Saturday, March 24, 2012


My son, Kyle, is home for Spring Break.  He spent the first part of the week at his dad's house, hanging out with his friends.  He came up here Thursday evening and will take the train back to school tomorrow.  In the meantime, he is feasting.  He lives in an on campus apartment with three other guys and they eat a lot of day old bread and Spaghetti O's.  He's been craving my cooking (he knows how to make his mother happy) and copying down easy recipes to take back with him.

Tonight, we are celebrating his birthday since he was at school on his actual birthday.  It is a tradition in our family for the birthday honoree to chose the dinner of his or her choice.  (When it's my birthday, we go out).  Kyle sent me his menu a week in advance and it was a doosey.  I have been in the kitchen all day long.  Fortunately, the weather is cold today (another storm coming in) so I didn't mind being inside.

This morning, I baked a chocolate cake.  I will make chocolate whipped cream for the frosting and fill it with bananas.  Kyle has requested this cake every year without exception.

I made bread.  Kyle was very specific that it had to be homemade bread.  He wanted a French type bread so that took time today as well although its a lot of rising and waiting between steps so not too labor intensive.

I made a brown sauce that I used as the base for the port wine sauce to go with our mashed potatoes and steaks.

First I browned onion, fennel, ground beef and dried mushrooms together.

Then I added broth, simmered, strained and added some fresh herbs.  Simmered some more.

Vegetable?  Artichokes and mashed potatoes.

After making the artichokes, potatoes, cake, bread and sauce I announced that everyone could sit down at the table.  And then... I realized I had forgotten to cook the steaks!!  I am losing it.  Seriously.  So, the steaks cooked while we ate our artichokes.  oops.

Barn updates:
  • Flash's back was not sore at all this morning after our lesson yesterday.  Yes!  
  • Jackson, on the other hand, was a bit off yesterday and this morning he slipped walking into his stall.  Brett said he almost went to his knees and then had difficulty getting up.  He's back on bute and stall rest.  I'm hoping he bounces back quickly.
  • Sedona has started digging holes again in her never-ending quest to get squirrels.  Brett is furious.  There are holes all over the slope between the house and the arena.  I haven't figured out how to solve this since the squirrels aren't moving out and Sedona can't help herself where they are concerned.  Her hips aren't strong enough to handle walks, and I can't keep my eye on her the whole time she is out.  We let the dogs run while we are doing barn chores so they are quasi supervised but she is obviously finding time to dig, dig, dig.
Tomorrow Kyle heads back to school, Camille goes back to her dad's, and the rain arrives.  But, today was a very good day.  Both of my children were home and we ate a very good meal.  


  1. man, that sounds like a fantastic meal! laughed at the steaks, tho!

    hope jackson does okay...

  2. Man, I am eating my dinner, and you made me hungry! LOL! Love the bread, it looks fantastic.
    Glad Flash is not sore, but, am sorry Jackson is, :(

  3. Kyle has good taste. Happy Birthday wishes from Skoog Farm. How nice that both of your kids could be there.
    Sorry about Jackson. What a meal.

  4. You made me laugh so hard about forgetting the steaks! I would too after baking such a lovely bread! Poor Jackson,I hope he feels better soon. Sedona keeps Brett busy....Nothing nicer than having your kids home from college!

  5. I loved hearing more about your kids. I bet he does miss your cooking.

  6. What a beautiful family time you had. That bread is Bon Appetit worthy Annette - you've got skills. :)

    Giggling about the missing steaks. I almost forgot to serve several courses that were made ahead for our Thanksgiving meal - glad someone else was paying attention lol.

    Good news about Flash - please tell Brett congrats on his dressage progress. I didn't get a chance to comment on your post yesterday. You both (all four) are doing so well. How great is it to have a husband who shares your passion. ;)

    Hoping Jackson feels better today - ((hugs)) to him.

  7. Lucky birthday boy!

    I hope Jackson bounces back soon.

  8. What an AWESOME birthday dinner! Happy birthday to your son!

    I hope Jackson feels better soon and I'm glad Flash wasn't sore. :)

    How big are the holes that Sedona's digging? I would think that would put strain on the hips if she's digging with both front legs. Silly dog!


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