September 18, 2011

Getting my cooking groove back on

Fall is everywhere my friends, and so I have put out some fall items in my home and decided to get my cooking groove back on as well. As you have probably read on here before, summer is not my season, as far as cooking goes. Sure I love to eat all the fresh fruit and yummy things that are in season during the summer months, but to actually cook something, no. I think we maybe grilled three times the whole summer! Because there was a nip in the air the other day, and all the beautiful fall lighting starting to show it self, I decided I really wanted to cook a fun dinner on Saturday.
On the menu was duck ragu, with pappardelle pasta. I love how simple the ingredients are with the classic mirepoix to start, with a bit of added chopped sage. How about my knife skills?! :)
I sent my poor husband in search of duck legs at another location, when our Whole Foods sold out of theirs. He found two fresh.........................
and two that had been already cooked to make duck confit. I decided to not have him continue to drive all over the San Francisco bay area to find two more uncooked ones, and made this work.
Simmer, simmer, for two hours.
Made some fresh pasta. I'm truly loving this new drying stand!
This recipe was in the new Fine Cooking, among many other versions of slow simmered meat sauces. It was very good I must say.
Dessert was, Pear ricotta tart with phyllo crust. This recipe was from the newest Donna Hay magazine. Very simple, but the flavor combinations were so good. The filling was, ricotta mixed with one egg, lemon zest, raisins, and a bit of sugar. The texture of the custard was so light and flavorful.
The topping was melted honey that you warm up with vanilla beans. I really want to make this again, because of how simple and delicious it was!
I had so much fun cooking again, and can't wait to do more adventurous recipes in the coming months.

Are you guys excited for all the fall cooking as much as I am?


  1. That all sounds and looks delicious; you are such a gourmet!

  2. Well, when you say you are in the mood to cook--wow you do it up good!!! :)

    Looks delish! I bet everyone was happy after that dinner.


  3. It's definitely autumnal here. Looking forward to the first dumplings of the season!

  4. I just gained three lbs. from reading your post. I think it would be best if I moved out to S.F. I could go "duck hunting" for you. If you would provide meals like this one, I am sure we could work out a deal. I make ricotta regularly. There is usually enough for lasagna and then some. Perhaps the "and-then-some" could be this desert. Autumn does the same thing for me. Just the other night we watched the movie "Love's Kitchen" - you should have seen me ... I was ready to sell the house and do what "they" did in the movie. That is all I am going to tell you so that I don't ruin it for you in case you see the movie. (It is on Netflix, BTW). Enjoyed the post. Carolina

  5. you got your cooking groove back on in a big way ... just like riding a bicycle. it all looks delicious, but the home made pasta - yum!

  6. I need a big sister like you !!
    I very often cook because I have to cook (because we don't buy food from the box) but I bake because I love baking ! and even with diabetes and glute intolerance at home this doesn't stop me ! I need those delicious smells from the oven in my kitchen when the days are coller & shorter ! I need L. drooling & rolling her eyes with a "yum". I especially live baking with Fall fruits. That pear ricotta tart looks sooooo delicious !!

  7. Yes, I am REALLY excited for fall cooking. I got the Martha mag in the mail the other day and she's got quite a few things, namely some pot pies, that I want to try!!

    Thank you for bringing this fantastic subject up!!!