Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Countdown Is On....

.The countdown to Spring, that is!

And it cannot come quickly enough. I yearn for open toed shoes and fun skirts and for there not to still be little piles of disgusting dirty snow everywhere and for asparagus to be back in season and for eating breakfast outside at French Memories and for not even have to consider bringing a coat with me and et cetera et cetera.

Around October I always get excited for fall/winter, always romanticize the snow and for the first few snow storms it's all cute and great but by this time of year? SO over it. Snow is that guy who seems like a good idea to date but after one date he will NOT leave you alone so after a few months you are really completely over it. Snow does NOT get the hint. And frankly if it snowed again I might just lose my mind. Then of course by October again I will be all "f*ck the sun, bring on death and cold". Such is the temperment of a New Englander.

Anywho its's been quite busy around here. Over the weekend Adam and I attended a wine tasting at Curtis Liquors in Weymouth. We have been to a few of them and usually have a great time and learn a lot. This one was a lot less packed than they normally are so we really got to chat with the wine reps. I have been on a hunt for new whites to love, since I am off Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio and it's getting lonely hanging here in the corner with only Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Enter three new faves:

Nearly any Chilean Riesling -- rResling has this reputation in the US for being sticky sweet, and a dessert wine. And many are, but an equal amount are NOT at all sweet and actually quite dry (which I love) and delicious. Surprising and good to know!
Gew├╝rztraminer- I wish this had a simpler name because I feel like the main reason I have not been ordering it when dining out is becase I have no idea how to pronounce it. Another crisp, delicious white. And I think I can get away with just saying "Gewurz".
Alamos Torrontes - tastes ( to me) like a high end, citrusy New Zealand sauvignon blanc. But only costs $10. What's not to love?

It' always nice to learn something new and if that something new involves drinking, so much the better. If you live in the area I highly suggest getting yourself on
Curtis Liquors email list. Their spring beer tasting is coming up in April and there GRAND wine tasting is in May.

This weekend I also attended the birthday party of the
Chris, with whom I have been "blog friends" for like 6-7 years but have never actually met. We would make plans but then never got it together in time to see them through. So when he sent me the evite to his birthday bash though, I knew the time had come. Adam and I both had a really swell time, his friends are great fun and we look forward to seeing more of Chris and his fabulous wife Liza. I love blog friends!

Moving on....since my parents are in Florida for the next month or so Adam and I are back on dog duty and loving hanging out with this shaggy dude

I made a corned beef and cabbage dinner for Adam and my brother last night and it came out fantastic! I know corned beef is not complicated (oh hai, boil for 3 hours and then eat) BUT I had never made it before so I was pleased it came out well AND it was Adam's first time ever having corned beef and he loved it.

My intentions were to make a Chocolate Bailey's Pudding Pie but I forgot that I can't make pie crust. At all. My mom makes the best pie crust on earth and has given me endless tips and tricks and it still never works out. I make sure the shit that has to be cold is cold. I use the food processor. I have tried using a pastry blender. I have used my fingers. NOTHING! But a quick call to Adam to pick up some frozen puff pastry on his way home saved the day. Some peeps on Twitter asked for my pie recipe but since I didn't even make it, I will post what I DID make:

Chocolate Bailey's and Whipped Cream Napoleons.*

1 packet of Chocolate Fudge Sugar Free Fat Free Jello Instant Pudding
1 cup Baileys Irish Cream (4 nips!)
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 cup homemade whipped cream.
1 package frozen puff pastry.

Prepare the pudding, using 1 cup Baileys and 1/2 cup milk. Beat until thoroughly mixed and chill until firm.

Defrost your puff pastry. Cut each piece into 3 sections, along the fold. cut each section in half.

Bake on greased cookie sheet at 400 for 15 minutes.

Remove and let cool.

Split each section apart so you have two layers of each and double the puff pastry parts.
Go to town building your Napoleon: 1 layer puff pastry, spoon on some pudding, one layer puff pastry, spoon on whipped cream, and so on. Chill for about 30 minutes before serving. You will get 4 good sized and delicious Napoleons.

And what's fun is you could totally play around with this. You might be able to do vanilla instant pudding made with coconut rum, or butterscotch schnapps with butterscotch pudding. Why should plain old Jello get all the booze while Pudding has to be sober?

And so here we are: I am researching hotels for a somewhat impromptu trip to Portsmouth, NH for the weekend. On our endless quest to visit as many local breweries as we can (crossed Longtrail, Harpoon and Shipyard off the list recently) we figured this would be a good next step to tackle Smuttynose and Redhook not to mention that the shopping and dining in Portsmouth are both good times!

So, now I blogged and I can relax. Phew.


Jaime said...

i am not a beer drinker so i can't promise it will be any good, but as a resident of the portsmouth area i feel it is my duty to point you in the direction of the portsmouth brewery as well.

Sarah said...

Great minds think alike Jaime - we have been there for dinner a few times! Great food and excellent beer!

Mandy said...

I am psyched for spring as well. Hey, can you provide some details on the corned beef and cabbage? I have never eaten it or even seen what it's supposed to look like so I'm totally clueless but I would like to try cooking it sometime.

Sarah said...

Sure thing. If you want to try it I reccomend hitting up the supermarket sooner rather than later as it's easiest to find corned beef brisket this time of year.

I used this recipe:

You basically just simmer the meat in water in a large pot for about 3 hours with quartred cabbage and other vegetables and then I baked mine at the end at 350 for about 15 minutes to glaze the meat. Then thinly slice, and serve!It came out so tender and delicious. I definitely reccomend giving it a go!

Jenny said...

Riesling & Gew├╝rztraminer are my 2 favorite wines! Glad you enjoyed them. :)

Anonymous said...

Meeting you and Adam (finally) was seriously one of the best parts of the whole night. I'm so glad you had fun.

I'm pretty sure we've been blog friends for about six years. I started my first blog (pressure drop) in March 2003, and I joined the Bostonites web ring soon afterwards, which is how I found your blog. I think.

Liza and I would like to have you two over for dinner soon. Beer and wine will not be a problem. We still have tons of it leftover from the party.

WanderingGirl said...

Gewurztraminer: it's Ga-VERTZ-ah-meaner... or as a friend of mine says, "say it like 'Girls are meaner'". It actually works. And it's a big favorite of mine, too!

Sarah said...

See that is what I really needed! Someone to write it out phonetically for me. I'm totally ordering this tonight. Thanks!

Nina Diane said...

I love Riesling's.......

Stacey said...

Yay - you're coming to Portsmouth! Unfortunately, I will be down in Boston, so we cannot plan any kind of fantastic meet-up. However, once you've done your brewery tours, might I recommend the Coat of Arms for a great (bottled, draft, and cask) selection and to-die-for bread pudding? :)

Sarah said...

Thanks Stacey! That pub sounds right up our alley :-)