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Excellent :)
The National Center for Home Food Preservation
There is even a recipe for yogurt!
naturallypixie: (Faerie kisses)
My birthday was on the 8th of this month and I have to say that it was pretty darned cool.

When I arrived home from work there was one large box and one small package, both wrapped in pretty paper, waitng for me in the living room!   This would not normally be suprizing on one's birthday, but these last couple of months haven't been the greatest and I know my wonderful husband did not have the money to buy me something that big.  I was suspicious and excited at the same time.  I asked if they were for me.  Of course they were, but it doesn't hurt to ask.  I wanted to open the smaller package first, but I wasn't allowed to because it would give away the big one, so I opened the big one first.  Any idea what it was?  Any guess at all?  Nope, you are totally wrong!  It was a reverse osmosis water filter!!!  I have been wanting one of these for soooo long!  I HATE tap water and buying bottled is bad in a lot of different ways.  I jumped up and down and squeed with delight, then asked how he could afford such an expensive gift.  What MWH told me made me smile even more.  My wonderful friends had contributed money to the purchase of my most spectacular gift!  You know who you are and YOU GUYS ROCK!!  Thank you all so much :)  I REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVE IT!!!!!

After that, it got tastier!  Two of my clients got together and gave me a gift certificate to the most amazing reastaurant, Pazo (, for xmas, which I saved for my birthday.  WOW!  The atmosphere is exactly what I love in a restaurant and the portion sizes are human, not gargantuan.  The food was perfect in so many ways.  They start you off with a bread that is somewhere between a cracker and a sweet biscuit, and is crusted with sunflower seeds.  This was so tasty and they were just giving it out :)

What we ordered:

Shrimp and Apple Pinchos
Mixed Olives
Pizza Cristina (The only mild dissappoinment of the group. We compared it to Neapolitan pizza and the crust wasn't quite right, but we added some olive oil to it and it was much better.)
Margret of Duck (me)
Pork Confit of Canneloni (MWH)

Trio of sharp cheeses

Was a custard dish of Spanish origin that is very similar to crem brulee except that the custard is lighter and the sugar is spiked with cinnamon and lemon...I cannot remember the name

I had a beautiful 2004 Spanish wine called Vinas Viejas.  Just goregous.  The duck was stellar and the pork confit had about twelve different flavors going on and  I could taste them all and they were all glorius.  Twice during our meal we had to wait a bit and the waitstaff brought out another tapas plate that now has me craving Serrano ham.  Evil good.  We must go back because I didn't get to have a bread course!

I have figured out why I am not rich.  If I were, I would eat like this all of the time and I am not certain that my body could handle it :)

naturallypixie: (Default)

Quinoa is my new favorite food.

naturallypixie: (Default)
I hate mushy apples.
naturallypixie: (Default)
We didn't have Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday because it wasn't the Wirth family's turn. This year it was our turn to have it on an off day, so we had it on Saturday and I did most of the cooking. I love cooking and cooking for large groups, 10 adults, two teenagers and three kids, is even better. I made two 11 pound free range, organic turkeys; one flavor injected with citrus and the other with a molasses and brown sugar brine. The brining produced the superior turkey. It was the most beautiful deep brown color when it was done. The citrus turkey looked cool too though because I put whole sage leaves under the skin, which became transparent during cooking so you could see the leaves through it. It was neat:)

I also made sweet potatoes and acorn squash with a maple and crystallized ginger glaze, broccoli with lemon butter, cranberry with dried cherry sauce and two types of mashed potatoes; yukon golds with sour cream, butter and milk and russets with milk and butter. I made the two types of mashers because I had people say that they didn't like sour cream, but can you guess which type there was more left of at the end of the night?;) People need to trust me. The cranberries with dried cherries were fantastic! Even people who said that they didn't like cranberries had some and said they were good. Same with the sweet potatoes :) I like it when people try my cooking and say things like, "That wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be." It makes me smile :)

My mother-in-law made her stuffing mostly because I was afraid to make everything new. I thought that if there was at least one thing that was familiar, they might be less freaked out by everything else.

All in all, everybody liked the dinner and I was asked for a couple of different recipes :) Not a problem, I say. Who am I to hoard tasty recipes? ;)


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