Sunday, October 19, 2014

you are special today

Growing up, when it was your birthday or something special happened like you got an award  in school you were given the red plate at dinner. This Clark family tradition is one of my favorite, and it's something that lives on in the Clarbaugh household. 
Vance is very special today (well, it was yesterday, but I think he is special everyday) – 34 years of being special. To celebrate I made a sage spiced pumpkin hummus and a fall dinner including Ina's slow roasted beef.
Sage Spiced Pumpkin Hummus
1/2 can packed pumpkin
1 can chick peas
1/4 cup water
2 tables chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cloves minced garlic
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup tahini
2/3 tables EVOO
Mix all ingredients (except the olive oil) in food processor until incorporated. Drizzle in the olive oil until desired consistency – nice and smooth. Serve with pita chips, crudités, apple slices or whatever other vehicle you use to get hummus to your mouth.
Along with the hummus, Vance tried a sampling of pumpkin beers (not all of them - but a couple!)
Sam Adam Harvest Pumpkin Ale was my personal fav.
Speaking of beer, Courtney, Jill and I were enjoying a fall pint at the Taproom this week, and it was mentioned how brussel sprouts are one of those foods you grow to enjoy as you become an adult. For me, other foods in this category include meatloaf, cauliflower and fish (outside of fried flounder).
Vance (who perhaps has always had a little adult streak in him) has loved brussels since he was a wee Albaugh. Along with tenderloin and mashed potatoes, I made shredded brussel sprouts with pancetta for his birthday dinner.
1.5 pounds brussel sprouts
4 ounces pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
S&P to taste
Cut off the hard end and peel away top layer of sprouts. Rinse and dry well. Pulse the brussel sprouts in the food processor until they are all shredded. You might have to do this in two batches. In a large sauté pan, lightly brown the pancetta - remove to a paper towel. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pancetta fat and then add the garlic. Saute until just fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the shredded brussel sprouts to the pan and mix well. After about 5 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar - cook for another 10 minutes until brussel sprouts are tender (add the pancetta back in during the last few minutes). Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Lastly, we enjoyed two great desserts (little much? agreed.) One, I will post on later this week, but the other was a delicious apple pie from The Loving Pie Co. in Berry Hill. Nothing says fall like apple pie!

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