And I got the chance to meet and greet with some awesome people today.
Today's plan was to go to the Top Chef demonstration in Charlotte, NC. I planned to meet Spike and Andrew, shake hands, kiss cheeks, take photos, get in a little Q&A and go home happy. Well, Ike decided to scare the beejeezus out of everyone, prompting $5 gas, and even though I filled up before the scare...I didn't want to take any chances.
I had a back-up plan. It's been in my pocket for a month, and I'm glad I had it.
The Forsyth County (NC) Public Library has a festival each year called Bookmarks. It's sponsored by the local newspaper (not mine), a few radio stations, grocery stores, and the library, of course. Last year, I met Amy Sedaris (our photo together is on Facebook, if you want to see it. Oh, and you have to have Facebook AND be my friend to see it so...), Sue Monk Kidd, and Elizabeth Edwards (I do believe she knew about Rielle when I was shaking her hand).
This year, I went to meet the author of The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry: Kathleen Flinn. I bought her book when I bought this but I have yet to actually read it. I felt inspired by our meeting today, so I'll be reading it soon.
What's it about? Well, Courtney at CocoCooks does a better job than I would, so click here.
Kathleen seems fun, regular and someone who you want to invite over for Sunday dinner (with her gracious husband who was a catalyst for her going to Le Cordon Bleu).
She was so sweet when signing my book.
So when I got home, I was tired, but not too tired to cook. I haven't cooked in days. The following is a recipe from the book.
Spaghetti Bolognaise de Sharon
(Sharon's Bolognese sauce for spaghetti)
adapted from The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry
1 cup onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 carrots, grated
1 lb 97% fat free ground beef
1 mini bottle (350 ml) dry red wine
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Italian herbs (I ripped up fresh basil, parsley, oregano, marjoram, & thyme)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked and drained
In a saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and cook onions and carrots over medium heat until softened. Don't brown them. Stir in the garlic and beef. Stir and mash, using a fork or tined-utensil, until the meat cooks through and separates into crumbly pieces.
Add the wine and turn up the heat so that the wine bubbles continuously. Reduce by half. Skim off any gray foam. Add tomato paste and stir. Cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for a minimum of two hours and up to four. Stir from time to time, scraping the bottom to ensure nothing sticks or burns (a rubber spatula is great for this part). Shortly before serving, stir in the Italian herbs, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Taste again and adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve with pasta sprinkled with Parmesan.
I like more pasta than sauce, so a little bit goes a long way for me. And I'm a big cheese whore (I buy 5-8 different kinds every time I go to the grocery) so there was probably more cheese on this than sauce.
Thank you, Kat's friend and classmate, Sharon. This was good. No, no... delicious.
And I think that I'll submit this to Presto Pasta Nights, too. There's a first time for everything and this will be my 1st entry ever. I think this is the perfect dish for that. Go by and see Psychgrad, she's hosting this week. She and her people are hiLARious over there. For real.
Oh, and I met these people too:
Famed poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator, Nikki Giovanni. And me.
- Nikki @ NikSnacks
- I'm an award-winning private chef who writes and talks about my life as a food writer, culinarian, podcast host, and food tour guide, I'm a classical French trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami. I've worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger, catering chef, pastry chef, butcher, baker, and a biscuit-maker.