We opted for a surf and turf dinner on Valentine’s Day that included:
- a wonderful rose sparkler from France;
- bacon-wrapped tenderloin;
- homard a l’Americaine; and, for dessert,
- strawberry almond crunch love cookie sandwiches.
To make the cookies we actually created strawberry powder. This is a very simple process of dehydrating the strawberries in a dehydrator or in our case, the oven set to not more than 140°. You want to dry not bake the strawberries. This will take several hours but you can putter about while it’s being done.
2) slice the strawberries about a 1/4 inch thick and leave them on parchment to dry; 3) the finished product
You’ll also flambe the lobster in cognac – or in our case good Canadian whiskey. Make sure you have a lid ready and be mindful of your range hood – you don’t want it burning when you do this. We used about 1/3 cup of whiskey.
Just before serving, remove the lobster from the shells and stir into the tomato/butter sauce.
8) fresh tarragon makes this dish, parsley to finish, white wine, shallots and garlic, skinned and seeded tomato and the lobster; 9) chicken broth (use clam juice or fish stock if you have it), whiskey and tomato paste
11) saute the lobster tails in a little olive oil; 12) set aside
13) soften the onion and carrot, then; 14) add in the shallot and a little garlic
19) add in the lobster and you’re ready to go; 20) highly recommend this sparkler!
21) soak your toothpicks and wrap your tenderloin with thick bacon – broil at 500° for 3 minutes or so a side; 22) the lobster is just about ready to serve
The Kids Are Alright
Lisa Cholodenko directs a film she wrote – and a very good original screenplay at that – which follows the arrival of a surrogate father into the lives of two lesbians and their two children. Annette Benning stars as Nic, the successful physician and ‘father’ of the family. Julianne Moore is her partner, Jules, a woman still trying to find herself and her lot in life. When their teenage children – Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and brother Laser (Josh Hutcherson) – decide to meet their sperm-donating father Paul (Mark Ruffalo) it sets off all sorts of doubts and drama that challenges the family’s dynamic. The film is refreshing in that it portrays two not unusual occurrences in life within the (to some) unique context of a gay couple with kids. Filmed with good humour, it all ends predictably enough – poor Paul aside – and Benning steals the show. My rating 8 out of 10.
Toy Story 3
Lee Unkrick directs this latest installment of the Disney Studios juggernaut that keeps going and going. The playpen of characters returns including Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Lotso (Ned Beatty), Mr Potato Head (Don Rickles – who this reviewer always thinks is deceased), and Ken (Michael Keaton). As Andy heads for college, he toys with what to do with his beloved childhood friends. Opting to cart them to the attic, they are inadvertently waylaid by Andy’s mom and end up in a notorious daycare overseen by an evil strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. The story is formulaic to its core and despite the gorgeous animation, Toy Story 3 has a thoroughly been-there, done-that feel. And the Academy picked this an Oscar 2011 contender? Oh my! My rating 5 out of 10.