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Sunday, December 28, 2008

8th Night

I don't think I'm alone in craving clean food after the holiday bonanza that is Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. I was so excited yesterday to make my menus and head to Whole Foods for a week's worth of groceries, a week in which I'd be HOME nearly every day and could cook at my leisure.

I did have to work a little tonight, but my work involved putting a conference call on mute and speakerphone for 90 minutes and being prepared to answer questions if anyone called in. It was, in short, perfect for futzing around the kitchen making an involved meal.

If you've been reading here for long, you know I have a huge cook-crush on Peter Berley's recipes. I love the way that man thinks...and eats. His Flexitarian cookbook is inspirational to me, but I rarely have the time to carry out one of his well-conceived menus. Tonight, however, I did.

My MIL, who rocks, gave me a Mandoline last week, and I love love love it. (You should know, she rocks even when she hasn't just given me such an awesome present.) Did you follow the link? You should.

Her gift and my conference call came together this afternoon, while I made Barley and Mushroom soup, a Winter Vegetable Gratin with rutabaga, potato, cabbage, onions and cheesy breadcrumbs, and an incredible salad of shaved fennel, fennel fronds, parsley, lemon juice-marinated red onion, and sardines marinaded in olive oil, lemon juice and crushed toasted coriander seeds. All of this goodness is sitting on the table right now, waiting for Jesse to bring the girls home from their playdate. The candles are in the Menorah, also waiting for the girls (we fudge on sunset if needed).

Happy 8th Night!

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