05 January 2010

Making Amends...

So it's been awhile. A big howdy to the three readers that I have left (Chris, Kyle, LeeAnne...). I spent the 17-29 Dec in Michigan generally bumming around and eating (amazing) restaurant food with a break in the middle for beef wellington and green bean casserole on Christmas Eve. Granted, I was doing my usual tour of Michigan restaurants, but combined with the holidays and what was to come, I've gained about 4 pounds in the past month. Sadness.

While the nonstop pigging out in Michigan was fun, it was even more fun to come back to my new house to a kitchen that was screaming to be used. I obliged and threw together a New Year's Eve dinner with all of my aforementioned readers and Colby and made the following:

cheese plate with:
baked brie
Saint Andre (something or other soft cheese)

charcuterie plate with:
prosciutto di parma
culatello (which is like the best part of the prosciutto, but my underdeveloped palette couldn't really tell the difference)
pepper encrusted cured sausage

sundried tomato dip
butternut squash soup
mini beef wellington (again, I know, but it's delicious)
Zingerman's mac'n'cheese
shrimp cocktail
crab cakes

And I think there could have been more, but we all ate (and drank) ourselves into oblivion that night. Usually home cooking is much healthier than eating in restaurants, but new years eve was definitely the exception, which leads me to my next announcement: I'm going on a diet to make up for the excess (weight) that came with the holidays.

I'm going to try to chronicle some of the healthy recipes that I'm making. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to need all the motivation I can get... but one last "bad" recipe (that isn't even that bad) for the road:

Sundried tomato bread spread (Adapted from Gourmet)

1 c sundried tomatoes (if packed in oil, drained)
1/2 c walnuts, toasted
2 T water
1.5 T red wine vinegar
1/2 shallot lobe (~1 T)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

pulse all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a paste. Add salt to taste.

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