Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lemoncello Cookies

I made some really yummy cookies the other day. Here they are cooling on the meat block. I guess I need to tell you about the meat block, don't I? We've had it for almost 40 years and it's really old. It was in our first two kitchens, but it didn't fit into our last two kitchens, so it's just been in storage. Well, when the kids moved out I wanted to use it again so we made the kitchen table smaller and put it against the wall under the window. That made room for the meat block in the center of the room where the table used to be.

Here it is in all it's battered glory. And we are quite pleased with it here. When we had our gourmand dinner the other night, everyone gathered around it for appetizers, but (here's the best part) they couldn't sit down so I could still make my way through the kitchen to work. Used to be, folks would sit around the kitchen table blocking my access to the frige and the dining room with their chairs.

So now, not only do we enjoy looking out the window while we eat, we have a better arrangement for entertaining. It's a win-win situation. Speaking of win-win, those cookies were delicious. Lemon zest in the batter, lemoncello in the frosting. Can't you almost taste them?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Orange Sauce

Here's the recipe for that pork dish from my last post:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Citrus Season Gourmand Party

We've joined another Gourmand Dinner group and it was our turn to host last weekend. Since it is citrus season I decided to make it a citrus theme and every dish contained citrus of some sort.

To decorate the table I made a yellow tablecloth using 108" wide fabric from the quilting section of the fabric store. Folks us it for quilt backs and it is just a thin cotton, but with a nice hem and a plain white undercloth, it looked pretty good. There was enough fabric left over to make napkins too so I made eight of them. Then I found these nice red, white, and yellow striped place mats to pull it all together.

Instead of flowers I decorated the center of the table with citrus fruits. Most of the guests brought citrus from their trees to help. I had to buy the ruby grapefruit and the blood oranges, but I found plenty of lemons and leaves, and even a few flowers. I was quite pleased with the table when we were all done.

Blood oranges are not very pretty in the stores, but they are so beautiful inside. And they make a gorgeous addition to a winter salad.

Here's the ruby grapefruit. I like them in salads too and sometimes in the winter we make a grapefruit and avocado salad with a lemony dressing that is just delightful.

Here is the main course that we made; pork tenderloins with orange sauce, mashed red potatoes, and green beans. That's candied orange zest on top and it was pure heaven. We paired it with a tempranillo wine from Spain. I'd never had tempranillo before and it was quite nice! In fact, each couple did a great job of pairing a wine with their course. Speaking of wine.....

this was the scene on my counter the next morning. It's almost embarrassing, but there were eight of us!

How The 1% Live

We had a bit of excitement last week here in Stockton. This large yacht sailed all the way up the river from San Francisco and docked at our downtown yacht harbor. It will be here about a year whilst the owner putters around the Bay, Delta, and West Coast. He lives in the southern Central Valley, near Fresno.
There were quite a few people out gawking at the boat as it docked. The owner obviously had some friends and family aboard. They were all watching us watch them. Boats are funny that way; it's perfectly okay to stare.

The yacht is 163' long with six guest staterooms, and luxurious amenities everywhere. It also has a large shore boat, plus a few jet skis. And a full time crew of 10 to take care of everything. I wonder if I could get a job; I do have experience crewing a powerboat to Mexico.

In case you are also one of the 1%, (and have 40 million dollars burning a hole in your pocket) you too can get a boat like this. Just contact Christensen and ask for the 160' Millennium Edition.