Here is part two of my The Paris Wife post, much better for you than a Death in the Afternoon cocktail - trout stuffed with ham and onions. While the Paris Wife is set mainly in Paris, as with anything having to do with Hemingway, the real heart of the story involves Spain. It was on a trip to Spain, to watch bullfighting, that Hadley and Hem's marriage really started to go wrong. Hemingway, tempted by what was new and by someone who would fawn over him anew, flirted dangerously with a beautiful British aristocrat. This woman became the inspiration for the character Brett in The Sun Also Rises. Following this trip, Hem came home to write that book, and everyone on the trip with Hem and Hadley ended up as characters in the book - everyone except Hadley. While on this trip, in Pamplona, while Hadley naps in the hotel, Hemingway ventures around the city and comes back raving about an amazing trout dish he had just had - the best fish he has ever eaten - river trout stuffed with ham and onions. This seemed like the perfect dish to make for the book - representing some good parts of the Hadley/Hem relationship - their love for the outdoors, they joy in sharing the things they love with each other. This was a snap to make but certainly packs some special occasion punch.
While there is a little bit of mint in this shamrock shake, this is definitely not some healthy "green" version of the traditional, likely toxic, McDonald's version. No, I updated the shamrock shake of m youth by adding some booze - bright green creme de menthe for the color, and Baileys for some richness. I blended these with that touch of mint, some milk and some vanilla frozen yogurt. Yum. The perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick's day.
For Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, I went back and forth between whether I wanted to make a cocktail or some food - alcohol is a big part of the book and of course a big part of the Hemingway story. But, then again, with a book set in Paris, Spain, and the Alps, how could I ignore the food? Food seems to be a big part of the Hemingway story as well. In classic Hemingway form of indulging in everything life has to offer to the fullest, I am doing two posts for The Paris Wife - this deadly (pun intended) cocktail of absinthe and champagne as well as a trout stuffed with ham and onions. This cocktail represents the bad side of the relationship of Hadley Richardson and Ernest Hemingway that is depicted in The Paris Wife. It is the type of thing they would drink when they were fighting, when they were bored, when they wanted to get obliterated and ignore the obvious problems in their relationship. The trout represents the good side of their relationship - their healthy love of the outdoors, love of each other and the incredible "down to earth"ness of their relationship. First, a recap of the book and the story of this cocktail, then in the next post a trip to Spain for some trout.
It turns out that this beef pie with stout and stilton that I made for my entry on the first two books of the Song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings) is not only perfect for the book, but now that we are in March, a perfect St. Patrick's Day kind of dish since it has Guinness and seems like something you would it in a pub in Ireland. There has been a lot of space in the blogosphere devoted to the food of George R. Martin's brilliant fantasy series - A Song of Ice and Fire, and my little addition here is likely much less imaginative or true to the novels than others, but it is damn tasty. Contrary to my usual practice, I saw the TV version of Game of Thrones before I read the book - so for both the first and second book in the series (there are currently five books). This meant I knew the major plot points (and there is a real doozy at the end of the first book), but it really didn't lessen my enjoyment of the books. These are big, hefty complicated books - the kind of books that have maps and an index of the characters in them. They are the kind of books you also can get lost in - and I mean lost in a good way - after reading for a half hour you look up and are not quite sure where or when you are? When a book is over 600 pages, it is also nice when it is divided in digestible chunks, and Martin's chapters are each told from the perspective of a different character - each has their own story to tell and two narrators may be in the same room or may be on different continents - so each chapter is its own little novel. I have just started the third book, just as the third season of the HBO season is going to premiere. I haven't decided yet whether I will plow through and wait on the series or put the book aside and just watch the series first. The problem is I am dying to know what happens next, and the TV will tell me sooner....
I have been in a major yogurt rut lately. I eat yogurt for breakfast practically every weekday - it is healthy, easy and genuinely yummy. But every day, ugh, I am sick of it. While I eat yogurt every day, what I really want to be eating every morning for breakfast is a delicious warm muffin or scone. I am a major carb addict, I am never successful for more than 24 hours trying to eliminate all carbs from my diet. I just can't do it. Well, I probably can do it, but I really don't want to. Of course, as much as I want to, I can't eat a muffin every day, so yogurt it is. That is, until I found this recipe for Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory muffins that has very little fat, no refined sugar and is made with whole wheat flour. I am late to the coconut oil bandwagon, but I believe that is the reason these muffins taste so rich and are also somewhat healthy. While I still shouldn't eat them every day, I did the week that I made them. Sue me.