Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lamby goodness and other delights!

Summer dinner parties...is there anything better? Okay, you'll hear the same thing during fall and winter "braising" season, but for this night, it was as good as it gets. I love the planning and executing, and luckily my partner in culinary crime Wendy does as well. I hadn't done a grilled leg of lamb for over a year, and I have a foolproof recipe in the repertoire from epicurious that is SO good and wows the crowd every time. The rest of the main course was pure farmer's market, with roasted fingerlings from Rossi Farms, and a beautiful Caprese salad W put together with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozz that was the epitome of summer. Not to get ahead of the starters, which besides some cheese we picked up at Pastaworks (still the best cheese shop in town) was highlighted by the craziest appetizers ever from our friend Denise, who brought in FOUR platters of sashimi (tuna/salmon/scallops/squid) that she and K did themselves at home with some killer fish from Uwajimaya out of Beaverton. Wow!!! I forgot to take pics, but trust me when I say the fish was off the hook fresh and clean. Paired with the refreshing delight of G&T's and rosé, this was a most auspicious beginning. Dinner, and several bottles of red wine (including a fab 1995 Peter Michael "les Pavots" Cali red GKT brought...thanks!!), ended with another really awesome homage to farmer's markets and summer in the form of fresh peaches and blueberries bathed in a blueberry balsamic syrup that was incredibly easy and stupidly delicious. Here's some photos of the happy event...yummy memories!!
Hail to the chefs!

Somewhere a three legged lamb is smiling that we are all so happy!

"Eat me!"

Reinforcements on the way!!

W's dog Chopper, dreaming of lamb dinners yet to come!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

What a fantastic night! Craig Carothers at VINO for two sets of his funny, touching, and brilliantly played music. Craig is an ex-Portland singer/songwriter who now resides in Nashville. I saw him here in Ptown a few months ago at a house concert, and broached the idea of a concert at VINO. He was up for it, so last Saturday it finally came together and it was amazing. Thanks to all who attended for your enthusiasm and support, and it makes me anxiously await the nest show September 9th featuring Hood River's Django's Cadillac and their swinging gypsy jazz, fronted by my friend Kat Baker's incredible voice. Hopefully Craig's show was the first of many here at the wine shack!

And if you haven't seen it in the theatre, I recommend you checkout (or put on your "to rent" list) The Devil Wears Prada, a very entertaining flick starring Merle Streep and a cast of .....um, others. No, this movie won't change your life, but it is a very well done piece of Hollywood lightness, and with Streep's deliciously wicked Anna Wintour-like character leading the way, this slice of fashion life is a great escape!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

Not that I have too much free time here at the wine shack, but in the course of some "serious" research, I came across this amazingly fun video on youtube. OK Go is a great band who does some crazily choreographed videos. This is a totally fun diversion. I would suggest cranking up the sound on your speakers!