Sunday, January 31, 2010

still cooking... i swear

Although I haven't been documenting my cooking as much anymore, Josh and I are still cooking quite a bit, and have added a few more recipes into our weekly repertoire. Here are some dishes that we have liked quite a bit - some are more complex than others.

Pasta with Beans and Ricotta
This Giada recipe was great for a weekday. I substituted white beans for the garbanzo on a whim and we liked it quite a bit. When we first made the recipe, it was a little bland, as the creamy cheese flavor can overtake the other flavors. If you made this, beef up the seasoning. The leftovers are great if you mix in an egg and bake it.

Split Pea Soup
Josh loves this recipe, and it is his usual "go to" when we are planning the weekly means on Sunday. It's pretty easy for a weekday and is wonderful on a cold day. The consistency is a little tricky; sometimes it's too thin and runny and sometimes it's too thick (and chewy... yuck). If you make this, play with the amount of broth and the simmering time until you achieve the consistency you want. A note - this is not a good "take to work" the next day. To reheat this soup, you really need to boil it. Otherwise, you get this block of green sludge (still tasty, but still sludge). The office microwave may not cut it...

Mushroom Marsala Pasta
Oh man, we LOVE this one. Sometimes we make it twice a week, because we might as well "finish the wine...". I always mean to take pictures of it (it is a very pretty dish), but with that amazing aroma of the mushrooms and wine and cheese, the pasta barely hits the bowl before we eat it. I couldn't tell you how it reheats, since we put away the whole dish over the course of the evening (dinner at 6, snacking on leftovers at 7:30, licking the bowl around 10, bed). I cannot stress how insanely easy this is. With already sliced mushrooms and frozen/canned artichokes, all you have to do is dice the onion and boil pasta. No work, awesome meal. Make this.

Chicken Soup
This one is a little more involved, not great for a weekday (but doable if you do the meatballs ahead of time). The extra work is beyond worth it. We watched Tyler Florence make this one Sunday morning and made plans to make it that night. I was going to Whole Foods that day anyway (wanted to get frozen fruits for Rohan's baby food), so the chicken sausages I bought for the meatballs were AMAZING. The Whole Foods carrots were also very sweet, which gave the soup balance. You can easily make, saute, and refrigerate the meatballs the a day or two before (no more than two days, I think) and then add it to a soup when you make it. We made this on a Sunday and I ate it for lunches until Wednesday. It got better each day.

The recipe calls for 6 sweet sausages, but I got three sweet and three spicy and was a huge fan. Josh thought the meatballs were too spicy, though. Too bad I do the grocery shopping:)

Broiled Salmon
We saw this on Alton's Brown's show one night and our interests were piqued by the recipe's simplicity. You just make the rub, coat the salmon, let it rest for 45 minutes, and broil. We ran into a little hiccup with the last step, since I could only find thicker pieces of salmon at Whole Foods, so we had to bake it for a while before that caramelizing broil. It tasted just fine, but took a little longer in the oven. This is another must-make for any weekday. A little side salad and this was just as good as any restaurant meal.

Turkey Osso Bucco
This is another one that we make often. After Josh bought me an amazing coccette from Straub for Christmas, I use it almost every day. This was the inaugural dish, and we come back to it weekly. It takes a while to cook but requires almost no work. After a quick sear and some vegetable chopping (and minimal clean up), the meat cooks low and slow and literally falls off the bone when it's done. We eat it with parmesan cheese and egg noodles; the recipe lasts us about three or four meals. I froze some portions as well, and it reheats on the stove perfectly.

Let me know if you try any of these recipes or if you have any favorites to share!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

to be included in his application to harvard

Warning: Rolo does nothing exciting in this video. He blows baby raspberries and bounces around. That is it. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

different perspectives

Over the past two nights, Josh and I watched District 9 (it was not even 2 hours long, but we both pass out around 9, so we made it a two-nighter). It was an amazing movie on so many levels, and I would highly recommend it to any and everyone.

Between all the action sequences, the allegories, the visceral lab scenes, and the brilliant cinematography, the only thing thing I really cared about was the alien child. Granted, I think my postpartum hormones were having an off day, since I had to leave the room several times because the movie was upsetting me to the point of tears, but regardless, that little boy alien was hanging off of my heartstrings.

The way I watch television and movies is forever changed. Now, stories about children and mothers, well, parents in general, have a significant affect on me. A Law and Order episode called Mother's Milk had me crying for days (a young mother who didn't know how to breastfeed, a militant lactation consultant who made her sign something that said she wouldn't give her baby formula or milk in a bottle, and Medicaid rules that wouldn't let her see a doctor (among other things) led to the slow starvation and death of a 6-week old baby); and even after Josh and I discussed the episode in length so I could put it behind me, I still think about that starving baby. ER, House, and any other medical drama has been banned in our house. Babies and children are dying in hospital beds left and right! And forget about Special Victims Unit. I am usually tearing up by the opening credits and the story lines haunt me for days. All I can think about it the Rolo in those situations and I my heart clenches.

I am not sure if this will ever end. My mother still calls my sister in NYC when she watches SVU to make sure my sister is not locked in someone's basement. Then again, it works both ways. I'll never forget one of my dad's emails to me soon after I graduated college. He wrote that he was watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and thought of me when the couple got engaged. He was glad the dark lighting on the plane spared the passengers from seeing him tear up.

Monday, January 04, 2010


When we were younger and went to India, I always felt a little guilty. There were drivers to drive us around, women who made their livings cleaning our clothes, mopping the ever-present dust off the floors, and chopping our vegetables for dinner, and children who ran to the store to get whatever fruit was in season. In my head, I understood that my family was not taking advantage of anyone; everyone needs work and we pay them for their services. (My grandmother and aunts shared a cook, and over the years, she made enough to send all her kids to private school and build a house for her family in a good neighborhood.) Regardless, I still felt bad. It didn't seem right that we were being waiting on. What were we doing that was so important?

Cut to today, the day our nanny started (cue the singing angels). Rohan was in the best mood ever, fed, rested and thrilled to have a full-time playmate. In addition to a happy baby, the laundry was folded, the garbage was taken out, the dishes were all done, and the kitchen was wiped down. As soon as I became a full time working mom, I don't feel so guilty anymore. Go figure.

Although all this help comes with a hefty price tag, after working all day, coming home to a clean, chore-free house and happy baby really is priceless.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Robe buddies!

where it's snowing....

Whether I want to be there or not isn't an issue; the snow continues to fall. We got some on Thursday, and now it seems it will continue to fall all through the weekend.

Over the past few weeks, Josh and I tried to take Rohan for at least one outing a day. While I am ok camping out on the couch during a Law and Order marathon, the Rohan gets bored. A little change of scenery seems to do him good and breaks up our day a bit. Wednesday I took to lunch with my mom and some aunties, Thursday Josh took him on some errands and to the grocery store, Friday, we went to watch the Bruins game at a friend's place, and today we decided to take him for a walk in the snow. It wasn't the best idea. It was a lot windier than I had thought, and the Rolo was not a happy camper the entire time we were out, in the restaurant, and on the walk back. While the cold, fresh air was probably good for him (and us), I don't think cold, winter walks will be that common. At least in the carrier.

After we ate, Josh took him home and I walked around the neighborhood and took some pictures in the snow. Here are a few of my favorites (plus one of the two of us).

Not amused by the snow.... poor kiddo.