I have now walked past my wife's scrumptious lemon-glazed pound cake ten times in the last eight hours, and so far I have been able to resist its siren call.
The cake was left over from our dinner party last night, which severely tested my diet discipline. I made two recipes from Mario Batali's excellent new book, Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home, and both were huge hits with the crowd we had assembled. The Winter Caprese salad, slow-roasted (for two hours) Roma tomatoes, Buffalo-milk mozzarella, toasted pine nuts, a dab of pesto, and a basil leaf, was a fine starter. I was amazed that the totally cardboardy winter Roma tomatoes were transformed by the slow-roasting.
The main course was a braised (in red wine and tomato sauce) pork butt that had been browned in a paste of garlic, pancetta and Italian parsley. The 7 1/2 hunk of pork cooked on the stove for four hours, so by the time we served it, it was as tender and flavorful as the best barbecue.
In fact, I decided it WAS Italian barbecue.
The pork was accompanied by a celery root puree my wife made from a Bass Serena cookbook, Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day.
I tried to watch my caloric intake by not having seconds and eating very little of the cheese and bread we served beforehand. I also made sure to eat a couple of pears and an apple in the course of the day, which was mostly spent shopping and cooking. I also had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and two pieces of whole-grain bread and a piece of American cheese (Deluxe, not the cheese food crap) for lunch, so I wouldn't be starving when our guests showed up around seven.
I had lost five pounds going into the dinner, and I will get on the scale Wednesday to see if I can maintain my weight loss momentum. Oh, yeah I broke down and had a couple of bites of the lemon pound cake tonight.
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