My hubby was so proud with how his cake came out. He sent me a picture of it after he had cut a nice slice. It’s such a great feeling when you make something for someone you love and they rave about it, take pictures of it and eat it after each meal. I don’t know if pastry chefs feel the same high when they get great reviews from strangers, but getting all that appreciation from your loved one is the best feeling. I never have a problem making anything my hubby asks, he is the best taster and food connoisseur. I’m lucky in that way, I have quite a few friends whose families do not appreciate their cooking and it makes them very sad. Having a family that is open to new flavors and new cuisines makes cooking and life in general so much more enjoyable. My hubby is so sweet, the way he takes pride in my cooking, it makes me feel very special. I suppose this is a small love letter to my hubby for my friends to see.
- What greatest hits album could you listen to on repeat?
- June 25, 2012
- It Really Is the Greatest
- Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) @ Teatro Smeraldo, Milano – 11 giugno 2012
This is a toss up between Supertramp’s Greatest hits and Bob Marley’s Greatest hits. Sometimes I feel as if they are already playing a loop in my head. Three Little Birds and The Logic Song, who can say that those two songs aren’t worthy of being put on repeat.
- What Olympic sport do you most enjoy watching?
- June 24, 2012
- Favorite Olympic Sport
- Gymnastics – Battle Creek
My favorite is women gymnastics, followed by men gymnastic and then all the different types of diving. Gymnastics is my favorite event because not only is it beautiful to watch but you get to be reminded of the strength, determination and remarkable focus these young ladies have within and have demonstrated faithfully for far longer than just these few weeks of intense competition. It is incredible what the human body and spirit is capable of doing.
Today was a glorious lazy Sunday, I didn’t really do anything aside from taking care of the dogs, a baby girl who is feeling somewhat under the weather, I hope that it isn’t the pesky virus that has been afflicting so many people recently, it resembles the flu a bit. Other than that, my hubby and I took our lunch outside by the pool, the baby girl was sleeping and Rex was watching over her. Jack was with us doing his hunting thing. The weather has come back to normal, warm during the day and cool at night. Time lost all meaning today, while we were eating by the pool, my hubby looked at his watch, I never wear mine, and he said “honey it’s 4:30 already” he said it in a bittersweet way because that meant that Sunday was winding down. We definitely enjoy Saturdays, but Saturdays get chock full of errands and activities, that Sunday has really become the day of rest but the resting day goes by too fast. Even at 45 years of age, well almost, I still don’t understand how days that you want to enjoy race by so quickly and other days that don’t matter, proceed nice and slowly. Why can’t it be the other way around?
I am rewriting this post because I have just lost everything that I had just written, the screen froze and everything on the screen vanished. I was writing about saffron, one of my favorite spices and how because I ran out of another spice, I decided to try saffron in its place. Normally whenever the mood strikes me for cauliflower, I finely chop two onions and mince five cloves of garlic, sauté them in olive oil slowly over low heat until they are very soft. That is when I add the head of a cauliflower that I have cut into very small pieces. At this point, turmeric would be making its presence known in the mix but I had forgotten that I had used up the last of it last month. I enjoy cauliflower very much but I think that it needs something more than just kosher salt and black pepper, so what to add since I don’t have turmeric? This is where the saffron fits into the essay, an interesting point in itself because the word essay is French for try or attempt, I added a quarter of a cup of chicken stock to the pan, increased the heat to medium and added a heaping tablespoon of saffron threads. I left the mixture to simmer for fifteen minutes and I reduced the heat back to low for ten more minutes. When it was done, the color was so vibrant, it could have been part of a floral color palette, yellowy/orange. It was delicious, I was so very happy with how the different flavors wound themselves around each other and still kept themselves distinguishable from each other. I found that the saffron made for a smoother flavor component than the turmeric, I’m not saying that I won’t be using turmeric with the cauliflower anymore. The benefits linked to turmeric are substantial especially for your brain. At this point any little bit of help with my brain is most welcome.
Besides being one of my favorite flavors, my other favorite is vanilla, these two spices come directly from flowering plants. Saffron is harvested from the crocus and vanilla from the orchid. Both are so very expensive because due to the delicate nature of the plants, they need to be harvested by hand. I think that it is wonderful that in this modern world of ours, there are still things that are too delicate for the cold steel of machinery and still need the warm touch of a human hand.
- Should soda be banned in all schools?\
- June 23, 2012 \
- Banning Soda in Schools
- School cafeteria
Yes, empty calories and artificial flavors and colorings have no place in the school setting, especially since many schools have all but eliminated physical education due to budget cuts. Children need healthy foods and at least some form of physical activity but if our children are forced to do without because of budget cuts,how can anyone justify using what precious resources left by purchasing soda for the children? Milk, water and fresh fruit are far more appropriate.
I knew that Rock of Ages had been a sensation on Broadway but I had never seen it. It never came to mind as a show that I had to see, Broadway tickets aren’t inexpensive, there were other shows that intrigued us much more as a family such as Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, The Producers, and one of my favorites Spamalot. We went to go see Rock of Ages, my hubby especially wanted to see it because of the music. He was right the music was great, Pat Benatar, White Snake, Poison, Def Lepard, Bon Jovi, Journey and Foreigner. I know that I’m forgetting a few but I’m sure that you have the gist, great music playlist if you grew up in the seventies and eighties. The story was fine, the actors camped it up but sometimes it was a little too painful. Thank goodness for Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand. They saved the movie, for me anyway.
- In what ways do you wish you were more tech savvy?
- June 22, 2012
- Tech Savvy
- Reindeer Mugs
When I was working at Conran’s in the catalog/advertising/design department twenty three years ago, I was working alongside a designer named Abby. She was in charge of designing the signature china, mugs and cups for Conran’s and she used the Apple software to do it with. I remember being so envious of her ease at making the computer do what she wanted it to do and it was doing fantastic design work, the type that you see in Pottery Barn, our competition at the time. Guess who won that battle,lol. Oops for me, wrong side on that equation. I wasn’t tech savvy then and I’m certainly not now.
My tale isn’t a bad one, it is really about trial and error and learning from my mistakes and ignorance of plants, zones, hardiness, soil conditions etc. There is so much to gardening, it is scientific if you want it to be, it’s creative and nurturing and it can give you a good workout. Gardening is whatever you want it to be. All my pictures above are my lessons about not knowing what you are buying. An excellent example are my hibiscus, I love all three of them, but if I had known that they truly belong in a much hotter climate, I wouldn’t have purchased them. Each winter, I bring them in but my house isn’t very suitable as a greenhouse, so it’s always with crossed fingers that I tend to them during the winter as they lose their leaves and look pitiful, they brighten up in late May when they go back outside. I have been keeping them alive for five years now, so I am doing something right. The same goes for the Bougainvillea tree and the Mandeville vine, those two are tropical plants, so when they come inside for the winter, their leaves completely drop off and I am left with two corpses for the long winter. The Bougainvillea is now in its third year and I haven’t gotten a blossom from it yet, so hopefully this summer I’ll be lucky. The Mandeville is new from last year, so I’ll let you know how it likes it up here in Blandford. The key to keeping these southern plants alive is luck, patience and over the winter, taking care not to over-water at all. You just want to keep the root system alive, you needn’t worry about the leaves, even though it is so sad to see them denude themselves so rapidly.
- Name something that you wish you could buy from vending machines.
- June 21, 2012
- Vending Machines
I don’t normally use vending machines because they house candy, chips and other unhealthy snacks. If a vending machine were able to stock fresh fruit, yogurt or healthy soups that would be pretty great, I would think. If the French can have their baguette available from a vending machine nowadays than why not other healthy options?