Friday, July 29, 2011

fettuccini alfredo

I have been meaning to share this recipe with you for awhile after I was stunned to find out that classic fettuccini alfredo actually has no cream in it.  Of course there are many American variations, but it was thanks to Rachael Ray who demonstrated the original Roman method of making this delicious dish on her show that got me to try it--and it couldn't be easier.

Fettuccini alfredo is a dish that supposedly started at a restaurant in Rome called Alfredo.  The simple combination of butter and parmesan melts together perfectly to create a silky and addictive sauce.
2 medium or 4 small servings.
8oz. of dry fettuccini, cooked to al dente in salted water, about 7 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of hot cooking water.  While it is cooking, warm a serving bowl in a 200 degree oven.

When ready, remove serving bowl from oven and add 6 Tbl of butter (6 large pats), hot noodles over butter and top with 1 & 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Toss, letting the cheese and butter begin to melt together.  Add small amount of cooking water to help create the sauce.  Continue to toss till smooth, silky and shiny. Taste for salt, but you may not need it because of the salt in the cheese.  Twirl with tongs onto individual plates.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

a very special family fourth of july

This year, I celebrated a very special and fun 4th of July weekend loaded with events.  It all began when we were invited to a Havemann family (mom's side) reunion of cousins that we didn't know existed until a few years ago.  I started the trip in Crescent City, where there were 6 class reunions going on, including by brother Rick's 30th.  Mom, dad and I left for Oregon on the 2nd, stopping in Merlin at the Sportsman Association so I could watch dad shoot on the sporting clays course.  He has won 1st place in several competitions and will be competing at the Oregon State Sporting Clays Championship in Eugene later this month.  We continued on to the Central Point/Jacksonville area to join the family reunion dinner hosted by our third cousin Sheila and her husband Dick.  If you have never been to Jacksonville, OR., it is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth; the town has maintained the original facades of the turn of the century buildings and businesses.  Landscaping and flowers are perfectly manicured and the surrounding rolling hills are filled with miles of grape fields and  ranches surrounded by pristine white fencing.  It is also home of the Britt Festival, an outdoor amphitheater circled by redwoods that features a summer line-up of world-class musical artists.

The fun continued the next day when the group of us (about 36) met in Grants Pass at the Riverside Inn (a stunning hotel set in lush landscape hanging over the banks of the Rogue River across from Riverside Park. This is where you pick up the Hellgate Jet Boat Excursions.  We headed up the Rogue River through a pass of amazing rock known as "Hellgate" a name for a narrow rock passage.  We stopped at a rustic open air lodge called the OK Corral for a champagne brunch.  The delicious and abundant food was served family style, including homemade biscuits with sausage cream gravy, fresh breads, pastries, fruit, sausage, bacon, eggs and hash browns.  When we headed back up the river, the real fun began.  Our guide threw the boat into one after another 360 degree turns, plus fishtailing through the wake of another boat till we were completely soaked--but in the 90 degree heat it felt pretty good.  Sheila and Dick hosted an evening barbecue and we enjoyed getting to know all of our extended family.

We returned to Crescent City on the 4th early enough to put together a great barbecue with Rick and Donna in perfect weather that lasted into the evening--very unusual for CC.  And something we hadn't done in years--we headed downtown and watched the fireworks!  Before I left, I was able to have lunch at the Brian Scott Gallery with mom and some of the gals from the Crescent Harbor Art Gallery.  Add another great dish to the trip--ahi tuna nicoise salad with a tarragon vinaigrette.