I was planning to do a recipe tonight, but we have had a busy social schedule as well as work schedule. Work hard, play harder, right? Recipe tomorrow. Tonight let’s just have a little fun…
Yesterday evening we had dinner at our friends’ house in Boulder. I can’t tell you how long it has been since a foodie (other than family) has cooked for us! This was such a treat. Not only are they a really awesome couple, but their dogs are amazing – four Border Collies. Two of them are competitive in agility trials. Jane gave us a little demo in the front yard. She’s so fast – it took her less than two seconds to do this exercise:
It’s quite the amazing thing to be around dogs as smart and fast and active as these when you live with a happy-go-lucky dopey dog like Kaweah. These dogs in particular are Ferraris. They make Kaweah look like a Honda Accord four-door sedan. Sedan, I said. No turbo option.
jane loves her toy
I won’t bore you with a recap of all the ski talk, geek talk, photography talk, computer talk, dog talk. Instead, feast your eyes on the lovely and delicious dinner that B (the husband) made.
goat cheese and green chile croquettes
betty was keen on the camera when i photographed the salad – she likes lights
the most amazing roast potato and chile salad
grilled pork tenderloin with apple cider reduction glaze
for dessert i brought flan and chocolate mousse (pictured)
This afternoon, before friends of ours arrived to go out for dinner, I had a little time to shoot around the kitchen/dining area for a quick supplemental on the urb kitchen tour. It seems that people aren’t so enamored with layouts as much as handy ideas – particularly space-savers. It used to drive me mad when I had to go hunting for a bag of pistachios or a bag of chocolate chips among the shelves because they always wound up in an avalanche slide. They just don’t stack well. We have had a rolling bin for Kaweah’s kibbles for years, but I decided to get a second for my baking ingredients which allows me to take advantage of an otherwise difficult-to-utilize vertical space. It rolls out easily (make sure to get one with sturdy wheels that can handle a decent load) and because it is clear, I can see where everything is.
hooks are great anywhere : bins for holding dog food or bags of baking ingredients
There is also space under my wonderful Ikea Varde cabinets which typically accumulates a lot of dust and dog hair tumbleweeds. I bought a couple of short, but long plastic bins with covers (to protect from dust) to slide under the cabinets. Because we have hardwood floors, I placed self-adhesive felt rounds on the corners for easy sliding. It’s a great way to store extra baking and pastry tools like molds, disposable pastry bags, muffin liners, cake circles…
see all of the dust on the lids
The refrigerator is where we hang kid art. Despite not having any kids of our own (and that is entirely by choice, believe you me) we know and love plenty of wonderful little people who draw pictures, write notes, and make cute crafts for us to show off on the fridge door with our oddball collection of magnets. And I had to include a shot of my favorite corner cabinet that holds our recycling bins.
fridge door : recycling bins
I tend to forget about things like glassware and dishes we have for entertaining until we throw a party (which we recently did). I collect a lot of inexpensive (read: cheap) glassware because it doesn’t hurt as much when they break. I like clean lines, simple designs, and functionality – they never go out of style and they are appropriate for any occasion.
drinking glasses, shot glasses, and juice glasses
plain, cheap, plentiful – great for parties
The majority of my partyware lives in the cabinets along the wall of the dining area. I just like to have them separate from my daily dishes and glasses so that I reduce the risk of breaking anything that I don’t use too often. It’s not that I’m a klutz and break things all of the time – I’m just risk-averse.
japanese tea cups, asian saucers, martini glasses
I threw pottery for ten years before that hobby fell victim to graduate school. The coolest part of throwing pottery was making my own dishes. If anything broke (especially in an earthquake) it was easy enough to go back to the studio and throw another. I gave most of it away before moving, but I still have a number of pieces that I use when guests come over.
jenware: white stoneware plates and bowls
And lastly… our wine rack. My dad bought this lovely wine rack for us when we lived in California. My dad knows wine and he was so excited when I began to learn about wines – mostly to pair with the food I was serving. Many of our first-time guests always ask why all of the bottles are empty. The great room gets a lot of light and becomes very warm from the passive solar heating, even in winter. The temperatures and light levels are just too hostile for proper wine storage. Instead, we save some empty bottles of wines we liked (the corked ones are used to serve water at parties) and we store our wine down in the linen closet of the guest bathroom on the first floor (cool and dark – perfect).
This summer, Jeremy and I will build some proper wine racks to place in the basement. I have these ridiculous nightmares that the shelves of the linen closet are going to collapse under the weight of the wine bottles. You have probably gathered by now that I don’t like it when things break. Anyway, I hope that will keep you entertained until the next recipe or until the next official kitchen tour on Thursday!