Thursday, November 01, 2007

Food is good, mmkay?! :)

We had a lovely romantic anniversary dinner out... and a wonderful Halloween with Travis. Pictures on Flickr of H'ween!

It was definitely nice to have dinner at a place with no crayons on the table! We went to one of our favorite Italian places in downtown called Cibo.

We had a super-yummy dinner. I even had a glass of merlot with dinner. While 4 and nearly 1/2 months pregnant! Shocking! Scandelous! Arrest me now!

Sue me, I'm Italian! I didn't even feel a little tipsy. :p

We had:

calamari fritti, crab cake, bruschetta, grilled prawn, half an artichoke (grilled on a wood grill, and topped with chopped tomatoes, basil, and olive oil)

Pasta straws, baby shrimp, with a pesto vodka cream sauce (holy crap it was yummy!!)


Thin pasta ribbons with a rich tomato meat sauce, and a side of their house-made italian grilled sausage.

Neither of us had room for dessert, and I ended up taking half of my pasta home and had it for lunch yesterday. Helloooo heartburn!

Last night we (well - I) carved our pumpkin, and we took Travis out Trick-or-treating. My dad came with us, and we went out to Papa Chanos for dinner.

Travis had fun.... but the neighborhood we went to, even though it was really good last year, was mostly dark. Maybe we started out too late? I don't know. He didn't get that much loot, but he had fun. :)

We went to the grocery store today, and got some 1/2 off candy anyway. We are... I mean the kid is set. :)

Travis didn't want to wear his costume last night at first, but he got into character (Superman!) and the first thing he asked for this morning was to put his costume back on. And, yes, he wore his costume almost all day. Even to the grocery store. I t was a nice diversion, considering I didn't get a chance to shower this morning. Instead of looking at my and my oily hair, people were smiling and paying attention to the cute kid in the cart instead! Endearing and cute? Yes. BUT, we'll see how that flimsy costume holds up over the next week, though. Yikes!

Right now, I am making a yummy pot roast in my slow cooker. I am using a recipe from my "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook!"

I am also going to roast fingerling potatoes, baby yams, pearl onions, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, parsnips, and turnips - really simply with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Yummy!

"Our Best Pot Roast with Roots"
from "Not your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook"
Use medium oval or large round or oval slowcooker
Serves 4-6
Setting & Time Low for 8-9 hours

2 T olive oil, or more as needed
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery (including some leaves)
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced turnips

3 lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed of all visible fat, patted dry
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 c. water

In large, heavy skillet, heat 1 T of the olive oil, over medium-high heat. Cook the veggies, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.

Heat the remaining 1T oil in the same pan, and add the chuck roast. Cook until well- browned, about 3 minutes per side. Add another bit of olive oil if needed before flipping over. (I was using a stainless pan, so needed the extra oil to keep roast from sticking.)Season with salt and pepper, add to the slow cooker on top of the veggies.

Pour wine into the skillet, bring to a boil. Scrape up brown bits, and boil until wine has reduced to a syrupy consistency, 1-2 minutes. Pour wine over the roast. Add the water, and bring to a full boil. Pour over the roast. Cook 8-9 hours on low.

To serve:

Transfer meat to a cutting board, scraping any clinging bits of veggies back into the cooker. Pour veggies & liquid through a mesh strainer set over a bowl. Use a spoon to press sll the liquid possible from the veggies. Discard veggies. ALlow liwuid to settle for a few minutes, and skim off as much fat from the surface as possible. Slice roast against the grain, and serve with the gravy.

Note: If the roast is cooked for the full 9 hours, it may be too tender to slice. If this happens, serve the fork-tender chunks over egg noodles, corkscrew pasta, or mashed potatoes to soak up the juice.
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