It feels grossly insensitive to blather on about our favorite things without saying something about the tragic school shooting this morning in Newtown, CT. Â Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by this terrible, senseless act of violence. Â Love your loved ones harder (especially your kids) and enjoy your own favorites more — life can change in an instant.
Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:
We’re just finishing up Season 2 of the show “Downton Abbey” and can’t recommend this series highly enough. Â There’s a reason that Season 2 was nominated for several Golden Globe awards and Season 1 won for best mini series last year. Â The acting, story lines, dialogue, sets and scenery are all top-notch, and it’s one of our all-time favorite shows. Â If you haven’t watched it because you’re not that into “period piece” entertainment, give it a shot anyway — it’s so much more than actors dressing up in fancy costumes and speaking in old-fashioned accents. Â If you’re not hooked after Dowager Countess asks “What is a ‘week-end?'” in her privileged, snooty tone during the family’s first dinner with Cousin Matthew in Season 1, then it’s probably not your cup of tea after all. Â But it’s worth a look. Â You’ve still got a little time to get caught up before Season 3 starts on Jan. 6! Â (And if you’re like us, you won’t be able to resist watching several episodes in a row, marathon-style.)
We took a break from Christmas shopping last weekend — and took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather — by enjoying some of our favorite Tex-Mex on a patio. Â Sizzling fajitas, beefy tacos and the “Texas Martini” (one of the best margaritas around) hit the spot, as did being able to sit outside on a warm and sunny day in December.
Homemade pasta is a relatively rare treat around our house, at least until Dan found and tried this easy-for-homemade dough recipe. Â The pasta was really good, especially served with this boar ragu. Â It was the first time we had ever cooked with boar (we used pre-ground boar that we found at Sprouts), and we were surprised by how much we liked it. Â Dan detected a hint of “gamey” flavor (his palate must be more advanced than mine, all I detected was delicious-ness) but said it enhanced the overall flavor rather than detracting from it. Â We’ll definitely make boar ragu again. Â And homemade pasta.
The phrase “if you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes” rang true for us this week. Â A few days after our Tex-Mex patio lunch, the temperatures dropped to freezing and we woke up to a very light dusting of snow! Â The colder weather is a welcome change and makes it feel more like Christmas-time.
Our first snow also brought our first fire of the season. Â Now it’s REALLY beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, our tree is up and (mostly) decorated, although I will likely find myself periodically adding and re-arranging ornaments on it right up until New Year’s, as I do every year. Â It’s a sickness.