My mum always told me that I had a lot of phantasy when I was a child, meaning I could make up stories at any given time and often I would come up with some made up story why I couldn’t be home on time or why my coat or wallet went missing again (of course it was never my fault) but then again mums have that “my child is telling some BS story radar” so no matter how good my story was, she knew immediately I made it up.
These days I could use some of that Phantasy, where has it gone? I have complete writers block. Not that I want to come up with some fake story but what has happened, for weeks now I want to post something and lots of things have happened but I just can’t come up with an interesting storyline. So instead of procrastinating posting a recipe because of my lack of creativity I will just get at it and post my recipe and past 4 week happenings in a somewhat random context, hey why not, not everyone can be a gifted writer…at the end of the day life is 99% showing up and that’s the one thing I am really good at: I show up not matter what gets in the way.
So here we go, two highlights happened since my last post; once again a fabulous girls weekend – this time in a lovely town called La Conner, only 1,5 hours away from Seattle and the second event was Mike’s birthday which we spent with our friends the Sudore’s, at Fishlake, only 2 hours away from Seattle.
Girls weekend was a ton of fun, we introduced a new game called Cards against Humanity, the title of the game says it all, I can highly recommend this game if you want to have completely inappropriate conversations with your friends and who doesn’t want that? We played our standard dice game 10,000 and upped the ante this time with little gifts that could be won for certain scores and then the gifts could be “stolen/taken” by the next person who won – not sure what was more fun; winning the gifts or seeing how grown up women fret over a small item taken away from them, just too much fun! That combined with new cocktail samplings (The Rasperry Citrus Vodka Martini was our favorite – recipe below); a beach champagne outing, a shopping stroll through the quaint town, fresh crab and oyster lunches, fresh homemade crepes and French toast breakfasts, topped with SPA treatments. Sounds like a terrible weekend, right?
Raspberry Citrus Vodka Martini (ingredients are for 1 cocktail)
- 3 Raspberries
- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup (mix equal parts of water and sugar and heat up until the sugar is dissolved and you have Simple Syrup)
- 3/4 oz. Orange Liqueur
- 3/4 oz. Grapefruit Juice
- 3/4 oz. Lime Juice
- 2 oz. Vodka
- In a shaker muddle raspberries and simple syrup.
- Add ice to the shaker.
- Add all other ingredients and shake vigorously.
- Strain into a Martin Glass and garnish with a raspberry
A week after girls weekend, Mike, Sam, Sam and I packed up our stuff for Mike’s birthday celebration and took off for Fishlake, one of Mike’s favorite fishing holes. Celebrating Mike’s birthday with the Sudore’s at Fishlake is by now a tradition and every year we somehow end up telling the story how I cooked a nice elaborate breakfast for all of us some 11 years ago while the boys were fishing and were supposed to be back early enough to have breakfast with us. Well they fished until the last minute and by the time they were up at the cabin we had to check out and no time for breakfast. Furios as I was, having put so much time into cooking a very nice breakfast, I took the entire breakfast and threw it into the trash can because I was so mad that Sam and Mike would prefer fishing over my breakfast. I Iearned pretty quickly to never ask a fisherman: when he will be back, they will be back when they will be back. So these days when Mike goes fishing, it means party in my house because I won’t see him for days. Well lets just say I left an impression on the Sudore’s and until today I feel bad that I didn’t pack up the breakfast for us to go, thank god my temper has died down over the years and even though I let the Sudore’s drive home with an empty stomach, it did not deter them from joining us almost every year for Mike’s birthday.
Now off to the recipe. This dish for sure will become one of my staples. Not sure you have heard of “Umami”, its kind of an “in word” right now…I think..I mean what do I know…but wow this dish packs the main flavors you want in a savory dish – salt, bitterness, sour and sweet. And there isn’t even meat it in with the exception of a little bit of pancetta. You have to give this dish a try, I couldn’t get over the depth of the flavors for a meatless dish.
Mushroom Bourguignon with crispy Pancetta
Ingredients: (serves 2)
- 8 oz. Baby Portobello Mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 4 oz. Pancetta
- 6 oz. Wide Egg Noodles
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 Yellow Onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1/4 oz. fresh Parsley, chopped
- 1/4 oz. fresh Thyme, chopped
- 2 Tablespoon flour
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Beef Concentrate
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook, tossing for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown, season with salt and pepper, take out of the pot and set aside.
- Add the carrot, onion, pancetta, thyme and garlic to the same pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 6-8 minutes until the pancetta crisps. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and the sherry vinegar to the pot and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until the liquid evaporates. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir to combine. Cook, stirring another 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups water, the soy sauce, and the stock concentrate to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and reduced by half.
- In the meantime bring a large pot of water with a pinch of salt to a boil and cook the egg noodles for 8-10 minutes. Drain, add butter and half the parsley.
- Finish the mushroom bourguignon: return the mushrooms to the pot an stir in another 1/2 tablespoon butter. Taste and season with and pepper if necessary
- Plate the buttered egg noodles and top with the mushroom bourguignon. sprinkle with the remaining Parsley.