hello! i won't bother to make excuses for myself - when i started this blog, i was essentially a secretary in an office i loved but didn't find very satisfying, and i've since bounced from job to job, remaining unsatisfied - until now. this blog served as a fantastic means of creative expression, a way to force myself to do what i love even though i wasn't getting paid for it - it's rather bittersweet that i've found a job now that is so fulfilling, where i get to be as creative as i can muster and do what i love all day long. it's a wonderful feeling, but leaves me feeling somewhat drained when i come home in the afternoon, and blogging has lost some of its urgency, for lack of a better term, for me - it's almost as if my job has become my creative outlet, and blogging has become more of a job. a job that i love, but one that i've been pretty awful about keeping up with.
so, anyway, here's an attempt at getting back on the horse. one of the things i was sad to leave at my last job was the freedom to wear whatever i liked. i've worked in bakeries before, and it's more a case of dressing for comfort that style - and i'm okay with that, but i do miss my fancy shoes and vintage dresses. so i've been rather delighted to find that the other girls who i share a kitchen with are unendingly chic while managing to be kitchen-appropriate. i've taken to wearing lipstick, tights and dresses with an apron careful placed over them; or on more low-key days, something like this:
shirt: j crew
pants: cheap monday
shoes: vintage, thrifted
another fantastic perk is that the bakery is the sister-store of a wonderful organic market, which is right across the street; i'm able to get off work, walk across and head straight to the meat counter, to see what's freshest and talk to the butcher about the best way to prepare it. last thursday it was a lamb, and the butcher recommended i bring half the neck home and braise it with a rub and some vegetables. it's not something i would ever make - for whatever reason, my cooking preferences tend towards extremely fussy, involved dinners - but i followed his advice and it turned out absolutely divine.
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braised lamb's neck
1/2 neck of lamb
a rub of spices - i used kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, ground fennel seed, coriander, paprika, rubbed sage and fresh garlic
your choice of vegetables - i used what i had lying around: a leek, two potatoes, and a handful of cherry tomatoes
red wine and chicken stock, for braising
a pat of butter, for browning the meat
start the butter in a pan - once hot, add the meat, and cook for a couple of minutes on each side - just long enough to brown it. transfer it to a slow cooker with the veggies inside, and add enough chicken stock and wine to come halfway up the top of the meat. braise on high for at least three hours, or up to six. i served mine with a simple greens salad, tossed with some parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and topped with a poached egg. (i'm pretty much topping everything with a poached egg these days.)
i have such a backlog of food to post, i'll do my best to stay on top of it this time! much love to all of you for sticking with me, and hoping you've had a great 2012 thus far.