Originally when he had drawn up his plans for the kitchen, his island was going to have a raised eating bar area and I complained about that. One big level area that can be used to roll out cookie, pastry and bread dough and to work on is best in my mind. He wanted to put a small chop sink in it, and I thought that was okay, but really really really argued against a raised bar. So I was thrilled to see a smooth granite one level countertop on that island (I knew I would win that argument, ha ha ha). And it's huge!!! You can easily seat 6 people at the eating area and when you are at the island you look out at the living room so you can talk to people while you are cooking.
Now you think I would have been eager to use the new six burner gas range he had installed, but yesterday I used the slow cooker to make coq au vin. We spent the morning arranging furniture and putting final decorating touches in place throughout the house, and we planned to catch a hockey game at the local rink that afternoon. So I didn't want to have to rush making a meal for us and our guests when we got home. The slow cooker is perfect for times like this, and coq au vin is something you can make even on a reduced calorie diet. Serve with with garlic smashed potatoes and a salad. Coq au vin is also a challenge for me in another way: I must substitute something for the red wine usually in the recipe, because the Beau says no to vino!!!
For family that's coming over today to see the house, I roasted a small ham and a turkey breast early this morning. I sliced up most of it for bunwiches (thanks to the Beau's mom, there are some 10 dozen home made buns in the house to enjoy) I took some of the ham to use in the soup that is being held on "stay warm" in the slow cooker....I did cook it on the range, but the slow cooker will keep it warm all day. And I baked cookies. A nice thick bowl of soup and a bun full of freshly roasted meat, followed by a really chocolate-y chunky cookie is a nice treat on a day like today when snow is falling lightly and there's a chill in the air.
Well, he's certainly made it very tempting to come to Saskatchewan much more, simply to be with...um....him... (Is it possible to fall in love with a kitchen? If so, I will miss you, your big island and great range! Adieu till next time!!!)
Eight Hour Coq au Vin (adapted from Good Housekeeping)
3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces (I use low sodium bacon)
2 - 227 gram packages whole mushrooms, each cut in half
2 cups pearl onions (fresh or frozen, your choice)
1 four pound chicken, cut up with skin removed from all pieces except the wings
Salt and Pepper
One medium onion, chopped
One large carrot, chopped
1 cup dry red wine ***
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs thyme
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3/4 cup chicken broth***
*** To make a version without any alcohol, I skip the wine completely, using 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1.25 cups of chicken broth