D.B.A – Not a Review

This is not a food review, per say. It’s just a simple journey of an amazing experience I had which happened to be at a restaurant.

Oh, I could include the details and critique the dishes we ate. I could even blah, blah, blah, blah, but then you wouldn’t get the point of my rant (rave).

Instead I want to paint a picture . . .

It was a fall evening, early in fact, about 6:30 p.m. and I was thrilled to be going out for the evening. I wore a simple black and white wrap dress along with a black sweater cloak and my brand new black high heel boots. My dining companion wore hues of brown, which compliment his skin tone and deep brown eyes.

We are an attractive couple and we were feeling good together, first stopping at an art gallery to browse around before sitting down to dine.

Upon entering the restaurant we are met by an attractive young woman, who is eager to greet us. Rock and roll music is playing

and the lighting of the main room perfectly compliments the contemporary tufted gray seating, black and metal accents.

We are escorted outside where we are seated at a small table vignette, metal with a contemporary design to it and surrounded by several six-foot tall slim triangle tower heaters. Welcomed by Rachel our waitress who immediately brought our elixirs of choice. We basked in the elegant ambiance, sipping slowly; we discussed the many songs on our albums.

You see, on our albums were printed the menu for the evening complete with an album inside. The cover side showing our

grandmaster host of the evening doing what he does best: using his electric guitar to stir the sauce. The back cover was the bill of fare or “songs.” I was giddy as I browsed the songs sipping on my something, something ginger beer mock tail. Rachel was equally giddy to tell us about songs we might want to play. I couldn’t decide so I let her pick a few for me and Rachel’s choice definitely struck the right chords.

Our palettes enjoyed the most delicate cavatelli with corn something, something on it, mussels with an Asian kick along with amazing bread to soak up the broth and other various songs that kept us listening closely to the details of the “lyrics.”

The sun was starting to set and the outdoor fireplace was ablaze. After dinner, we meandered to the fire to smoke cigarettes, chat with fellow diners and relax on the comfortable white couch.

We ended our evening sipping on something delicious that was neither a cappuccino nor an espresso and, had I not been so completely satiated with many songs we just played, would have been tempted to play yet another tune from the dessert menu CD case which we were invited to listen.

We chatted until our cups were dry and drove off into the autumn night.

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Food

Get Hungry

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Minestrone Soup of Winter

Warm, Cozy and made with the best of Winter’s vegetables
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 (14-ounce) cans  beef broth
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 bag frozen Cheese Tortellini
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the whole beans and parsley.
  6. Stir in Tortellini. Simmer until the pasta is cooked through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)
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Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

This is quick and easy and can be made with left-over turkey or rotisserie
chicken.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken – cooked & shredded
  • 1 (4.3 oz) box Long Grain and Wild Rice (Roasted Chicken flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
Directions
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and saute for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Add  broth, water and shredded turkey. Bring to a boil and add rice (save seasoning packet!). Cover pot and remove from heat.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the seasoning packet and stir to combine. Slowly add the flour (in 1/4 cup increments) to form a roux and continue to stir.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Whisk in heavy cream and milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Cook and continue to stir until thickened – about 5 minutes.
  6. Return to broth/rice mixture to the heat and add cream mixture. Cook over medium heat until rice is softened and soup is thickened and heated through, about 10-15 minutes
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Cooking Club – Gourmet Apple Workshop

In the second installment of the Life at the Table Cooking Club, I’ll be hosting a Gourmet Apple Workshop on Sunday December 4, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in my apartment in Malmö.

This is a hands on workshop where we will step up the basic approach to the traditional carmel dipped apple and create gourmet works of art  which are great and unique for Holiday Gifting as well as  Wedding and Shower Favors. In addition we will cover other fun things to dip, decorate and gift as well as gift wrapping ideas.

Each participant is asked to bring 6 large apples of their choice ( Washed and Dried prior to workshop ) , an apron and a shallow box to carry your creations home in.

All other necessary items will be provided.

Children are welcome to participate !

Coffee, Juice and Sweets will be served so come ready to dip, swirl and create.


Here are the details:

  • Sunday December 4 ,2011
  • 11:00 – 14:00
  • Life At The Table Kitchen, Malmö Sweden
  • 100 kr per person for MEMBERS // 150 kr per person NON MEMBERS
  • Limited to 12 participants
  • The workshop will be conducted in English
  • Confirmation of attendance by November 28, 2011
  • Payment Due upon arrival at Workshop December 4, 2011

​Please RSVP Promptly
Be sure to dress up for the camera as I’ll post photos from the event in a future blog post here on Life at The Table. Be sure to RSVP immediately LifeAtTheTable@hotmail.com to secure your seat at the table.​

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Padma Says it Best – Cloche

It was all in the way she said it “Cloche“, Padma Lakshmi of Bravo TV’s Top Chef that is. Her soft delicate tone of a word I have never heard before provoked me to know more of this thing she called the Cloche . . .

The more I researched the more I found of cloches that are  unique, whimsical, functional and in some cases environmentally necessary.

I see a Cloche of the Month blog coming . . . Send me your Cloche finds and lets all be in praise.

cloche

[klohsh, klawsh]

noun

1.

a bell-shaped metal or glass cover placed over a plate to keep food warm or fresh.

2.
a woman’s close-fitting hat with a deep, bell-shaped crown and often a narrow, turned-down brim.
3.

a bell-shaped glass cover placed over a plant to protect it from frost and to force its growth.
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Bacon, Apple & Thyme Risotto with Fried Leeks

I asked my friend Deniz to bring me a cup of white wine for this Risotto Recipe. She was happy to do so and had only one question for me ” How much is a cup ? “. I guess I do speak with an accent in Sweden !

  • 2 Cups ( 380 g) Arborio Rice
  • 6 Cups ( 1400 mL ) Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup ( 240 mL )White Wine
  • 1  Heaping Tablespoon ( 15 mL ) of Garlic minced
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon ( 15 mL ) of Shallot minced
  • 3 Heaping Tablespoons ( 45 mL ) of fresh Thyme cleaned off the stem
  • 1/2 medium Onion chopped
  • 1 Large Leek washed, drained and sliced into 1/4 inch ( 6 mm ) rounds
  • Oil Oil
  • 4 Ounces ( 150 g ) Bacon or Pancetta sliced into 1/4 inch ( 6 mm ) pieces
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2  ( 13 mm ) cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. In a medium size sauce pan heat up stock.
  2. In a shallow saute pan heat up 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil on medium high heat. Fry the Leek pieces until golden brown, apprx 4 minutes. Remove and allow to drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot or deep frying pan on medium high heat add  the Bacon, Onion and Shallot. Fry until Bacon has rendered it’s fat and crisps up slightly.
  4. Add Apples and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add Arborio Rice to pot and stir.
  6. Add Wine to rice mixture,stir until wine has reduced by half.
  7. Reduce heat to medium.
  8. Slowly add a ladle full of stock to the rice pot and stir constantly.Continue to add a ladle full of stock at a time allowing the liquid to be absorbed by the rice for exactly 22 minutes. Tastes the rice to check for doneness. Should be smooth and creamy in texture and have a small bite to the rice.
  9. Stir in Thyme
  10. Serve in bowl and top with Fried Leeks.
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