Sunday Funday – February 12th, 2012

This Sunday Funday is brought to you with the help of some of my best friends that I love to cook and eat with!

First, we started by rendering up some duck bacon. Yes, DUCK.BACON. Otherwise known as the best bacon any of us had ever tasted.

Meanwhile there was pasta dough rolling. That would be black bean chocolate gluten free pasta dough, uh huh. And those blobs? Don’t judge.
Goat cheese – hazelnut chocolate butter – ricotta.

For dessert ravioli, naturally!

Meanwhile, nibbling on cheese….

Waiting for the 20 pounds of cassoulet to finish braising! (I swear it felt that heavy.)

Searing jumbo scallops with herbed butter

To float atop baby spinach, crispy duck bacon, grape tomatoes and a mustard-y vinaigrette.
Which employed the reserved duck bacon fat instead of oil, of course.

Fresh (gluten-free) olive parmesan bread, warm from the bread maker.

I was already full, but how can anyone say no to a stew of duck breast, shredded duck leg, sausage, and more bacon?

A few glasses of wine and board games later, we were ready for dessert.
Goat cheese ricotta chocolate ravioli (which did NOT fall apart in the water, thankyouverymuch) layered with strawberry compote, freshly whipped cream, and hazelnuts.

Ahhh.

Note: there are a few reasons why this is not exactly a Sunday Funday for me. First of all, I accidentally reformatted my memory card. Nothing like losing all your photos. Awesome. Second, I’m mourning the loss of Picnik (a free and amazing photo editing program, for those who don’t know.) I’ve since purchases a copy of lightroom but haven’t had time to take it out of the box yet. In the meantime I’m testing out some of the other free programs out there, with hope that I can talk about them when I present on photography at Nourished. So far I haven’t found anything that does everything Picnik does so well. So today I played around with Photoshop Express to adjust white balance, exposure and sharpness, and then played around with some funky effects in Pixlr. Have you tried out either of these? What’s your go-to photo editor?

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21 Responses to “Sunday Funday – February 12th, 2012”

  1. 1

    Heather — February 12, 2012 @ 4:10 pm Reply

    Looks like a wonderful meal! The goat cheese ricotta chocolate ravioli sounds divine!
    I’m sad about Picnik merging with G+ too :( I ordered a copy of Lightroom yesterday and hopefully it won’t be too difficult to learn. At least I have until April to figure it out (when Picnik actually merges with G+).

  2. 2

    Megan — February 12, 2012 @ 4:23 pm Reply

    What an amazing looking feast!

  3. 3

    Mara — February 12, 2012 @ 5:21 pm Reply

    Oh, Cara! My mouth was watering reading and looking at the pictures!! Bravo!!!!!

  4. 4

    janet @ the taste space — February 12, 2012 @ 6:58 pm Reply

    Looks great! I don’t do much photo post-processing and if I do it is with Picasa! :)

  5. 5

    Joanne — February 12, 2012 @ 8:35 pm Reply

    I’m mourning picnik also. Daily. I got lightroom and plan to play around with it soon…I’m trying to hold out hope that it’ll be okay.

  6. 6

    Ricki — February 12, 2012 @ 9:34 pm Reply

    Oh, so sorry about the memory card!! I would be desolate.
    And wow, are you friends with a bunch of gourmets, or what???!!! I wish my friends would come over and cook amazing food with me–! What a great way to spend an evening. (And was the ravioli GF, too?).

  7. 7

    Kerstin — February 12, 2012 @ 10:30 pm Reply

    What a feast, your dessert ravioli sound amazing and duck bacon!?!? Yum!

  8. 8

    Chuck — February 13, 2012 @ 1:14 am Reply

    Whoa, where did you get the duck bacon?? I’ve been trying to get my hands on some duck fat to make fries, but that’s not too easy to come by either. Let me know your sources ; )

    • 8.1

      Cara — February 13, 2012 @ 8:23 am

      Hi Chuck! If you are fortunate enough to live near a Wegmans, you can buy duck bacon there. Also, if you just plan a meal around cooking up a large duck breast, you can render the fat and save it for your fries :)

    • 8.2

      Vanessa — February 13, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

      Hi Chuck,
      You should ask a local restaurant to order you some duck fat, or I think you can order it online. The fat you get from the duck bacon will be really salty and not enough for fries but if you buy a vat of it, the possibilities are endless. Confit, homefries, french fries..mmmmm!

  9. 9

    Kate — February 13, 2012 @ 4:51 am Reply

    1) I swear the first sentence of this post makes it seem like your best friends are bacon and cheese ;-)
    2) Duck bacon? Sounds amazing.
    3) I downloaded Photoscape to use for photo editing – haven’t used it yet, but it looks promising.

  10. 10

    Shannon — February 13, 2012 @ 10:32 am Reply

    wow. i don’t even know where to start, it all sounds SO GOOD. You’re amazing!! I use photoshop, but that’s b/c i have it on my computer from work. dunno what i’ll do when my computer dies… i try not to think about that :) those dessert ravioli, cassoulet, duck bacon… love to eat all of that!

  11. 11

    Kris @Krazy_Kris — February 13, 2012 @ 10:41 am Reply

    oh MY!!!!!! VERY fancy schmancy… and so involved! all of you who REALLY cook inspire me – some day i might even try something more involved than sauteed chicken… maybe…

  12. 12

    Cindy — February 13, 2012 @ 12:34 pm Reply

    Wow – that looks amazing. I would love all the recipes, but at this point – I want the recipe for the bread. I haven’t found a recipe for bread in my breadmaker that looks that wonderful. I looked on your blog and couldn’t find the recipe. Would you share your source and any tips that make it look like that – please!

    • 12.1

      Cara — February 13, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

      Hi Cindy, this was just a fun cooking day between me and some friends, and we tend to improvise and not write down every detail. So, no recipes. Sorry about that! But, I can tell you that the bread was simply a gluten-free bread mix that my friend made in her bread machine. She uses Gluten Free Pantry mix, substitutes olive oil for butter, and adds herbs and parmesan cheese to the mix. Hope that helps!

  13. 13

    Jess — February 14, 2012 @ 10:21 am Reply

    I too am mourning the loss of Picnik :-(

    Wow this feast looks delicious! I want to come over and cook with you!

    PS I was looking through some of the pictures of the Worcester’s Best Chef and saw you and Ben! I SO wanted to go but was at the Hanover that night for a show. Hope it was amazing…

  14. 14

    Kim-Cook It Allergy Free — February 14, 2012 @ 12:21 pm Reply

    Okay, all I know is that these pictures have me drooling. The photos themselves are gorgeous and the food looks amazing. And DUCK BACON?? I want a pound of that right now!! Yes, please!
    Oh, and I think I am going to go either with picasa or http://pixlr.com/ or http://pixlr.com/express/
    for my photo editing from this point on.
    Not wanting to get to far into learning about photoshop or lightroom. More than I need for my food photos. :)

  15. 15

    Baking Serendipity — February 14, 2012 @ 11:08 pm Reply

    Amazing! I love cooking and spending evenings with friends :) Dessert ravioli is totally new to me and definitely worth trying.

  16. 16

    Elina (Healthy and Sane) — February 16, 2012 @ 9:15 pm Reply

    Wow, what a meal!! Wish I could be there ;)
    I use Lightroom and like it.

  17. 17

    Stephanie — February 21, 2012 @ 5:17 pm Reply

    I second Picasa… it does most everything I need to do and organizes my photos as well.

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