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March 19th, 2012


10:37 am - Don't eat the baby
Recently, I've had middle-of the-night feelings of starvation plaguing me no matter what I eat for dinner, so last night I got out the ice cream, chocolate sauce, and a big bowl. It doesn't count as excessive if the bowl is mostly filled with banana, right? I took a bowl in to Dave as well, who was playing The Old Republic whilst wearing the baby.

Later, he brought Sterling up to bed, and I lay down, as Sterling often nurses when we go to bed. Tonight, however, he stayed asleep. I looked closer at his pajamas, and accused Dave of dripping chocolate on the baby. "I missed his head!" he protested. I submitted that a baby covered in chocolate was likely to cover the sheets in chocolate, as well, but we both looked down on his sleeping face and considered the prospect of swapping out his pajamas at this stage. Dave leaned down, and tried sucking the chocolate out of his pajamas, instead. "Still tastes pretty good!" he said.

When I could stop laughing for long enough, I took a turn, but realized I had recently brushed my teeth, so he had to come back for another go. The sheets this morning are surprisingly chocolate-free.

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March 10th, 2012


03:58 pm - Free Kiva loans
From time to time, Kiva offers fully funded $25 loans for first-time lenders - you can make a loan to someone in one of the 61 countries Kiva works with, to support their business or schooling, for example. If you use this link ASAP, you may be able to get one of the free loans available. When the money is repaid, you can use it to loan out again!

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/jessicaanddave

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February 24th, 2011


05:43 pm - Tamalentine's Day
Help! Valentine's Day is come and gone without the best tradition of all - a gathering of many friends and loved one, a big heap of shredded pork and vegetable tamale fillings, a lot of masa dough, and even more corn husks. What can have prompted us to miss this beloved annual event? Err... difficult scheduling. SO! If you live nearby, or will be nearby soon, and are interested in helping us make tamales (Yes, of course you get to eat some. I also make a big pot of chili, cornbread, and probably some sort of fruit dessert to chase away the winter blues) then please respond to this letting me know when you'll be available in the next month or so. We're booked on the weekend of March 12th, but any other weekend in March is available. We are free this weekend too, for what it's worth, but an informal survey suggests it's not a good time for anyone else. So! Help us schedule Tamalentine's, only a month or so late!
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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November 2nd, 2010


01:58 pm - Ravioli Fillings
Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Sage

I didn't make much of this one, because I often make more filling for things (like manicotti) than I end up using - and then what do you do with the leftovers? Well, in this case, the answer would have been, eat them with a spoon.

All quantities are approximate:

1.5 cups squash - in this case, it was steamed following the recipe for butternut squash soup in the New Best Recipe (which makes damn fine soup.)

small pinch rubbed sage
3/4 t kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper - a few good turns of the grinder, set to pretty fine
take 3 T of butter. Melt and brown in a saucepan, being careful not to burn it, but also letting it have time to brown a good amount of it. Pour it off into a glass bowl, and let it cool, and separate. Then transfer the clarified butter which has risen to the top to another bowl for an unspecified future use, and add the browned dregs to the filling. Put in ravioli, fantastic when served with grated mizithra.

Ricotta with caramelised onion and rocket

Make Ricotta. Okay, you don't have to make it, but it definitely helps - the freshly made stuff is smoother, richer and sweeter. Nom. Right. Thinly slice one medium onion, and caramelise. Really caramelise. Keep caramelising past the point where your partner suggests it might be done, twice. Nice and dark, but not burnt. Chop finely with a large knife. Add to 2 cups Ricotta. Salt and pepper to taste. Take a good handful of baby arugula, chop finely, and add. There might have been a VERY SMALL pinch of nutmeg, I don't remember for sure. If I were making this again, I would also add perhaps 3 T of grated Parmesan. It was good to have parmesan on top, but I think it might have liked the extra tang and salt in the filling itself. Good served with a very simple tomato sauce.
Current Mood: hungryhungry
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June 24th, 2010


11:31 pm - Polenta
I was quite pleased with my polenta creation for dinner tonight, enough so that I'm writing down the (very brief) recipe to remember for again.

One log pre-made polenta, sliced into 1/3" rounds

one small handful arugula
one small handful curly parsley
1 can diced tomatoes, mostly drained (I actually used half a can plus some cherry tomatoes, because I had both around)
salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes

Put polenta slices in the toaster oven. The real oven would probably work too, but I wasn't going to heat up the kitchen with it tonight. One could also actually make polenta, although here I wanted the stiff solidity of the pre-made stuff.

Toss tomatoes and green in food processor, and pulse until they are roughly chopped. I suppose you could always just roughly chop them, too. Add seasonings to taste. I might add a little good olive oil next time, too. Pulse again, and through the whole mess in a warm frying pan (I had one warm from cooking chard) for just long enough to make it slightly warmer than tepid.

When polenta is warmed through and slightly toasted, arrange on a plate, spoon on the parsley-arugula salsa, and serve with grated Parmesan cheese. Surprisingly tasty.
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March 14th, 2010


08:34 pm - Tonight's dinner
1/2 C Ricotta cheese
1 1/2 T black olive tapenade
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1/3 - 1/2 grated Parmesan
3/4 t Italian herbs
1/4 t red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 t Worcester sauce
salt, black pepper
handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 C grape tomatoes, halved
3 T raw pine nuts

3/4 lb penne

While the pasta is cooking, mix tapenade, Parmesan, Worcester, and spices together in a bowl; when the pasta is ready, drain it and mix immediately with the cheese mixture, toss, and add basil, tomatoes and pine nuts. Serve.

NB all quantities are estimated from my haphazard cooking style, but this was very tasty.
Current Location: Home
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January 6th, 2010


10:47 pm - Moving Ambush
It has come to my attention that we have apparently been unintentionally secretive about moving. we didn't mean to be coy; things simply weren't signed and definite and sure until not very long ago, and then, having not made an announcement, I think we were out of the mindset. ;-)

So:

We're moving! err.. this weekend. To Wakefield, which is about 12 miles north of Boston (17 if you take the interstate, which you would, but birds wouldn't.) It's nice. There's a lake, and good Thai food, and quite amazingly, good Irish pub food. You should all visit once we're unpacked. Or to help us unpack. Or to help us unload. But maybe not all of you at once. Until we have our housewarming. Which will happen.

Anyway, I thought you should all know.

Also, because I think I didn't post it, here's Charlie's second Christmas. He'll get one last costume before we leave, I hope, and then all his outfits are in the hands of the landlady, who has promised to keep up the good work.

From Charlie, et al

Current Location: CT
Current Music: Amanda Palmer

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September 23rd, 2009


05:05 pm - Three most recent Charlies
It's clear I don't update livejournal enough, but for those who have missed Charlie's most recent exploits on Facebook, here he is in his three most recent sartorial displays:

Cyclist Charlie, or possibly triathalon Charlie
From Charlie, et al


Surfer Charlie, complete with board shorts all the way from Bali, thanks to Zev, who also helped me make the surfboard!

From Charlie, et al


And finally and most recently, Crusader Charlie, or Sir Charles of the Lawn

From Charlie, et al


I beg all those who might comment about the accuracy, or lack thereof, of his helmet, clothes, etc, to recall that Charlie is not a stickler for authenticity, and also, please come make a better helmet out of an oatmeal canister yourself.

Today, someone came up to Dave at the Farmer's Market and declared himself to be a Charlie Fan. We're not sure who he was or how he knew Dave was associated with Charlie, but his popularity is only growing.

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July 2nd, 2009


03:20 pm - Summer Charlies
Sorry about the Charlie delay - have no fear, he has been dressed all this time! It's just been too blasted rainy for photos for ages!


From Charlie, et al



From Charlie, et al

Current Mood: busybusy
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June 15th, 2009


12:41 pm - Food!
Following a visit to the excellent Saturday Farmer's Market in New Haven this weekend, I'm formulating more completely a plan to eat more ethically and responsibly that I've been pondering for a while. I would love to buy nothing but free-range, locally raised, shiny happy ethical meat, and I'm fortunate enough to have a source of appropriate lamb within the family, but chicken, pork, beef, etc are all sourced through farmer's markets and local sellers - ie, expensive! I grew up on a farm raising animals for meat, in a very meat-eating family, and would definitely miss meat too much to move to vegetarianism, although I'm still working out how I feel morally about humans eating meat - it's not crystal clear.

However, it is clear that if we were to eat meat less often, then affording more expensive meat when we did eat it would be a more reasonable proposition. Although I have tried to decide, previously, that one meal a week would be vegetarian, in practice it doesn't happen so often, because we don't plan our meals in advance, and don't have very many go-to vegetarian recipes. We eat fish or seafood once every week or so, sometimes more often, when tuna casserole and shrimp overlap, for instance. What I need, obviously, are good, simple, reliable vegetarian recipes - we have a lovely vegetarian cookbook that intimidates the heck out of me and in the internet at our fingertips, but recommendations from those one knows are always best! So, oh wide world of people I know - what do you cook that doesn't have big lumps of meat in? Things like broth, boullion or base, and even optional bacon are fine, but I want to move into less meat-based cooking. Vegetable stir-fry, quiche, veggie pasta tosses and fried rice are currently my repertoire, give or take. Enlighten me!
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