Carrot, Potato and Leek Soup

I had so many of these vegetables from this week’s farm box. I decided that this cold weather calls for soup for dinner and what a great opportunity to use up this week’s bounty.

I sautéed the vegetables in melted butter on very low heat and then I “sweated” them. I did this by turning the heat to the lowest setting and covering the vegetables with an oval of parchment paper. I put the lid on the pot. I let them sweat for about thirty minutes. This is a great method when you want the vegetables tender, but not browned.

I added a couple of cups of chicken stock with some fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Soup is served!

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When your Wine is Past its Prime

Last night I opened a bottle red wine that had been in the wine fridge a little too long. It had a slight vinegary taste so I have decided instead of tossing it to use it for red wine vinegar. In order to store it properly, I decanted it into a French lemonade bottle that I had been saving. As you can see, it is perfect with the rubber stopper.

I never throw out a beautiful glass bottle!

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Pulled Pork with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

This is a first for me. I was at Whole Foods and purchased about a three pound pork shoulder. The butcher told me to sear it first in a cast iron pan before I continued with the recipe. I did that and then added the “drippings” to the barbecue sauce.

The recipe for the barbecue sauce is below.http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Basic-Barbecue-Sauce-242245

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and spread a lawyer of onions on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place the pork on the onions and slather with a generous amount of the barbecue sauce. Bake for three to four hours until you are able to “pull” the pork apart. Serve with any leftover barbecue sauce. The longer you cook it – the better.

Pulled Pork

3 lbs pork shoulder
Barbecue Sauce
sliced onions

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Pie Crusts

When I make pastry for pies and tarts, I never make just enough for one pie. Pastry freezes so well that I always make enough for two tarts.

I have lots of tart pans so today I decided to roll out all of the dough that I had made and freeze the extra rolled out tart for another day.

Next time I want to make a quick tart for dessert, I will just pull it from the freezer, fill it and bake it.

Little “do aheads” like this can be a real lifesaver as the holidays approach and things get crazy busy.

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Too Pretty to Hide

I just got this broom from The Laundress. It is so light and easy to use. The bristles are so soft and gentle that you could use it on almost any surface.

The wood is gorgeous so I decided to have it in my kitchen so it is always available when I feel the need to sweep. With two chocolate labs ruling the roost here, there is always something to sweep!

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Beef Stew

I have received a lot of carrots and potatoes from our farm box and decided I needed to make good use of them by making a beef stew. We also received a gorgeous bunch of fresh thyme.

I bought some beef and good quality beef stock along with some brown mushrooms.

It is a perfect dish for a cold winter’s night which unfortunately it was last night.

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