Saturday, December 26, 2009

Carbfest 2009!

About a month over due, but better late than never:)

The day after Thanksgiving, Pallavli led us to victory once again. This time, the menu read like an Italian dream - an amazing amuse bouche, two types of flatbreads (one topped with mashed potatoes), butternut squash gnocchi, and goat cheese tortellini in a braised meat sauce...sigh.

We started with with very "amoosing" dish. Pallavi molded pastry dough into mini muffin tins. I am actually not quite sure how the filling came about (I think Josh and I were putting Rolo to bed when this dish was being assembled), but as soon as they came out of the oven, they were topped with bleu cheese, pine nuts, and a few drops of truffle oil. These were amazing. I need to get the particulars for this recipe, I was thinking about making them for a new years party this weekend.
Divya hard at work rolling out sheets of pasta for the tortellini. Look at her go!
Sonal is concentrating on filling and folding. The goat cheese tortellini was amazing. Everyone had quite the assembly line going.
Ta-da! Not sure how I weaseled out of pasta-duty, (who am I kidding, of course I know how...), so I cannot take any credit for these perfect little bites. I'll get to the sauce below.
This fresh flatbread was amazing. Pallavi took pizza dough and rolled it out, baked it, and topped it with an arugula, zucchini and squash salad. She threw some chunks of gouda and sprinkled a few drops of truffle oil on top. Warm and refreshing at the same time.
This flatbread was topped with mashed potatoes. I know. Pallavi baked the potatoes and then used a ricer to make then light and smooth. She spiced the mixture, spread it over the dough and baked until there was a thin crust on top of the potato layer. Those who could handle another drop of truffle oil got one (I couldn't).

Here, we are coating the butternut squash gnocchi (baked squash, pushed through the ricer and kneaded with flour, rolled and cut) with more flour to keep them from sticking until they hit the pot. This was a little heavier than our head chef intended, but I don't think any of us minded. The flavor and texture were amazing.

A braised chicken sauce was spooned over the goat cheese tortellini. We were pretty stuffed by the time this dish was ready, but I still managed to clean my plate. Don't worry, the bottomless pit that is my stomach still had room for dessert.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


As many of you know, Josh is a pretty talented hobbiest. Sure, it may not be the coolest hobby, but I would much rather have him spend his time painting WWII figurines than holed up in a strip club as soon as he gets off work...

As someone with no artistic talent, painting, drawing, stenciling, sculpting, or anything that requires me to render things with my hands are pretty much out. Cooking was great for a while, but is no longer conducive to my new schedule (home around 6, bed around 8). I was always so jealous of Josh's talent and interest. The only thing I feel that passionate about it books, and it is a miracle if I get through two pages before I pass out from exhaustion. Sigh.

Photography has always been an interest, but I haven't spent the time learning the nuts and bolts that will give me a good handle on the technique. Until a few weeks ago, that is.

Recently, I took a class at the Griffen Photography Museum in Winchester, through the Digital Photo Academy. The workshop took place on the morning of the first snow of the season, which allowed all the students to take a walk through the fresh snow, take some pictures, and get some feedback. Here are some of the photos I took that morning, some early (around 8) and some around 10. It is amazing how different the light is only after two hours.

We are supposed to get a bunch of snow tonight and all day tomorrow, and I am hoping I get the chance to take some more photos before the white turns to gray and the branches loose all their frosting. I really liked the way some of these turned out and am looking forward to testing out my brand new aperture and shutters speed skills.

This one was part of an indoor exercise we did at the end of class. I used the black of someone's coat to accentuate the yellow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I don't think there is anything more magical than hearing Josh read "Goodnight, Gorilla" to Rolo over the baby monitor. With all the voices, of course.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

angry at apples

bananas were a bit hit... not so much with the apples. then again, i would probably have the same reaction to steamed, mushed, unspiced apples...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Vanity and Sanity

I completely and 100% understand that there are side affects when you have a baby. The whole pushing-a-human-out-of-you thing will leave a mark. I don't think I will be rocking a two-piece this summer, and although you can no longer go cave-diving in my belly-button, I don't think it will ever be the same. I get all that and am ok with it. I knew what I was getting into. Motherhood made me rethink my vanity levels. It was probably for the best.

I also knew that there would some sacrifice in the sleep department. Fine. I get a lot less and am coping as best as I can. I have come to terms with this as well. It will be a while before I get a solid 8 hours. Nursing or no, I will probably still be getting up in the middle of the night to make sure he is still breathing. Sanity may take a hit, but it is what it is. I am not the only parent who needs a nap here and there.

I knew my professional life would take a hit as well. I can't stay later and finish up a project just because I am in a work groove. I have to watch the clock so I can make the right bus home to relieve the sitter. There are more phone calls home and more waiting on hold with the doctors office when I have a question. The aforementioned sleep issues have an obvious effect on my focus. I think this will get better once our day-care is more consistent, but for the next few weeks at least, I have to work extra hard to get the same amount done. Fine and dandy. I am living the life of a working mom. All part of the deal.

What was NOT part of the deal however, is this! (Look here too - I am not making this up!). WTF, Mother Nature! You didn't think that the stretched skin and eye bags and sore arms were enough? You had to go ahead and take our HAIR, too? Have you no mercy? No shame? You're a woman too, right? A women and a MOTHER, Mother Nature. Have a heart. Let me keep my hair. If I have to clean out my hairbrush, sweep the bathroom floor, wipe hair out of the sink, pick the hair off of my little boy's clothes, and pull hair out of my freaking toothpaste cap one more time, I may cry.