Late last week I sat down and watched one of my favorite shows, Barefoot Contessa, for the first time in quite a while. I'm so glad I took the time to do so. She was making another over-the-top meal for her husband, Jeffrey, and this time around he would be on the receiving end of her amazing beef stew. Jeffrey is one lucky dude. My favorite episodes feature an overly excited Ina cooking for Jeffrey when, god forbid, he's going to be home by himself for an hour. Whatever will he eat? Oh! I know! Steak AuPoivre with a side of sauteed baby carrots and a potato-fennel gratin, followed by a mixed berry pavlova. She'll whip that right up without breaking a sweat.
Now that the seasons are starting to turn around, I thought a nice hot stew would be the perfect meal for our dinner guests on Saturday night. Ben did the shopping and I planned to make the meal after work on Saturday. While it was a great idea in theory, things didn't exactly go as planned. I failed to read the recipe first, otherwise I would have known that the meat needed to marinate (in red wine...mmmmmm) overnight and the prep time takes about an hour in addition to the two hour cooking time. Our friends would have been eating at 11:00. Not good. So, I made it on Sunday instead. Guys, if you're a fan of beef stew and you're looking for the perfect meal to feed your family or friends, give this recipe a shot. It's amazing, delicious, and incredibly satisfying with layers and layers of flavors that work so well together.
Sunday also marked a little trip to Averill Park to see an art show put on by one of the local ARC chapters. The ARC is an organization that caters to the needs of children and adults with mental retardation. The same artists who presented work for the show in Averill Park will be showing here at my shop in early 2009 and I had promised that I'd attend the reception. I'm so glad I went. The work was incredible and while the originals were not for sale, they were selling prints at an extremely fair price. The show itself took place at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts, one of the most charming little places I've seen in a long time. What looks like an old church now houses gallery space and theater space for performing arts of all shapes and sizes. If you live in the area, I can't recommend this place enough. Check it out.
Oh, and someone recently asked me to post pictures of my house (Bronwyn, I think). I tried taking some this weekend but the lighting was off for lots of reasons so I wasn't able to get anything worth posting. I'm trying, though, at different times of day so I'll have something to show you soon. I think I'll only post photos of the rooms that are done for now and it'll be an ongoing journey as more work is completed. Sound good? I love our little house and I'm so excited by the potential it has. Now, if only we had some money so we can get this stuff done!