Memorable Mondays: This Year I am Thankful For…
Thanksgiving in the United States is soon approaching, and although I live in the nation’s neighbour to the north, I can’t help but catch a vibe of the Thanksgiving spirit as I browse blog posts, indulge in Fall issues of my favourite magazines and relax in front of HGTV and the Food Network. So, for my Memorable Monday post this week (a theme I had going a while ago but kind of fell to the back burner when I took my blogging hiatus) I’d like to stick to the holiday theme. As we just recently celebrated our two-year anniversary (yay! if you knew me 2 and a half years ago you would be just as shocked at this as I am), I am thankful for my BF GF. As I struggled through the difficulties of a life-transition-period (graduating university, contemplating my new place in the world), GF proved to be a sturdy wall of support for me. And, he was extremely tolerable of my wavering emotions, my wrong decisions, and my fleeting life choices/passions. On top of that all, GF is the one responsible for introducing me to the world of Giada di Laurentiis, the Food Network, and thus the reason why this blog, and my love for it, actually exists today.
The memory I’d like to share with you is one from not too long ago. GF and I love to experiment together in the kitchen. We celebrate all our major life landmarks with food–birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, new jobs, holidays, Sundays….you get the hint. When we have something extra special to celebrate, when one meal just won’t cut it, we pack our bags and head up north to either Blue Mountain or Carriage Ridge Resort at Horseshoe Valley for a 3-night-4-day cooking and drinking extravaganza.
These weekends are never taken lightly. Menus are made and revised for weeks in advanced. New drink recipes are researched. Specialty ingredients are bought ahead of time, extra cooking equipment is almost always lugged along, and we often arrive with a fully packed trunk…despite there only being two of us.
This past September, we decided to head up to Horseshoe for the weekend to celebrate 1) me being back from vacation 2) a well-needed break from a demanding job that GF had started about 7 months earlier. Once again, preparations were made well in advance, Costco and Fortino’s were hit hard, theme days were in place, and on Thursday afternoon, we were off.
Everything was a great success–I must admit I went home feeling extremely guilty for my indulgences. But it was all worth it in the end:) I’ve posted pictures of our favourite experimentations of the weekend, along with the recipe for my favourite dish, the Gorgonzola pasta, for you to enjoy as well!
One of my first ever foodie purchases was the William’s Sonoma Cookbook: The Essential Recipe Collection for today’s Home Cook. It’s a ginormous book, and despite the fact that it stocked full with tempting creations, I hadn’t really put it to much use. Thankfully, this weekend, I put a change to that as we ended up choosing a few of our meals from it (well, we were inspired by it at least)! I’m normally a traditional tomato sauce kind of girl, but from time to time I get my creamy cravings. This dish definitely hit the spot. We cut the shallots up into bigger pieces just so we would get some crunch from them. It was mighty decadent…:)
Green Farfalle with Gorgonzola Sauce
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 shallots, minced
1lb green or regular dried farfalle, fusilli, or penne
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 lb Gorgonzola dolcelatte cheese, cut into pieces
3/4 cup heavy (double) cream
6 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
handful of fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes.
Reduce the heat under the frying pan to low and add the chicken stock, cheese, cream, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir until all the ingredients are smooth and melted, about 4 minutes.
Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan. Remove from the heat, add the sage and parsley and toss briefly until the pasta is well coated with the sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit more chicken stock or a splash of hot water. Pour into a warmed, large, shallow bowl. Serve immediately.