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shortlist no. 27 / august 13, 2011

August 25, 2011

You’d be justified in thinking that I’m a little slack these days. But it’s not what you think. Sure, I’m sleepy, a little achy, in the midst of prepping for final exams, and all kinds of anxious, but the truth is I haven’t stopped cooking. Hell, I haven’t even slowed down. Call it nesting, call it psychotic, call it what you will…but I have been cooking constantly – from ragu to brownies – just to freeze the whole lot. Because lord knows we WILL have homemade baked goods around when tapeworm decides to make an appearance.

According to my plan, I will not need to leave the house to buy food for at least a few weeks after giving birth. I’ll just stop by the freezer and decide whether to defroze the quiche or the lasagna. Unfortunately, my plan falters when I take into account the size of my freezer. Right now, it’s at capacity with a batch of cookies, a few tea cakes, frozen peas, about 10 scones and some ice. And it was the ice that really did me in. When it took Francesco a good 10 minutes to find the ice (for his nightly nightcaps), I knew I had to stop squirreling everything away.

And so, partially to empty out the freezer and partially because who knows how often we’ll get to throw together impromptu (and not) dinner parties in the next months, we’ve been entertaining like crazy. But you’ll just have to trust me. Because where I have been slack is in remembering to keep and record my shortlists. My whirlwind cleaning (another symptom of nesting, perhaps?) usually obliterates little scraps of paper and I fear the majority of my carefully plotted shortlists have succumbed to this fate.

I have, though, found a few poor little scraps that we can take to represent the whole: nothing really new, no crazy new trends or ingredients, just trucking along with my old standbys. At this point, new recipes will have to wait until my freezer and my schedule are emptied out. Though for the time being both things seem highly unlikely.

winter dinner for 5

mascarpone reale (mascarpone with gorgonzola)

fresh bread

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mezze maniche all’amatriciana

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roast beef with rosemary

parmesan mashed potatoes

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brownies with sweetened mascarpone

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