Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Happenings

So, I found out about this photo websharing site called dropbox where you can store tons of files, video, photos etc. The free version is super fast and covenient and I am now using them to post photos to this blog. The one problem I've found so far, is that each picture posts as its own individual post as opposed to one nice, neat long photo blog post. Oh well, right now the convenience factor is heavily outweighing the desire I have for everything to be "neat and tidy".
Anyways, I hope your Christmas was a great one! Mine so far has been lovely. Our family kicked off the holiday festivities by driving out to St. Charles and enjoying the decorated historic district.
It was freezing, but totally worth it to see actual Carolers walking around. There were also some historically accurate Santas and such walking around - I'm not sure why, but watching people in costume acting like Santa makes me uncomfortable. Like, I know they are fake, and they know that I know they are fake, but I still have to smile and pretend that they aren't? Ugh, I just tried to avoid them.
I especially enjoyed how the lights melted little holes in the snow - this is my parent's walkway.
On Christmas Eve morning snow started to fall and by the evening we has a good 3-5 inches on the ground. I loved how Christmas lights looked in the snow!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone!
This New Year's my best friend, Shalyn, is coming in to town and we have decided to go over the top and cook a 4 course French meal out of Julia Child's cookbook. I'll post the results both good and bad here afterwards!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Little Apple

My last work day was this Friday and I now have a glorious 17 days off for the Holidays. I'll be spending my time reading and playing around with my camera! Oh ya!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Sunday in

This is what it looked like outside. So my sister and I decided to stay inside and in order not to go mad with boredom we - Painted (Caroline painted, I watched)

Read books
And made pizza.
p.s., pizza isn't so good when you forget to add salt to the dough. :(

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Better Late?

than never right? I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My mom always goes all out on holiday dinners...

The kids even got their own table, the candle made them feel grownup! I think.

In other news, after two years insulin free, Darcy's diabetes is back and we've had to resume insulin shots. He's doing great now that his blood sugars are down and I'm hopeful we'll get him in to remission soon. You all should have seen the look on the pharmacists face when I came to pick up a prescription for "Darcy the Cat" as he is now in the Walgreen's system!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chicago Deep Dish

Caroline and I had our neighbor and friend, Julia, over for dinner Saturday. Goodness, I miss having her (and Dave!) living across the hall, watching Lost, having impromptu dinners and just hanging out. Julia, thanks for coming out and for making your delicious dessert! As for the rest of you (all 3 or 4 of you - ha!), this pizza recipe is a cinch! Make it and get ready to be very pleased! Email me if you want the particulars!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Al Fin

So, I decided to go out and finally purchase a DSLR - a Canon Rebel T1i - and my new best friend. I want to spend the next several months getting aqcuainted with this camera, so I can take gorgeous photos when I go to Spain this summer!

So be prepared for many, many test shots of my pets. I apologize in advance.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I knew it was going to be a good weekend...

when I came home on Friday to these lovely flowers on the dining table. Caroline told me to look at the card and this is what I saw:
Thank you to my beautiful friend Lauren for making my day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Morning!

From my deck this morning. I am absolutely loving our crisp fall mornings!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Something's in the air...

Sooo, I hopped over to JAPRA's blog last week and saw this post and the neatest little mushroom around. Now, I'm thinking that must have stuck to my subconscious, because I couldn't stop thinking about them when I was trolling for recipes on the Cook's Illustrated website. Then I post my lasagna, JAPRA posts again how she's been thinking about them, cooking them and is podering going on a Fungi Foray (mushroom hunting forest walk). Then...I click on Smitten Kitchen and see THIS! Coincidence? I think not.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wild Mushroom Lasagna

About once a month or so I like to invite my parents over for dinner and movie. I use these get-togethers as an opportunity to try out new recipes and last Friday night was no exception. This time around, I found a recipe for Wild Mushroom Lasagna that just sounded amazing. I cleaned out our local grocery store of just about all of their portobellos, porcini, oyster, chantarelle, cremini and shitake mushrooms - about 4 pounds of it and goodness, they take a while to clean, de-stem and chop!

After all of that prep-work, cooking the mushrooms is pretty straighforward: broil the portobello caps, cook the rest of the mushrooms in a pan with butter salt and pepper, add some vermouth, flour, nutmeg, garlic and milk and you've got a delicious creamy smokey mushroom sauce. Layer the sauce and mushrooms between no boil noodles and add whole milk mozzarela mixed with parmesan and wha la! I have to say that the lasagna was absolutely delicious, and very, very rich so you won't need more that 1 serving to be satisfied. It also reheats like a champ!

This recipe was from Cook's Illustrated.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lemon Layer Cake: 2 Lucy Lucia: 0

Well, for the second time, I've tried to make this devil of a cake. Pictured above, it looks passable. Pictured below, you can see it in all of its "Leaning Tower of Pisa-ness". It's that tricky lemon curd. It fools you in to thinking that it's firm enough to hold up the layers and then it laughs at you and starts to bulge out the sides. sigh.

I still have an unending love for all things lemon flavored though, and it was quite yummy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lemon Layer Cake

So this is what I'm going to try my hand at on Saturday. We'll see who comes out the victor!
I know this isn't much of a post, but I was becoming rather tired of being reminded my age every time I checked this blog. ha!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wherein I turn 33

While I'd like to say that these chocolates are for me, they are actually in celebration of my cousin Yvonne and her husband, Griff's visit to Saint Louie last weekend.
If I have guests coming in to visit, the first place my mind goes to is "what can I make for dessert"? Thanks to Cook's Illustrated (which has earned my undying devotion, by the way) I found an recipe for a Chocolate and Caramel Walnut tart. I love tarts. I love chocolate and hey, why not try my hand at making caramel?! Pictured above, we have the suagr water boiling away. Below, the finished caramel coating freshly roasted walnuts. Yum.

For double the yum, the bottom layer of the tart is caramel and coarsly chopped walnuts....

covered with about 16 ounces of chocolate ganache. DELICIOUS! Also, the tart keeps in the refrigerator very well - I made it Friday night and we didn't eat it until Sunday. So if you're in need of a make ahead dessert, you're in luck.
Yvonne is one of my favorite cousins. We had a blast a couple of years ago when we went to Costa Rica together to hang out on the beach and then spent time with relatives. She is the funniest, sweetest and most loving person I have ever met. Fitting then, that she also married the funniest, sweetest most loving husband I have ever met!
We spent the afternoon window shopping at the loop.

Griffin then treated us to a surprise dinner at home. I told you he was sweet, right?!

That evening we met up with friends at Sasha's on Shaw, a lovely wine bar in Tower Grove. My sister Aili and her husband Mike were able to make it out, so the evening was perfect!

Sunday, as usual was spent with the family. We enjoyed Chicago style deep dish pizzas (again, delicious and courtesy of Cook's Illustrated) and yummy chocolate cake. What a weekend! Yvonne and Griff, you are welcome here any day of the week!