Sunday, December 6, 2015

06 December 2015

The holidays are in full swing at One Britt, and the hustle and bustle is overwhelming, at times. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I cooked the traditional dishes, plus a couple of new ones: Roasted Free Range Heritage Turkey, Mom's Cornbread Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Turkey Gravy, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Mint, Pot of Mixed greens and Roasted Celery Hearts. Jeff added his legendary Pecan Pie; Cory and John brought Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary, and our friends Mary and Nicole baked some amazing Challah Bread and an awesome Lemon Curd Cheesecake. We ate a ton of food, gave thanks for all of the wonderful things in our lives, drank some wine and laughed a lot. It was a great day. I had enough leftovers for several other meals, including a delicious turkey, veggie and greens soup with cornbread stuffing dumplings.

We were still not ready to dirty up the kitchen again on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so I have been remiss to post on my blog. Instead of cooking, we decided to have a movie day at Avalon in Alpharetta. On the way over, we stopped for bagels and coffee at Bagel Boys Cafe. They have the best bagels in the Atlanta area. Afterward, we saw our first movie, Brooklyn. It is an exquisite, moving film that is beautifully filmed and brilliantly acted. I highly recommend it. We collected ourselves with at snack and cocktail at El Felix before seeing the next movie, Creed. It is the final sequel in the Rocky franchise. I have always enjoyed the first Rocky movie, but I was not impressed with the sequels. However, Creed is a different story, and if you liked the first Rocky, I think you will like this film.

This past weekend centered around our friend, Cory Wilson's, birthday. We pulled together a small impromptu cocktail hour for him on Friday at our house, and we ordered some great wood fired pizzas, pretzels with beer cheese sauce and edamame from The Snug. They did a great job, as always. On Saturday, we joined John and Cory for dinner in Atlanta at Umi, a fantastic Japanese restaurant adjacent to the St. Regis. We had pre-dinner cocktails at the St. Regis Bar, and I was delighted to discover that my friend, Hirut, works there now. I first met her many years ago at the Four Seasons Bar, and she has always taken great care of me. If you are in Atlanta for a special occasion and want great cocktails in an elegant room with wonderful service, try the St. Regis Bar, and ask for Hirut! You won't be disappointed.

Sunday was spent catching up on chores and sleep, and of course, it was time to get back into the kitchen for Sunday Supper! I wanted to keep it relatively simple, so I went with a Risotto of leeks, pancetta and asparagus tips. For the salad, I shaved the raw asparagus stalks and combined them with some baby arugula and pine nuts with a basic vinaigrette. The Italian theme continued with a rustic orange and olive oil cake. I served it with some Cointreau whipped cream, and it turned out well.

So on to another busy week at Grant Design Collaborative, and I look forward to next weekend when the Canton Main Street program will host the First Annual Art and Wine Walk in the Historic Downtown Loop! The holiday shopping event with feature over 20 stops and artists with different wines at each location. The hours will be Friday, December 11, 4-6 PM and Saturday, December 12, from 2-6 PM. I hope I will see you strolling and shopping from the talented artists and enthusiastic downtown merchants.

The Menu:

- Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Roasted Pine Nuts

- Risotto with Leeks, Pancetta and Asparagus Tips

- Orange Olive Oil Country Cake with Cointreau Whipped Cream

The Recipe – Risotto with Leeks, Pancetta
and Asparagus Tips


5 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces chopped pancetta
2 thinly sliced leeks – white and pale green parts only
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup asparagus tips
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh Italian parsley leaves and additional grated Parmesan for garnishing


Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan.

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Add leeks to drippings in pan, and cook until soft, stirring about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add rice to pan and stir around 2 minutes. Add wine, and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup warm broth to saucepan, and stir until absorbed. Repeat adding broth and stirring until rice is tender but still firm to bite and sauce is creamy, stirring almost constantly, around 25 minutes total. Add asparagus tips, if using, in the last ten minutes.

Add pancetta, chopped parsley, butter, and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Garnish with more chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan,

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