french ovens vs. dutch ovens

Apparently they're the same thing.  My parents sent me a red French oven for Christmas which I immediately tested by cooking stuffing. I don't have a lot of experience cooking with cast iron.  First of all, wow it's heavy.  Second, it cooks evenly!  I was able to brown the sausage and vegetables on the stove top then transfer the pot into the oven to finish cooking.  Win!  I'm going to have a lot of uses for this pot.

In other news I slept 11 hours last night and it felt amazing!  I'd been working long hours at work and needed the rest.  I'm looking forward to having a more normal schedule in a week!  My blogging frequency definitely decreased on this crazy schedule I've been working.


getting into the holiday spirit

I feel like my eyes are always doing something weird.  I'm either squinting or blinking.  Whatevs.

Anyway, my job has been going really well and even though I don't work on the Adventures I was itching to try one.  This one was Wreath Making and Three-Course Lunch at Smash Wine Bar in Wallingford.

When we arrived, we went inside where we had a choice of hot buttered rum, hot chocolate or cider.  They had a breakfast spread laid out with the best banana muffins either of us had ever had.  They were super moist and had a complex sweet and spicy flavor.  While people nibbled, they went over a wreath-making demonstration.

Because I thought "arrive 20-30 minutes early" was for noobs, we arrived promptly at 11.  It hadn't occurred to us to arrive early to secure your wreath-making station.  So we had stations outside in the 35 degree cold.  Fair enough- sort of our own fault.  Each station had a gigantic pile of fir for your base plus pine, juniper, holly, and eucalyptus for accents.  Making the wreaths wasn't as hard as we thought.  All of the tools we needed were provided plus other accents like bows and pine cones.  The glass of wine that was served during the wreath making helped as well.  It turned out to be a fairly physical activity and only my feet were cold.

When we moved inside for lunch, there was one little two person table right by the window that was perfect for us.  We warmed up while enjoying a delicious three-course gourmet lunch.  I had mixed greens with apple and cranberry, buttermilk crispy cumin turkey tenderloin beside sweet potato frites (their description lols), and chocolate caramel lava cake topped with cranberry sauce served with ice cream.  Since the Adventurers had the whole restaurant, the courses had a nice, natural pace.  No rush to turn over the tables.

The whole event was organized and the staff was super helpful.  I felt like it was definitely worth the money and I'm happy we tried it.  Our wreaths are making the house smell like Christmas!