FRIDAY FAVORITES – MARCH 27, 2015

Hi Friends! Another week over. I hope it was a good one. For me it has gone by so quickly, but seemed long all at the same time. Kind of hate when that happens, don’t you? The husband was home last weekend and we went out for a serious BBQ dinner with friends. Way too much food, but is there any other way with BBQ?!! Best part may have been getting mint julep, cocktail, bourbonreacquainted with a mint julep, which I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the classic cocktail. Refreshing mint muddled with bourbon all over ice. Think I will have to start stocking fresh mint in the house.

In the kitchen this week I’ve been working on my baking skills, but I will share more of that later. Let’s just say I climbed a serious baking mountain and lived to tell about it! Otherwise I made some fantastic lamb side ribs this week. That might sound like high self praise, but oh my they were good! My houseguest/visiting food critic did say it was the best meal I’ve ever cooked for her. My roasted butternut squash risotto with sausage and feta had previous held the title. The ribs were a little spicy and a little sweet, marinated in middle eastern spices and finished with a birch syrup glaze. Yum! After another test or two I will be ready to share my recipe with all of you. This weekend I’m craving one last winter comfort meal, so I’m making a lamb ragu. Somehow my butcher talked me out of the shanks I was going to use, and into using neck. Yup lamb neck you read that correct. Wish me luck on my meat-venture!

Favorite Recipe.

This week was ‘meat free week’ in the UK and Australia, since I love the culinary worlds of both my

leek ricotta tomato lasagna, jamie oliver
Source Jamie Oliver

social media feeds were filled with great posts on the benefits of eating meat free and recipe collections. Now before you say seriously Meaghan you are cooking lamb neck this weekend – I try to eat meat free at least two days a week and I only buy meat from a butcher, who I know and trust. He sources all meats locally, and has solid relationships with farmers and producers who raise and slaughter animals humanely. That is not a justification, just my explanation for how I now choose to approach meat and my social conscience. For my meat free meals this week I’m making leek, ricotta and tomato lasagna recipe from Jamie Oliver. The recipe is also written to make 6 individual sized lasagna that can be frozen for up to 3 months. So you have no excuse not to eat meat free.

FAVORITE FOOD LEGEND.
I have become a huge fan of Mary Berry. Those of you who watch The Great British Baking Show (The Great British Bake Off in the UK) on PBS will (or should) understand my admiration for this culinary legend. Honest, witty with a gentle manner, I think she’d be a fantastic mentor and even better Grandma. This past week Mary turned 80, which meant lots of fanfare online and in the media. There were many articles recounting her career, but I particularly loved this collection from The Telegraph. The article includes short video interviews with Mary – my favorite is Mary sharing her thoughts on how to be a good baker – and a link to a collection of her best recipes. As I’ve been working on my baking skills I am constantly trying to channel Mary Barry when I pull out my electric mixer.

pastry wine
Source Vine Pair

FAVORITE FOOD & WINE.
I have a friend who is not a fan of wine (shocking I know!) but in her defence she has been exploring different varietals and the girl does love champagne. But thanks to Vine Pair I think I have found a way to encourage wine drinking – her sweet tooth. Everyone has a weakness! Vine Pair has paired 9 wines and pastries that are decadent enough to please any sweet tooth, wine lover or not. Blueberry pie and syrah, macaroons and moscato, birthday cake and champagne. What is not to love?!

FAVORITE WINE EDUCATION.
Slightly wine heavy this week but this was just too good not to share. Wine Ponder published a wine name guide with audio – that’s right AUDIO! Never ever do you have to stumble over another wine name again. You are welcome.

FUR FAVORITE.
I feel slightly ashamed with this one, but the fur favorite this week was Etta Says Toasted Coconut treats. Yup, feeding my dogs toasted coconut treats. I can not help like that is terribly hipsterish of me… Please tell me it isn’t?! My own feelings aside the fur children love these moist little treats. Plus these treats are the prefect size (aka low calorie count) for little rewards throughout the day.

FAVORITE SONG.
I’m in love with James Bay. His entire album is amazing. If I had to pick one song that I’ve loved this week though it would be ‘Let it Go’. The melody is beautiful.

WHAT HAVE YOU LOVED THIS WEEK? WHAT HAS MOTIVATED AND INSPIRED YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN COOKING? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN SIPPING? AS ALWAYS… I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

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