If were were going to have to have lentils I was at least going to start the night off right with some Manchego, grapes, and ciabatta from Hot Bread Kitchen.
This winter was kind of a bust. Normally I take great pleasure in the below zero temperatures as it gives me ample opportunity to huddle indoors, run the oven all day, make hearty stews, and drink lots of heavy beer and spirits. This winter has been very forced in all of these regards so, to honor that fact, I made this "End of Winter" stew with garlic, onion, celery, carrot, sweet Italian sausage, kale, cooked lentils, a little chicken stock, salt, and pepper. It was a pretty tasty stew even if it was in the sixties today.
For a drink I opened this bottle of Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co. I've been hearing about how good their regular Arrogant Bastard Ale was for the past fifteen years but, surprisingly, I've still never had it. The Oaked version was pretty good but with nothing to compare it to I felt like something of a poseur.
A poseur enjoying an oaky ale from California! Heyo!
For dessert I served up two delicious slices of cranberry bread that Jen made last night which is quite easily the best batch she's ever made. I tried desperately to capture the flaky, cake-like goodness of this bread in the picture but I don't think it quite did them justice. This was the perfect cap to this meal as well as a way to finally use the cranberries I'd purchased back in November that have been sitting in the fridge ever since Jen vetoed my idea of making some sort of kale dish using them. At the time I was annoyed but now I am very glad they waited all that time to be used in something far more delicious.
After dinner we relaxed on the couch while Jen read Ozzy Osbourne's autobiography and told me a bunch of information about Ozzy that I've known since 1991. I also got a chance to look at some sweet pictures of Tommy Aldridge from the early 1980's.
Tommy Aldrige is one fine-looking man.