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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pasta Shapes and Picky Eaters

I'm of the opinion that there are few- if any- better shapes of pasta than cavatappi.


Not only are those corkscrews fun to to look at, the mouthfeel can't be beat.

Yes, I said "mouthfeel."  It's the only word that really works.  The textured outside, hollow inside, and curly shape are just perfection.  It's the only pasta shape I will ever use to make my famous macaroni and cheese.

The folds and frilly edges of farfalle are fun and the ruffled, bell-shaped twists of campanelle are wonderful as well.

But cavatappi...in my mind, it's pretty much pasta perfection.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Wanderlust and Wedding Cookies

Sometimes it drives my family a little crazy that I rarely make the same recipe twice, that I'm always on the lookout for something new to make as I inhale cookbooks as if they were novels and compile lists of recipes that I imagine myself making one day.


My kitchen cabinet is full of books whose pages tell the story of Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East.

I want to take it all in.  Every recipe, every ingredient, every cuisine.
I want to travel, see, and experience.
I want to see it all.  Do it all.  Try it all.
I want to learn everything possible about every subject I encounter.
Take in everything I can and weave it into myself.

I guess loving me requires, if not an equal desire to absorb the bigness of the world, at the very least an appreciation of my awe of it and some tolerance of my love of whimsy.

It seems such an unfathomable waste of this fantastical world not to experience as much as one is able.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bread Dipping Oil and Girls' Weekends

My sister-in-law and I are kind of two peas in a pod.

I don't see her nearly enough, but every once in awhile I manage to get away for a weekend for some girl time and we get to hang out eating the things no one else wants to eat and drinking the things no one else wants to drink and doing the things no one else wants to do.

It's kind of wonderful, to be honest.  :-)

While we may try new restaurants or wineries or go to a museum or get a pedicure during the day, our evenings are always the same.  We pop in a movie that we will only half watch (if that), pour some wine, and create one amazing spread on the coffee table on which to nosh while we talk and laugh.

It's dinner and dessert and evening snacks all rolled into one.

There's always a baguette and crackers.
An amazing spread of cheeses.
Hummus, maybe some tapenade.
And flavored olive oil in which to dip our bread.

Heaven.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Cuban Sandwich Sliders and the Joy of Easy Meals

At some point in the past few months I made a batch of Cuban Sandwich Sliders.

I have no idea why, or when.



All I know is that at some point in the craziness of life, school, and family of the past few months I made them and I photographed them.

Those pictures have been chilling on my camera ever since.
I didn't even download them.

What can I say...life's been a little crazy.
Another more, ahem, adult student and I were laughing with each other before class one day about the number of convenience foods we'd been relying on since school started- time to cook has been a luxury, most of my meals have gone un-photographed, and my goodness I certainly haven't had time to blog about them!

I have some catching up to do this summer, don't I?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Grilling Chicken and New Sauces

When my husband asked if he could take me out for Mother's Day I said "yes."


To be honest, I really had zero desire to adult.  Normally I would jump at the chance to whittle down my ever-growing list of bookmarks on Yelp, but after going full speed ahead with studying and finals for the past couple of weeks while simultaneously trying to manage my tooth pain until I had time to get into the endontist's office for a root canal, I was just kind of done.  I wanted to stick close to home and become very familiar with my couch.

So a couple of days after he asked me about Mother's Day I asked if he would mind terribly if we just stayed home, grilled out, and watched movies.
Of my choosing, of course, because it was Mother's Day and everything.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Warm, Happy Days and Fruity Drinks

Full disclosure, I'm pretty much a wine girl.

I don't like beer.  I don't like super-sweet drinks.  I do enjoy a margarita on occasion, but overall?
Wine.  Sometimes I might even do something crazy and unexpected like order a dry white instead of a dry red!

I'm crazy predictable in this area.

Yet the happy warm-weather bug bit me the other day and when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to cook I found a recipe for a Blue Hawaiian.

They're just so pretty!
I had never tried one, but I do love a frozen, slushy drink once in a while.

So off I headed to the liquor store for some blue curaƧao (which the lady behind the counter excitedly pointed out that I had pronounced correctly- yay!) and cheap rum (because...I mean...why spend money on the good stuff when it's going in a blender with fruit juice?).

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day and Macaroni Salad

Life is good, folks.
So good.

After taking an incredibly long break from school I'm now two semesters in and going strong.
I can't tell you how much I'm loving it.
My husband laughed at me the other day when I let it slip that I was sad the semester was coming to a close and I wouldn't have class over the summer.

Things I've learned so far on my adventure:
1) I'm still an overachiever.
2) I'd forgotten how much I love writing...but I love writing.
3) My kids are wonderful, amazing, people who both seem to like that I'm in school now too
4) I do not handle a cluttered house or lack of time to cook dinner well.  Working on that.