I took Matt on a surprise date to celebrate our first meeting 15 years ago today. As many of you know we were introduced by his ex girlfriend who brought Matt to church to meet me. That same day we each attended the evening worship service and volley ball afterwards. This is where we started getting to know each other. He even took me for a little ride on his motorcycle around the church campus and then we went to his place and watch So I Married An Axe Murderer- on VHS. On our first date was later that week. We went to his soccer game and to PF Changs for dinner afterwards. So to memorialize all this my secret date took us to PF Changs- via motorcycle- for lunch and then over to Anthony's Cigar Lounge afterwards for an after meal cigar digestive. We had a lot of fun talking about our memories of all of this over lunch and cigar. Then we ended the evening by watching Axe Murderer which I had gifted to him at lunch. Good memories!
We had the second annual Blessing of the Vines with the Janks and Kruis families. Matt roasted a 5 pound beef tenderloin to perfection in Sharptooth's Inferno along with some baked potatoes and corn on the cob. I baked some superb pain au levain and we had 2 fantastic bottles of wine, the Fugitive, a petite sirah blend from Dry Creek, and J2:10, a cabernet & nebbiolo blend from Mexico. Ryan brought the J2:10 and made us figure out the signigficance of the name. A fantastic wine and brilliant name!
We lost 3 vines over the winter and so asked the Very Reverend Phil to bless all the vines this year! ;)
Thought it would be fun to document some the steps I am taking as I
pursue a future in baking. I have recently taken a second job doing
product promotions to make extra money in hopes of buying a deck oven.
I have also started working on my boss to see if I would be able to sell bread in front of the store. My goal is to bake my way into her heart so I made her a beautiful crusty loaf of sourdough, wrapped it up and brought it to her at work.
She was having a bad day and in a terrible mood the day I gave it to her and asked her about my idea (gulp). But I learned the next week that she loved the bread, and ate half of it on the way home from work the day I gave it to her. She also seemed amenable to my bread selling idea and said she will ask her boss.
Beta Radio has lately become one of my favorite bands. I found them last year on Noisetrade
and was so excited to get word that they were doing a house gig tour
and coming to Tucson. Matt and I went and really enjoyed the intimate
environment as these 2 guys played for about 30 people in someone's
living room. These guys sing and play just as well live as they do on
their albums. Afterwards we got to meet them and tell them how much we
enjoy their music and got a tour poster signed. Great show!
My Ladies Classics Book Club made it on the art project wall that Cindy Visser arranges at church. For the Lent season Cindy decided to photograph the different ministry groups at church and ask the members what they are learning about Jesus in their particular group. Then she hung up a photo of each group with the responses surrounding it. Cool idea and great job Cindy!
Matt and I are in charge of the Sunday morning communion ministry at our
church which means we set it up and tare it down. Since we have taken
it over we have been pleased to make some improvements to the system.
We upgraded the wine to Port and finally after a few years of offering
to make the communion bread (instead of using matza crackers) Pastor
Phil said yes. Palm Sunday was our first service with real bread
followed by Maundy Thursday. It is an honor to make the bread for the
most important meal a Christian consumes!
Happy Anniversary to us! We decided to celebrate at home because I had to work during the day and we didn't want to be rushed in our evening. We started out on the patio having a very special bottle of Champagne, Krug Grande Cuvee, to celebrate our marriage with as we exchanged gifts. Then we had a lovely dinner with thick cut filet mignons that Matt grilled to perfection. We accompanied such a fine piece of meat with an equally fine wine- a 2005 Souverain Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Praise be to God for 14 years!
I took a bread class from local baker Don Guerrathis week. It took
place at the UA farms on Campbell. He had us sit in groups of 3 and
make dough together that we developed throughout the 4 hour class. At
the end of the class each group divided their dough into 3 parts and
each person had a beautiful round to take home and bake off later that
is a very down to earth, friendly and joyful baker. He did some
lecturing, some demonstration and answered countless questions on bread
baking. The class had about 30 attendees. Most were older and a varied
level of baking experience was present.
provided us with a spread of bread he baked that morning, cheese, fruit
and nuts to munch on during the class. But the best thing he gave us
(to my surprise) was a big hunk of his unbelievably delicious smelling
sourdough starter to take home and continue baking with. His starter smelled so good I could have eaten it raw.
have already baked with his starer this week and made the best tasting,
most beautiful breads I have made to date. And I discovered nothing
goes better with a piece of sourdough bread than a glass of traditional
method sparkling wine. Oh all the bread, toast, and yeast!!!
Pizzeria Bianco is purported by Peter Reinhardt (my favorite baker and bread expert) to be the best pizza in the country. It is located in Phoenix, Arizona and has recently opened a new location in Tucson. I have been wanting to go there for months and this is where Matt took me on our Valentines date. Afterwards we went out for a night cap at Tap & Bottle and followed that up with hot tub and our favorite Baskin Robbins ice creams at home. A wonderful evening.
Our church has a trivia night every year where we team up and compete to see who knows the most amount of trivial information. This year's trivia night included a spaghetti dinner beforehand. Matt and I were privileged to be able to provide the bread for the dinner. Fortunately it turned out that I was off work the day before and was able to make all the dough Saturday. Then on Sunday after church we came home, fired up the oven, and baked all 13 loaves in the brick oven. Any time we can practice baking in the brick oven is a good thing since a brick oven you build yourself does not come with instructions and a lot of trial and error takes place. We didn't know how many people were coming or how much bread they would eat so we made 6 baguettes and 7 round loaves. A little over half of the bread got eaten with the dinner. At the end of the night one person told us the prize for the winning team should have been the leftover loaves!
My Mom and my nephew Levi finally came down for a visit. Levi was here with his family last Christmas but my Mom has not been here in 3 years so it was great fun to have her and show her all the things we have done to the house and yard since she was last here.
We spent most of the time relaxing, eating and watching movies. We didn't want to put her to work too much but we did need a few Mom treats like what you see pictured here: her famous chicken salad and her delicious beef short rib and dumpling soup which I have named "Soup of the Meaty Bones." When we could get her out of her chair and away from crocheting dozens of dishcloths we took her and Levi to the Gaslight Theater to see a fun production of "The Cisco Kid" which we all enjoyed.
Levi, who is turning 14 in a few months, is almost as tall as Matt already!
My friend Betsy and I both really love to cook. In order to spur each other on in cooking new things we decided to take turns picking a new recipe of the week which we give the other each Sunday and both cook during the week. FUN!
I thought it would be fun to keep track of what we cook each week by posting a picture of the plated recipe, a link to the recipe and a short review.
I chose the first recipe which was an easy chickpea curry from Ree Drummond.
4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this recipe. It was fast, simple and very flavorful. Using the coconut cream from Trader Joes made the sauce so silky. It paired perfectly with a semi-seco Cava from Spain which tempered the spiciness. I will definitely make this again.
One year ago today we had to put Sharptooth to sleep. We decided from now on we would honor him by drinking our very favorite wine of all time each year on this day. We have a little less than one case left and it is a 2007 so we will see how it fares over the years.
We miss you buddy and hope for a reunion in Glory.