Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday

It was a long week with a lot going on, but it ended up being a good, productive one. So what better way to celebrate than to make a great meal at home? And open some decent wines to wash the food down with?

The week included finally getting over the illness that had me totally flattened - I guess we all take our turns getting sick, and this time, it was my turn. My mom actually pointed out something astute about why I might have succumbed to illness this time, as usually my immune system isn't too bad - last month, I lost a territory - Northern California - a very beautiful place that I enjoyed working in very much... but it was meant to be a temporary gig, so I had it coming - at any rate, losing the territory meant not only not being able to go to San Francisco for work anymore, but also losing a rich source of income. In other words, a little stressful for little Miss Commission Earner. Anyway, perhaps that fueled my desire to work the Southern California market just a little bit harder, working days a little bit longer, doing a few more tastings well into the evening, until I caught a bug and got laid up for a couple weeks.

Now I'm fine, recovered. And this week, I even bought a new car! Yay, got wheels again. A good thing, after experiencing several car-less days. No, it is not easy to get around in Southern California on the transit system. It is about as efficient as walking, and that's not so efficient.

But I digress. The week was a good one, a productive one, and I'm glad we're into the weekend. Time for some R&R, some getting back into running so my slightly atrophied muscles can get back in the game.

To kick that off, a little Friday dinner starting off with an aperatif of 2007 Von Hovel Estate Riesling - tasting pretty good right now, not super sweet, but definitely refreshing. It's got a new slick and classy black label - do you like it?

Then onto a red wine from Piedmont, Italy - a Barbera d'Alba from 2008 vintage - I still don't know what the real name of the wine is, since the label is old school and promotes the region more than it promotes the name of the winery. But you see the label above. I like this wine a lot. It seems a bit new world style to me - like a rich, fruit-forward Californian wine without the high alcohol to boot - but I like it. It's not as high acid or high earthiness as some other Italian wines.... but I like it. At $15.99 from The Wine County, the wine is a steal and a deal. Get some! Whatever it's name is.

And for food, I picked up a couple of steaks from How's Market in Torrance. They have the best U.S.D.A. Prime beef that I've seen in a while, and the prices can't be beat. Friend Bennett introduced me to this place, and I'm not sure I've bought steaks anywhere else since. They are that good, like an old fashioned butcher place, even though they do package some of their steaks. My favorite is the rib eye because I'm not afraid of a little fat - I mean, that's the best part! I'm not a fan of ingesting a whole lot of animal fat all the time, but when I get my one steak a month, I want some marbling! But if you're not a fan of fat, they have some great filet mignons and other leaner cuts, as well as lamb, pork and other butcher specialties.

So I turned those steaks into the following two plates:

My initial idea was to barbecue the steaks, since during the day we hit the 90s for temperatures outside - it looked like the middle of July. But come dinner time, it was pitch dark outside, and I didn't feel like firing up the barbie - I broiled the steaks and they turned out quite nice. Did some potatoes in the oven (oven roasted potatoes) and steamed some broccoli and cauliflower (because they are tasty and very good for you).
Above is hubby's plate, below is mine, which is a bit messier, due to me trying to pile on more of those healthy veggies.

A very satisfying meal all in all. The steaks were juicy and tender. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The veggies were done soft enough, and offered the perfect non-rich side to the rich meaty main event. The Barbera went well with the food, and it all went pretty well with Duck's hockey on TV. That's a team in the NHL that belongs to Orange County. We are supportive even though many LA Kings fans hate the ducks. But we're okay with Orange County. They have a lot of nice restaurants there, and we have some friends that live down there too.
Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope you're eating and drinking well, and making merriment with your loved ones. Cheers.


SixBalloons said...

I'm glad to hear that you are back in action!

Nancy Deprez said...

Thanks SixBalloons! :)