop until 5:30. i made my list, zoomed around whole foods [getting carded in the checkout line -- 31 and pregnant!? really!?], and was back with the necessary materials by 6:15.

to start with, i prepped the appetizers in case anyone showed up early. other times, i've made something fun but my theme for the evening was easy -- so whole foods pre-made dips it was! i cut up some yellow and orange bell peppers and put the dips into ramekins [ie, out of the plastic packaging]. added some pita chips. done. i only regret not taking 5 seconds to take a pic!

next, i started in on the dessert. i chose these salted caramel brownies because they looked somewhat fancy but not too difficult, and i would make them again in a heartbeat. since i don't have a square 9" x 9" pan, i ended up doing these in a springform cake pan -- which i think gave them a fancier vibe.

YUMMMMMMM

my drizzle may have turned into a ganache-like layer [i'm no pastry chef . . .], but they were absolutely delicious. josh unearthed some whipping cream from the back of the fridge, so we added a topping to turn things up a notch. it worked.

once that was mostly thrown together [in reality, i cooked the bottom layer, then worked on dinner, and finished the top while the lamb was roasting], i could start on dinner.


as i prepped and diced, our guests started arriving. josh kept them occupied with apps + drinks while i prepped away. true to the advertised time frame, i was finished with everything in ~ 30 minutes.

seared on each side, and then roasted in the oven for just 15 minutes

the finished product:

done + done!

this looks a little sparse because the chops i bought were double-rib -- ie, twice the thickness with two bones instead of one. next time i might have cut them apart to begin with, because i wouldn't have had to add a roasting step AND the plates would have looked more abundant. still, i think it worked out okay.

we sent the guests home with brownie care packages and were in bed by 11. which is really 10, considering the extra hour.

definitely a successful saturday.

today's goals
run [headed out soon]

laundry [in process]

cooking class at one of our favorite local restaurants!


we bought a livingsocial deal for a cooking class there months ago, and today josh and i are going along with a friend to experience a holiday cooking extravaganza -- and i think we get to eat our finished products for lunch!

i definitely cannot complain about this fall-back weekend -- maybe it even makes up for working an extra-long night ER shift in 2009! what are you doing with your extra hour?