Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good Things Come in Threes

First off I would like to congratulate Billy on his acceptance in to the Carmel Plein Air Arts Festival which is coming up in May. He applied a few months back and found out a few days ago that he made it in to the group. You can click through on the link above to read all about the competition. During the paint out he will paint a few pieces out on site in and around Carmel Village. The pieces are then juried for prizes and auctioned off. This will be the first time he has participated in an event like this and I know he will do really well.

Gearing up for the competition he has been doing a few small practice paintings...

This is a view from the top of Carmel Beach looking out to the North toward Pebble Beach. It will be hard to decide what scenes he wants to paint but this section of the beach is one of our favorite spots so it may be one of the sites he settles on.

I will be sure to post any more info on the competition that I find out as time goes on.

True to the theme of the post I have to share what we cooked up for dinner last night which was a trio of salads. We had left over bean salad from our lunch which was made from chic peas, kidney beans, carrots, fresh raw parsnip, tomato, avocado and an herb dressing from fresh squeezed oranges, olive oil and a dash of cider vinegar. Last night I made a baby beet salad. I chopped the beet greens and sauteed them for about 5 minutes with olive oil, a tad of butter and just a bit of salt and pepper. Then I sliced baby golden beets really thin (left them raw) and tossed them in a mixture of lemon juice, honey and fresh chopped basil. The goldens were served chilled on top of the cooked greens. Billy was the one who pulled out all the stops making an incredibly cool salad. It was from the Bouchon cookbook and is called chilled asparagus with vinaigrette and egg mimosa. Dudes... it was good. He made a coulis from the stems of the asparagus. Then he peeled the asparagus so that the woody parts of the stems were gone and it was extra tender. He shaved the yolks of hard boiled eggs over the greens and topped it all off with a Dijon vinaigrette and a little radish/chive garnish. We sopped up the coulis with crusty french bread. Lawsie mercy I could have eaten that til I popped. Check it out...

And here is the whole big honkin' plate of salady goodness. I was seriously stuffed but it was all really fantastic food.

We have recommitted ourselves to cooking really interesting, healthy meals especially since there is such an abundance of fresh, local produce and goods in California. We bought a really cool book called The Flavor Bible which Billy is studying. It gives you food pairings that are dead on perfect. Things that go together just right for a really wonderful fusion of flavors. We have been inspired in the kitchen by what he has gleaned from this book so far for sure. For instance if you have a bunch of beets... you just flip to that section of the book and it will tell you what goes well with beets. For instance beets + chives + orange + tarragon = delicious. If you don't have these exact items handy just scroll through the list of paired ingredients til you find three or so that you have and then let your imagination take over. It is a really fun way to cook.

And the last thing (the third thing) I have to share is something that made me laugh so hard earlier today that I cried. My friend Brook is the source of this lovely item. She bought it as a gift for Rudy so he could be dressed up for St. Paddy's day this month. I decided to try it on him today to make sure it fit and the results were more than I bargained for. The first shot is just so you can see the satin shamrock design of the sweater. Nice. It's the second and third shots that really bring it home.

Ok. So I had to apologize to Roodles for laughing so hard at him. He was really embarrassed and kind of pissed off at me. But if he only could have SEEN himself! We all have to have a sense of humor about ourselves right? The hood on this sweater is a leathal weapon. It's hysterical.

Alrighty! Tomorrow is our last day here at the ranch and then we head to Mendo! We still have a crapload of packing and organzing to do. I can't wait to just be rollin' down the road on our way to our new digs!