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Movin’ again.

Once again, my blog is moving. I have decided to write a new blog which is more open in terms of content. While I love food, I have a lot of other interests and inspirations that I would like to write about. I really don’t have time for multiple blogs, so I am condensing everything I want to write about into one free-flowing blog called Artfelt. I will still write about food, but I will also write about art, fashion, literature, music, life and whatever inspires me. Please visit me there!

Brandy Alexander

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It all started when Esther mentioned that she had the Feist song, Brandy Alexander, stuck in her head.  You know, “You’re my Brandy Alexander, always gets me into trouble…”  Well, neither of us had ever had a Brandy Alexander, so we set about making them, even though her bartender friend had once told her they were disgusting.  Brandy, Creme de Cacao, heavy cream, and nutmeg to top it all off.  I thought they were quite tasty.

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I recently made this dish in an attempt to make a dent in the gigantic squash that my boss at the museum gave me. I have dubbed it Grand Écrasent au Gratin, or Large Squash au Gratin. That is exactly what it is. Take your basic au Gratin recipe, and substitute squash for the potato. Just slice the squash pretty thin so it gets cooked through. You can get really creative with this dish by adding different herbs to the sauce or throwing in other veggies. I used this recipe from Williams-Sonoma to get started.

Oh yes. I do. No Reservations has to be the best food show ever. For me, the perfect morning involves lazily sipping coffee, perusing blogs, and traveling the world vicariously through Anthony Bourdain. Which is exactly what I am doing right now. If you have Netflix, you can watch several episodes online here. You can also find several episodes on youtube. I will also be posting about my favorite episodes from time to time in the future.

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This dish is adapted from a recipe in Williams-Sonoma San Francisco. It is very easy and the flavors are simple, reminding us that good food does not need to be complicated. The dressing is so simple: apple cider vinegar, diced red onion, olive oil, salt, pepper. The goat cheese is baked with fresh lemon and orange thyme.

Pomegranate Carnitas

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This is a recipe I posted at my old blog, but it’s among my favorite recipes ever so I am re-posting it here. I was inspired to create this recipe after working with the Chevy’s Cookbook carnitas recipe several times. They use Pepsi, I’m using sprite for a lighter and more fruity flavor. They use OJ, and I am using several different juices and fresh pomegranates. The method is the same. Anyway, enough with the explanations, here’s the goods:

Ingredients:
-1 lb pork butt or shoulder
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-2 or 3 teaspoons paprika
-a pinch of cayenne
-salt & pepper
-1L of Sprite or maybe more, get a 2L bottle
-1/2 cup orange juice
-3 squirts lemon juice
-2 or 3 pomegranates
-3 tablespoons of shortening

Directions:
1. Cut the pork into cubes. Remove the excess fat.
2. Combine paprika, cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss the pork cubes in this mixture.
3. Pour in about 2 cups of sprite, the OJ, and the LJ. Squeeze the juice of two pomegranates into the bowl. Strain the juice through your (clean) hands so the skin doesn’t get in there. Let the seeds in though. Stir. Cover the bowl and marinate it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
4. When you are ready, take the pork out of the fridge. Heat the shortening in a large pot until it starts smoking. Then (carefully) put the pork into the shortening, reserving the marinade.
5. Brown the pork in the shortening for fifteen minutes.
6. Pour the reserved marinade into the pot. Stir and then simmer for 2 hours. (I know, it takes a long time, but it’s worth it.)
7. Cover with additional sprite, and add pomegranate juice as needed to cover. Optional: honey or sugar to sweeten’ the pot.
8.When the pork is ready it will be dark and very moist. It should sort of fall apart when you get ahold of it.
9.To serve, warm a tortilla in a tiny bit of oil and heap a couple of pork pieces on top. I spread goat cheese on my yellow corn tortilla and layered the carnitas on top of that. The perfect taco? Could be. You could add whatever condiments you want. Oh yeah.