Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sector 9

When we first got our house, my bedroom was little more than a graffiti riddled, primer gray, skate park of a disaster area, which we lovingly referred to as "Sector 9" (which had been inexplicably spray painted on the wall by the previous owner). Slowly but surely we have moved through the house, room by room, and revamped this fixer upper, and Sector 9 finally got its turn. Here are some of the before and after pictures. Granted, it is still a work in design process, and my curtains still need to be sewn (though I have all of the fabric and trim for them) and I need to purchase a few more accessories, but you get the general idea.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Cheese fondue (made with Gruyere and Emmentaler) served with: smoked sausage, meatballs, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese ravioli, sliced apples, bell pepper, sour dough bread, and pretzels.

Chocolate Fondue served with pound cake, pineapple, sliced banana, apples, strawberries, gummy bears (you know, for fun), and pretzels.

I had never actually made fondue before this evening, but decided it would be fun to try out a couple of recipes, since we do have the pots laying around after all. I went ahead and tried Tyler Florences' cheese fondue recipe ( substituting brandy for the kirsh, and adding more nutmeg, a little more lemon juice, and a dash each of cayenne and black pepper after tasting it and feeling it was a little on the bland side.) Overall it was delicious. I mean, come on, a big pot of melted Gruyere? How bad can that be. In the future I might choose a better melting cheese to pair with the Gruyere. While they did both melt into the wine beautifully, the ending mouth feel wasn't quite as unctious as I feel like it could/should/ought to have been. For the Chocolate fondue I used Ina's Chocolate Orange fondue recipe sans the orange, and with the addition of vanilla. Aside from being fool proof (as all of her recipes tend to be) it was rich, thick, creamy and delicious. All in all fondue seems like a fun, easy, casual way to eat and to entertain, it comes together quickly, and I love the informal earthiness of gathering around the table and digging in. But just because it is informal doesn't mean it can't be beautiful. I love the look of a big white platter here with big blocks of color. And really whatever you have on hand works well, since, after all, what wouldn't be improved by being dunked in a pot of molten cheese?