Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
1.75 lb plum tomatoes, chopped
1 C basil, coarsely chopped
0.5 C pine nuts, toasted
0.5 C olive oil
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I use 3, and put them through the garlic press)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb taglierini or linguini (I often use linguini fini)
0.5 C grated parmesan
Cook pasta. Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.
Add your tomato-basil sauce to the pasta in the pot.
Toss the sauce and pasta over medium-high heat until heated through, and the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved pasta cooking water (by half-cupfuls) to moisten, about four minutes.
Add 0.5 C parmesan cheese and toss to blend.
Season with salt and pepper.
Prep time: pretty quick. Serves: about six.
No pictures of the finished project--off to an annoying quarterly meeting right after dinner and budgeted my time poorly!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Hey, it's true, the Red Sox have their first grapefruit league game the 29th against the Twins. Yay! Here comes spring!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
But so delicious!
I made Baked Alaska today. I've wanted to for a while. It was great, and easy. Unfortunately, it has to be cooked just before it is served, and the meringue has to be whipped up, too, so it needs an audience with a bit of patience.
Baked Alaska has many variations. The dessert was more popular in the past; I couldn't find it in any of my modern general or dessert cookbooks. It's made up of three basic parts: a cake base, ice cream on top, all covered with meringue, then popped in the oven at a high temp to brown the meringue without melting the ice cream. It can be made as individual desserts or a big dessert to be sliced.
I was craving chocolate, so I made the base a big brownie, covered it with vanilla ice cream which I molded in a bowl, then covered with a sugary meringue. If I did it again, I would chill the ice cream right on the brownie. I used a springform pan I lined with tin foil, which worked very well. Man, it was good. A success!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
I loved the little paint pots, and rinsing out the colors that got mixed up, and the glass of water changing colors with each dip of the brush. Remember?
Today my crafting mainly involved managerial duties. I oversaw watercolor painting and hand-stitching. I love to watch kids create. I was a bit concerned about the sharp pins aspect of the sewing project, but there was only one poke, and no tears. And no spills!
I'm still in a rut as far as getting motivated to finish one of the many projects I've started, so this made me feel like I was at least somehow involved in the creativity.
Even if I was the rule-setter and enforcer more than anything else.
At least my gardening dreams have subsided--the snow is dropping on us at a rate of approximately an inch and hour, if you believe the forecaster (I know, right?) But that's what it looks like. So now I can convince myself it's winter still and maybe I'll finish some of my winter projects. Or not, if you believe the forecaster.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
And this is pretty much the only reason I am okay with winter not being over yet. When I came home from work today (not a bad day, actually,) I was greeted with a little cup of hot chocolate, and it was definitely a high point of the day. So yummy. I was offered marshmallows, whipped cream, and marshmallow fluff, but I turned them all down for the pure stuff. A good decision, I think, because if I had accepted one of the options, I'm sure I would have ended up sharing. Instead, I had the little cup to myself.
And so I sat for a few minutes, and drank my chocolate, and read some of the blogs on my favorites list (I've got to update my blog crawl...) and looked at all of the things people are creating: sewing, knitting, painting, sketching, baking and cooking, designing...come on, I thought I made good use of my time, but I've got nothing on these people! I mean, this blog was my idea to get me creating things, and photographing things, and writing things, but I am just not doing very much! At this point, I am blaming my lack of creativity on the most recent illness to strike my family, and my subsequent sleep-free nights, but that all ended three or four days ago; work's not actually that busy, so I can't blame that (although I have had to work some recent weekends,) and I'm starting to think that maybe I'm reading too many other blogs...
So I have nothing to show for the past two weeks, aside from the aforementioned fuzzy-toothed pasta, a failure I should really put behind me; I've got a half-finished litle sweatshirty thing I was working on, a less-than-half-finished slightly bigger sweatshirty thing (I cut out the fabric, okay?) a half-painted kitchen table, two half-painted chairs (uh-huh, we're using them anyway,) hmm, what else--a bunch of fabric for some tote bags. A half-scraped wall I'm planning to repaint. Packets of seeds to plant. I think I'll stop here, as I'm beginning to be embarrassed.Yup, that's what I'm doing. Not doing. I've got to stop not doing so much!
Monday, February 18, 2008
I've given up eating between meals. This is supposed to make me have a healthier diet, but instead, since I'm anticipating being hungry later, at meals I am totally engorging myself. Whether it's Valentine's cookies or cherry pie, I'm practically doubling up to make sure I stay full.
So when I read about a website that allows you to donate rice by taking a vocabulary test, I was again reminded of (and embarrassed by my ability to forget) the huge, huge difference between my privileged life and the lives of certain others.
Www.freerice.com is a website that donates rice to be distributed to those in need by the United Nations World Food Program. Anyone can be a part: you simply go to the site and start to take the vocabulary test. For every word you get correct, twenty grains of rice are donated. It's quick and fun and you learn something. I learned that my vocabulary has become very limited, and that nudibranch means sea slug. Who knew?
Check it out.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This winter I tried my hand at starting clippings-I used my Thanksgiving cactus to start a number of Christmas gifts. The plant was my grandmother's; she passed away 10 years ago; and this plant has survived my moving it out of state, moving back into state, moving across town, and generally, all kinds of neglect. But it blooms twice a year anyway and reminds me of my grandmother and looks pretty happy most of the time. So I was very happy to have success in starting my little clippings: all 26 survived (well, they survived my house...I can't speak to what's happened to them at the homes of my cousins and sisters and aunts and uncles and nieces etc...)
But that kind of planting just isn't the same as starting bulbs or seeds or even planting bushes and trees. Maybe it's the smell of the soil and spring blossoming in general, or the fresh air, or the physical labor, but it's more fun outside. I've been greedily searching the garden catalogs for the perfect plant. I don't actually have a particular place in the yard to fill but I definitely have some ideas! More to come on my spring planting plans...
Monday, February 11, 2008
Backed out of the garage without buckling the carseat;
Blew-dry my hair with some new crazy flip on the bottom, but only on one side;
Just realized today that valentine's day is this week;
Did laundry this week but now have approximately 12 loads of unfolded laundry (no, I don't usually have this much laundry each week. stomach bug in my house. need I say more?)
Speaking of laundry, instead of spraying the spot on my olive green pants with spray-and-wash (a prewash spray), I sprayed it with clorox clean-up (bleach tile/kitchen cleaner). Turns out that the spot came out...
Fell asleep every time I sat on the couch
Bought a really funny but seriously inappropriate card for a friend (definitely can't send it)
Am going to bed early now!
Friday, February 08, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Anyway, the original is just a short story: ditzy but well-published Spanish prof arrives to class late after taking the subway in the rain. Now, she's been mean to the non-native speakers all semester, belittling American culture in off-handed comments to the class all along. (Can you tell this is me trying to justify something?)
Today she comes in and starts writing on the board without taking off her trench coat because she's late; so she starts writing and talking about some literary topic--it was actually a really interesting class, she's famous for a reason, I guess. She's speaking in Spanish, so I'm concentrating pretty hard...she takes off the trench coat and throws it over a chair and keeps writing and talking. About halfway through the class, I look up from my notes and I realize that the entire back of her skirt is tucked into the waistband of her nylons. Those icky tan control-top-type nylons. And for the rest of the period, I can't even look up, I'm trying so hard not to laugh; except I do look up, and she is feeling a draft or a breeze or something on the back of her....well, her backside, and waving her hand around back there, but not quite figuring out where the breeze is coming from; and occasionally she must feel like her skirt is a bit askew and she straightens it out a bit (but doesn't do any untucking,) and I'm trying to sneak sidelong glances at the other girls (no boys in this class, if there were, I might have acted more...helpfully) to see if they are reacting--and they all have their heads down too!
Finally I just get up and leave the little classroom early, because I really am on the verge of hysteria and I have to get out of there because I'm starting to shake and soon she's going to ask me if I'm okay in Spanish and then I'll have to answer her with tears rolling down my face and my voice wobbling, and then when she figures out that her bum was hanging out of her skirt all period, she'll know I knew, and kaplooey, failure of Spanish Literature 205 or whatever it was.
Well, in today's remake, I head back from lunch after a quick stop in the ladies' room; I did notice that my skirt seemed quite puffy posteriorly, and I checked but it didn't seem out of place (I am sensitive to the skirt stuff because of the above story) so I went about my business, literally--and I'm sure I passed some co-workers in the hall. But it wasn't until I was talking to a nice grandmotherly type (client, not colleague,) when she interupted me and said, "your skirt's all wrapped up, and I'm sure you don't want go around with your bum hanging out!" So I rapidly rearranged things, (I hadn't even felt a draft or a breeze!) laughed hysterically for about ten minutes (rather inappropriately, I must add) and then tried to get back to work. Every once in a while I would erupt in hysterical laughter, prompting odd looks and questions about what I was up to from colleagues--even now I can't write this without laughing. Man, it's a good thing this remake wasn't set in high school--can you imagine the fallout? Probably not that cool to be well-known but not popular.
And that's what I get for dressing up. Thank you, helpful grandmotherly lady! I think I'll wear pants tomorrow.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Here's what I did this weekend:
pizza night with the extended family;
day trip to Providence;
solo trip to the store (a treat!) to pick up all sorts of fabrics and notions for some project ideas;
started the corkboard on my to-do list
watched a couple of Disney movies
attended a bonfire
watched the superbowl
Here's what I cooked this weekend:
grilled cheese sandwiches with grape jelly
Julia Child's french onion soup (delish)
cranberry-maple pudding cake (a Bon Appetit magazine recipe from the 1/08 issue)
bittersweet chocolate pudding pie with creme fraiche topping (also from Bon Appetit, 1/08 issue) (I recommend it!)
Here's what I learned/relearned this weekend:
cleaning the throw-up bowl is gross. (but necessary, obviously)
Christmas trees burn really, really fast and hot. very scarily.
Julia Child rocks.
Chocolate pudding can be sophisticated.
People in the city seem to be in better shape than people in the suburbs.
City supermarkets don't always have a better selection than suburban ones.
I really do still not like football.
I am addicted to chocolate (the taste? the caffeine?)
Cornmeal is a rustic taste.
I am not reading enough.
Years and years after a funny event happens, sisters can still laugh as hard as the first time when one of them brings it up.
I think I may be addicted to using Lysol spray (appropriately, of course.)
Infant development is amazing.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Today was a great sandwich day. It's cold and rainy and dark, and lunch, comprised of my latest favorite, was in the warm, bright kitchen.
- baking (20)
- gardening (16)
- in the holiday season (16)
- time flies (16)
- eating (10)
- kids (8)
- cooking (7)
- favorites (7)
- not doing (6)
- cake decorating (5)
- burning issues (4)
- embarrassment (4)
- sewing (4)
- work (4)
- Boston (2)
- Red Sox (2)
- crafting (2)
- parties (2)
- photos (2)
- Book Club (1)
- beading (1)
- intro (1)
- painting (1)
- pets (1)
- vacation (1)