New everything.

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HEY GUYS. (Pretend I’m saying this with attitude, perhaps with a snappy hand gesture or two.)

So I know it’s been 6 months and all since I last wrote. And I could be all apologetic and whiny, but honestly, I hate reading those posts. And I could tell you in detail what I HAVE been doing while I’ve NOT been blogging but it all boils down to: I moved from Colorado to Virginia. From an apartment to a house. From no backyard to a garden-friendly one. And I think I might have even convinced Brad to let us get a dog to go with our picket fence (which is not white, but whatever, that’s just details.)

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I still squee when I look at my new house. It’s so sweet it practically gives me diabetes.

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The kitchen. Looks a little white to start with, but I’m painting it a bright, bright green. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

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The backyard, where Dad and my brother and I have already installed four raised garden beds. I’m getting topsoil and compost delivered later this week, even though I know I’ll only get to grow some quick-maturing leafy greens with what’s left of the season. Having never grown anything before (not a single potted plant, people) I am slightly terrified that I’m going to find out I have the brownest thumb ever. But, I figure I can probably grow zucchini and summer squash pretty easily. And if we end up with 4 raised beds’ worth of zucchini each summer and that’s it, well at least I will have a lot of zucchini bread, right?

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There’s been lots of cooking going on in the new house, although I’ve fallen back on some of the old favorites rather than trying many new ones. But after what seems like the LONGEST SUMMER EVER, what with the hot Colorado sun and then the stifling Virginia heat, I’m so desperate for fall I’m about to rent a snow machine and spray paint my trees yellow. I’m pushing the fall season like Wal-mart pushes Halloween candy in August, and making butternut squash lasagna and roasted potatoes instead of hanging onto the last few days of summer with marinated tomato salads and such.

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I found this recipe on that time-suck-to-which-no-other-compares, Pinterest. It was so pretty I just HAD to try it. I added a pinch of paprika for extra flavor, but next time (and there WILL be a next time) I’m thinking of infusing the butter with roasted garlic first. The shallot just wasn’t enough for me in this instance, although the texture of the dish was SPOT FREAKING ON. Extra crisp top and smooth creamy slices of potato that fall apart on the plate. A dish made perfect with those last potatoes of the summer, especially on the first cold night of fall. (Or so I would imagine, considering it’s still 75 degrees here at night.)

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Crispy Potato Roast

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 6

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Martha says there’s only 25 minutes of prep time for this recipe. Martha is full of lies. (But it’s totally worth it.)

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Gather:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds potatoes, peeled
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
a pinch paprika
a few springs of thyme, and

a mandoline or a sharp knife

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Prepare:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the potatoes on thinnest setting of a mandoline or as thin as you can with a knife. (The thinner the potatoes, the crispier they will bake up.) You can prevent them from browning by putting them in a bowl of water as you slice.

Combine the butter and olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the olive oil mixture on the inside of a cast iron skillet or other heavy baking dish. Arrange the potato slices in the skillet as you like. Wedge slices of shallot between slices of potato. Sprinkle with salt, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of paprika. Bake for 75 minutes. Arrange a few sprigs of thyme on top of the potatoes and bake for another 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy on top. Serve.

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Fitz & the Tantrums / Don’t Gotta Work It Out

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18 thoughts on “New everything.

  1. Carter it is great to get an update and see your new cute digs! This recipe is fantastically gorgeous; thanks for the truth telling about Martha vs the rest of the unwashed cooking masses. I’m thrilled for you about your garden beds. I have two and would fill my entire yard if I could. You’ll do great I’m sure. Maybe put in some cool weather greens to over winter (just throw spinach seeds in there and in the spring they’ll be ready with no effort from you). Hoping you are feeling settled and warm in the welcome of your families!

  2. Not that I’m NOT excited about anything else in this post (like you moving to the east coast, your insanely gorgeous house, kitchen, and backyard, or the potatoes)… but I must say I’m MOST excited a/b you getting a dog. :) Sooooo excited :) What kind are you thinking? Can I put in my vote? Ok I will – we have a beagle lab and have seriously thought about stem-cell cloning. I have high hopes that I’ll love my baby as much as I love my dog. He is SO well trained (all because of my hubby), so well behaved, so smart, and soooooooo loving. He snuggles in bed with me everynight and makes me the happiest person in the world. :) He’s got 2 great personalities with the beagle and lab – so loving and so excited. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how bad my day is, walking in my house seeing him wagging his tail (which in turn make him wag his entire butt) makes me so giddy/happy. I wonder if he loves us as much as we love him (or if it’s even possible)… he’s so great. And he was a rescue! So when you look on petfinder.com (such an amazing time waster, too!) I’d totally look for the beagle-lab (Blab?) varietal. :)

    Have I mentioned I love my dog?

    Oh and I have about 20 dog-related outfits for the baby to wear… all of his comming home options have puppy dogs on them, too. :)

    I think I’m going to go home and snuggle with my pup :)

  3. Yes! So glad you are back to blogging. I LOVE reading your posts AND, now that you are in the same town, I GET TO TASTE everything, too!!! Lucky me! Keep it up!

  4. SO so very good to hear from you Carter. I’ve been thinking about you here and there. Love that adorable house with it’s soon to be dog occupied white picket fenced yard. I’d be squeeling too! Those potatoes look yummy. I made a similar dish last Winter but stacked mine in a loaf pan and baked. I love this beautiful idea better. Please post pictures of that green kitchen. Congrats on “everything new”. Hugs

  5. Congratulations! Oh, and I recognize that potato recipe…love it, it is indeed gorgeous, I think that’s why I made it in the first place. As for the raised beds, we are putting in our second this week. We’ve had one for about 2 years, and I’ve found that garlic, chives, and herbs are the easiest. So if you have misery with veggies you can always fall back on that and pretend you have a big herb garden a la Ina Garten. But I am sure you will do well in Virginia’s climate (jealous New Englander speaking here…)

  6. Hey chica. Glad to hear all is wonderful your way. I’m excited to hear about all that is new in the next chapter of your life. Stunning potatoes and thanks for the heads up about the real prep time. I bought a mandoline a few months back and was so disappointed – do you have one you recommend?

  7. i am so glad that you are back! and that you’re back east.

    your little home is adorable and the kitchen is to die for. looking fwd to what you cook/bake up, as well as what you grow in your garden.

  8. Greetings from a fellow Virginian! I saw your little photo on another blog and thought, “I was wondering what happened to her.” As a fairly recent home (yard!) buyer myself, congrats and enjoy getting those beds planted. If you are zone 7 like me you can grow just about everything.

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