Thursday, January 25, 2007

the results are in

the results of a few things:

the strawberries... they didnt last very long...

of sitting on the couch ALL DAY on sunday. i didnt even put clothes on. i just sat around in my robe all day. the camera was within reach so i took pictures of things that let me sit on the couch. the wasabi peas and josh cutting vegetables for green salsa.

of my father in law's leaving bandit with us. the poor thing thought he was abandoned and spent the first night with a racing heart and bursts of hope every time it looked like someone was here to pick him up or we were going to take him home. he stayed by the door waiting for chris to come back for him all evening and all night. you could see the sadness and confusion in his eyes. it broke my heart to see him so scared. he has been with us two days and is finally settling in.

i walked a dog for the first time wednesday morning! go me! i also forgot the bags and the shovel, so i broke a law.... and then this morning i remembered the bags and shovel but he was so far inside the bush that you couldnt even see anything! and he got me out of bed 30 minutes early and i was in my pjs, and hells if i am going to root around under a bush looking for poop at 6:30 in the morning in 20 degree weather. no thanks. so that's two days in a row i broke the law! i am on a roll!

of trying new recipes. this one was a roast vegetable frittata. it was extremely good, but not enough for dinner, even when served with a salad. maybe next time i host a brunch.

of nicole's birthday celebrations! here is a great picture of leslie/harold. we went to match, which, as marcie said, was very new york. i liked it and would def go back. the prices are a little steep but my cappucino martini was fantastic.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

accidentally in love

besides from being one of my favorite songs (and the one i WANTED for the wedding song had josh and i been better dancers) it was the theme for dinner tonight.

so, this morning, i sat down on the couch with my cookbooks to plan the menu for the week. dorkiness aside, it helps me plan out the weeknights and the shopping list. if i dont have a menu in mind, i can't really shop and end up getting things like rice cakes but forgeting things like chicken.

the final list had the week's menu some random things i wrote down as per the brainstorm sessions josh and i had throughout the day ("i feel like sandwiches for lunch this week" or "i need these cleaning supplies") and it ended up being a nice big list, divided up into cateogries and then marked by russo's (R) or shaws (S).

two minutes out the car at stop number one, and the list blows out my jacket pocket! i was lost! no list! disaster! i ran back into the parking lot and retraced my steps. no list. in addition to the wind, it was also about 8 degrees so after a few minutes of looking for a bright yellow piece of paper, i gave up and just tried to remember.

i combed through all of russos to see if viusal cues could clue me into what i needed; i stood in front of the pickles and tried to imagine the list in my head; my eyes glazed over as i tried to recall the items and the menu. then people wanted pickles and i had to get a move on. so off to shaws where the real fun started. if i had the list i would have surely stuck to the game plan. without the list, i wandered off the game plan and bought mussels. now if mussels were on the list, i would have rememered to pick up white wine. i did not. hence the importance of the list. sigh.

so home with mussels but no white wine in which to steam them. so i went online to find an easy recipe that did not require the wine and found one with mainly garlic and butter. oh darn. (note the sarcasm). although i prefer the wine recipe, this mussels in butter and garlic (with shallots and parsley) was superb. after eating the mussels, i soaked some homemade bread in the broth and was in heaven.

i had also bought some strawberries (not on the list) and was ready to make my favorite "roman strawberries" (when we went to rome junior year, the berries were in season and EVERY restaurant we went to had sliced strawberries that had been sitting in a splash of lemon juice and sugar for a few hours. i have never tasted anything so sweet) when i had a flash of inpiration. i had purchased parchment paper (on the list) for some baking this week and i had a white chocolate bar in the fridge for some white chocolate hot cocoa i had been meaning to make.

off to the stove to boil some water for a double boiler and white chocolate covered strawberries! yay! but then i added too much cream to the chocolate mixure (the bar needed some help smoothening out) so in went some milk chcolate chips! yay! but wait, the chocolate wasn't sticking to the berries. they were too wet. a quick towel dry and success! yay!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


you know that stupid kleenex commercial where they have that bald guy on the couch and people let out thier feelings? lame, but fine. the lameness bothered me more than anything. but when a lady starts getting upset about her friends that died in "the storm" i got a little upset.

me: they are using KATRINA to sell kleenex!
josh: at least they didnt call it katreenex...


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

flour + bauer = awesome

so i go to check my usual blogs today, and lo and behold, smittenkitchen and i had made the exact same dish on monday! well, not the exact same, hers was more delicate and mine had an indian accent, but the idea was the same. lasagna from scratch! and i think i made the best pasta dish i have ever made - better than buttery fettucine, better than mushroom ravioli, better than the light and cheesy gnocchi of a few months ago. and it was all in the sauce.

i followed the cookbook sauce directions, then went heavy on the basil (as it should be) and THEN thought it might be fun to add something a little different. out came the indian spices and in went the yellow one and the red one (do not ask me names, they are called their color, unless they do something, like, "looks like bugs in oil" or "jumping ones" ....)

when the dough rolling was done, and the spinach was cooked, flavored and mixed in with the ricotta, the pastas were boiled and assembled, i couldnt wait to taste it. and it was fantasic. it gave off a hint of curry and the sauce had a sharp yet delectable bite to it. since i was low on cheese, the whole dish was not too heavy.

can't wait to try this one again. i may start cooking with the indian spices in everything! hmm.. itailian and indian fusion food? i may be on to something...

we took some of the lasagna to jason's for more 24 and it went over well. the next couple of weekends should be interesting, culinarily speaking. housekeepingly speaking, not so much. the kitchen was a disaster after josh and i tackled the dough, sauce AND assembly. flour, water and sauce was everywhere. i really need a sous chef...

Sunday, January 14, 2007


so i KNOW it has been a while, but i am not the only one, so harrumph.

much has happened over the past few weeks, dinner parties, christmas, more dinner parties, pool games, jake ivory's, new years, library books, one year anniversaries, hugh laurie marathons, oh and some dinner parties. i am never entertaining again. ever. until we get a proper dining table, at least.

christmas break was enormously short. we slept away the mornings and cooked big meals in the evenings and it ended too quickly. here are some of the menus from that week:

mushroom ravioli and butternut squash ravioli
red onion salad
baked apples
(sara and rivitUUUUso double date)

cornish game hens with sage/thyme/oregano stuffing (with homemade bread)
parmesan dill mashed potatoes
roasted vegetable medley with cheese
chocolate croissant bread pudding trifle (homemade whipped cream for the first time!)
seriously good homemade brownies
sugar/crack tree cookies and biscotti

butternut squash ravioli
homemade bread and herbed butter
leftover pudding and brownies
(sharon indian girls - divya did the pasta machine work, which is the hard part)

chicken parm with homemade sauce
(for josh's cousin and brother, very rushed and not up to snuff, unfortunately)

homemade fettuccine alfredo
(more) red onion salad
(becca, sara, merry and carrie did ALL the work here - i really cant take much credit)
ladies, send out some pics from that night, i think there were a couple of good ones

then a very fun new years and a very laid back anniversary. the cake kept quite well and we ate a lot of it. so much so, that i gave some to my sister and mother because it interfered with our new diets. we cut our portions in half, which it took about a week to get used to and i can already see a difference.

those are the highlights i can remember. it has been so long... hmm recently, i have been reading about/watching the netflix of jeeves and wooster. i got a truckload of the p.d. wodehouse books from the library and am burning through them. i wish we lived in a time when we said "toddle pip!" every time we left a room. sigh. the stories are really endearing, but as soon as this phase is over, i am going to need to take a break from british authors. maybe back to russian?

oh - made risotto for the first time! i was very intimidated, but then when i tried it, i saw how easy it actually is. i wanted to take a picture for you all, but as i went to click the shutter, the camera ran out of batteries and i was too hungry to wait for it to charge even a little, so it will have to wait until next time. i am going to try butternut squash risotto next. should be just as easy as mushroom.

tonight we are having people over for the premiere of 24, which is all very exciting. josh is making chili and i am going to experiment with some crostinis or just be lazy and make my basic one. either way, i need to use the baguette i bought yesterday.

tomorrow is the day off so i am going to make lasagna, noodles from scratch and everything. although this time, i am going to try out a new dough recipe - the semolina has worked well, but it is time for a change. oh, and also want to try to make foccacia from scratch (with the bread maker's help of course...)

here are some pics from the last few weeks. enjoy!