I've been doing some cabochon stone setting lately, of course. I've had my small victories, but there has also been a sprinkling of FAIL (Did you know riverstone is NOT fireproof?). My instructor told us that after you've set 50 stones, you officially know what you're doing. I'm four stones in and all, except for my scorched riverstone, are wearable; and the riverstone setting looked pretty freaking good before I toasted it. I stocked up on a handful of inexpensive but pretty stones (tree agate, carnelian, onyx, garnet) and I'm working my way through the learning curve.
I've also got a 3 recipe update on my Smitten Kitchen adventure series! Over the last few days I've made:
1) Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte. OMG, peeps, this was SO GOOD. Boy and I had seconds. Then thirds. I made it in a sheet pan instead of in round pans, just because thats what I had handy. It would look gorgeous made for a party in a round shape, but for simple dinners at home the sheet pan did the trick. The thyme in this was stellar. Thyme! Who knew? We had it with a romaine, red pepper and snap pea salad. Have I mentioned that I hate salad dressing? I get around it with Boy by adding finely sliced green onions, parsley, salt and pepper to all my salads. Try it sometime! I swear, you won't miss the dressing.
2) Pasta with Potatoes and Rocket. If I had to have a complaint about Smitten Kitchen's recipes it would be that when I make them, we eat dinner kinda late. Sometimes as late as 10 (Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette, I AM LOOKING AT YOU!) But this recipe came together REALLY QUICKLY, which is kind of shocking considering that there were roasted potatoes involved. My Boy knows: If it involves potatoes, we are eating LATE. Not so with this recipe though . . . when they're sliced thin and spread in a single layer, they REALLY DO cook through in about 15 minutes. Hooray!
3) Summer Squash Soup with Herb Pistou. I've been on a squash kick lately (can't you tell?). I swear, up until 6 months ago I was NOT INTO the squash. Now? It is all I can think about. Butternut! Crook Neck! Zucchini! Love it all. When I made this soup, I went a little heavy on the carrots, just because I'd picked up a really adorable bunch at the farmer's market that afternoon. I felt a little silly making the pistou, thinking "Really? How much could mint possibly add to this soup", but seriously? GO MAKE THIS NOW. With the pistou. Because it is insanely good. So good, in fact, that Boy secreted the last of it away for his lunch; and Boy almost NEVER brings his own lunch to work. I can't really blame him, either. I'm totally sitting here daydreaming about mint pistou.
Up next week? A redo of the Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette (making the pastry in advance), 100% homemade pizza (dough and sauce!), Ratatouille's Ratatouille and Tortilla de Patatas with homemade pico di gallo.
Also, you know, some tree agate.