On Goats, Halibut, and Creamed Cabbage with Bacon

Around noon yesterday, my husband and I met our friend Ryan at one of our favorite bars near our home, Krug Park.  Sundays are the perfect day to sit down for a Bloody Mary, and Anne knows how to make a good one.  We met there not just for the great drinks and good conversation…we met there to talk about goats.  More specifically, Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

See, our friend Ryan is a lot like me in that he has a passion for food and cooking.  Unlike me, he is a chef here in town.  But he takes his love for food one step further and as a result, deserves the label of urban farmer.  He and his wife raise chickens, ducks, and they have quite the green thumb when it comes to their garden.  But that wasn’t enough for Ryan.  He wanted to add some goats to the mix.  I volunteered my goat-sitting services immediately.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of our communal goat adventures.  Right now, we’re just in the planning stages.  I can’t even tell you how excited I am to experiment with the milk from our little goats.  I’m thinking cheese.  Lots and lots of cheese.  At least to start with.  Then, who knows what?  All I know is I’m excited to be a part of Ryan’s endeavors.

Now, on to dinner.

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Chicken Canzanese

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Forgive me for my brief absence, dear readers.  My husband had an art opening in Wichita this weekend, so I was unable to experiment in the kitchen.  I did miss it, though, and got right to it on Sunday night.  However, that night was a simple dinner of pan seared chicken breasts with a light salad (I wanted something easy).

But last night…last night was a different story.  See, the weather in Wichita was lovely while we were visiting – in the 60’s, sunny, with a light breeze – but Omaha, well, Omaha was straight up winter when we arrived home.  Bitterly cold with an unforgiving wind that blew right through me.

For whatever reason, chicken was on the menu again.  But I wanted something heartier than a chicken breast with salad.  I wanted something braised, with a sauce, on polenta.  I wanted a rich, warming dish perfect for a winter’s night.  Chicken Canzanese it was.

Canzano is a small hamlet in the Abruzzo region of Italy.  On a map, it would be located in the mid-calf area of the country.  The dish is absolutely delicious, and why wouldn’t it be?  It’s flavored with prosciutto, garlic, white wine, sage, rosemary, clove, and red pepper flakes, and braised in the oven for a solid hour.

I chose to use chicken thighs for this version, but I’m sure it would be equally good with a whole cut-up chicken, chicken breasts, or even turkey breasts or thighs (though I would imagine you’d have to increase cooking time).  The sauce is absolutely so wonderful that I could see it going well with fish or Cornish hens, as well.

The only other notation I’ll make is that if you can’t find prosciutto, feel free to use bacon as a substitute.  I made some polenta to go under the chicken, but I could see noodles as a nice substitute, as well.

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Harvest Cafe & Wine Bar (Omaha, NE)

Twice now, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Omaha World Herald as a correspondent writing dining reviews.  My second installment is a write-up on a lovely restaurant called Harvest Cafe & Wine Bar.  If you live in the area, be sure to check it out!


Moroccan-Style Braised Lamb Shanks

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I realize, dear readers, that I can sometimes go a little nuts with the desserts on this blog.  I really have no excuse for why or how that happens.  It just does.  Perhaps I like the way desserts look when they’re finished.  Perhaps I make more desserts because I like the challenge or because I enjoy sharing them with friends.  Whatever the reason, I do it.

But I know there are some of you out there (you know who you are) that want a little more out of me – want me to have more meat-centric dishes on the blog.  Well, demand ask and you shall receive.

When confronted with the lack of meat dishes on the blog, I asked, “What can I cook for you?”  The answer I was given was pretty specific, “Perhaps something Moroccan.”  Alright, then.  Moroccan it is.

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Orange “Creamsicle” Ice Cream

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It’s winter here in the midwest.  The sun may be shining, but it is by no means warm outside.  This is the weather of sledding, hot cocoa, fireplaces, and heavy blankets.  Certainly not the weather of ice cream, right?  Normally, I’d agree with you, but in this case, you’d be wrong.

Perhaps it was the sunny sky that fooled me, or perhaps I just wanted to bring a little summer to these winter days.  Either way, I decided I wanted to make a creamy citrus ice cream.

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