So, in case you were wondering….we did get out of work on Friday!!!  I live at the top of a giant hill, which was all ice.  They actually closed the road until Saturday morning because it was so slick.  And since it never rarely snows in Atlanta, there aren’t enough salt trucks to de-ice the non-main roads – they only focus on the highway.  So all the little windy, back roads and neighborhoods were quite treacherous.  I may have exaggerated slightly about being stuck (even though the road was closed, I probably could have made it out the back way.  But I didn’t want to risk wrecking my car).  The three-day weekend was nice!  And I was even a good girl and did a few hours of work from home.

Fado was brave and ventured out into the snow – Project 365 photo 8

The view from my patio

The black ice in the parking lot and the closed street

Anyway…since Atlanta was in a deep freeze this weekend, there wasn’t too much unnecessary venturing outside going on.  We were pretty much holed up all weekend.  But just because we were home, doesn’t mean that we weren’t productive.

Saturday morning someone came by to look at the condo.  This meant that we had to be out of the house at 10:30 a.m.  We decided to head to West Egg for brunch to kill the time.  While we were there, JD, T and I decided that we should cook something really delicious for dinner.  We all voted on osso bucco.  We used a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis**, but of course we tweaked it to our liking.  The recipe called for 6 veal shanks, but we used 3 and then 3 beef short ribs (and thank God we did because the veal at Whole Foods cost a TON of money).

My parents bought us a one of those handy-dandy enamel cast iron dutch ovens for Christmas, so we thought it would be the perfect pot to use for the osso bucco.  The recipe says to cook the dish in the oven, after browning it, for 1.5 hours.  We wanted the meat to be extra tender, so we simmered it on low heat for 3.5 hours on the stove.  It turns out amazingly that way!

The osso bucco over pasta

Since we decided to throw in a few spoonfuls of crushed tomatoes, that left us with a giant can of leftovers.  JD volunteered to make a pomodoro sauce that we could use for dinner on Sunday.  We agreed that it would be a great idea, and decided to make mozzarella stuffed meatballs to eat with it – also another Giada recipe.  Everything turned out great! (FYI – I just made the amatriciana sauce tonight for the leftover meatballs, and it smells amazing!  I did use bacon instead of pancetta though because I already had that here.)

Sunday’s meatball extravaganza

All pretty (and delicious) on the plate

While the food was cooking on Saturday, we convinced T to watch Julie & Julia with us.  Let me tell you guys, the movie is super cute!  I liked it a lot, and it totally inspired me to get my butt in the kitchen and get cooking.  Plus it’s one of those feel good,make you smile kind of movies.

In honor of Julie’s and Julia’s kitchen conquests, I was inspired to get up on Sunday morning and cook a restaurant-style brunch (only there were no mimosas – damn GA and the no selling alcohol on Sunday policy).  I made oven roasted potatoes topped with fresh parsley, rosemary and garlic.  Then (with T’s help) I whipped up eggs benedict.  T made the poached eggs, while I slaved over the hollandaise.  The food was very labor intensive, and I don’t think I’ve ever used so many pots while cooking breakfast, but it was worth it.  It was delicious!  I will definitely make it again sometime soon!

So did you eat or make anything super tasty this weekend?  Did you see any great movies?

**Osso Bucco Recipe (with my edits)

Makes 6 main-course servings

6 1- to 1 1/2 – inch-thick slices veal shank (we do half and half beef short ribs and veal shanks)

2 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/3 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons crushed or stewed (if you want chunks) tomatoes

1 cup dry white wine

About 4 cups chicken broth

1 large sprig of fresh rosemary

1 large sprig of fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

2 whole cloves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pat the veal dry with paper towels to ensure even browning. Secure the meat to the bone with kitchen twine. Season
the veal with 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Dredge the veal in flour to coat the cut sides lightly.

In a heavy roasting pan large enough to fit the meat in a single layer (or do 2 batches), heat the oil over a medium heat until hot. Add the meat and cook until brown on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the veal to a platen ad reserve.

In the same pan, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan. Add enough chicken broth to come two thirds of the way up the sides of the meat. Add the herb sprigs, bay leaf, and cloves to the broth mixture. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Once simmering, turn heat to low and simmer 2.5-3 hours, until the meat is fall off the bone tender.

Serve over pasta and top with grated Parmesan and parsley.

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