Archive for February, 2007

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a good little cooker

February 28, 2007

There is a serious lack of things to report right now. Waiting for birthday cycle to start, waiting waiting waiting. I thought I’d show you a little bit of what I’ve been doing in my kitchen over the last few weeks. I LOVE to cook. I like exploring all different types of foods, and it’s a great challenge for me to try and figure out how to make dishes taste like they do at my favorite ethnic restaurants – but having complete control over what’s actually going into my food.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently entertaining a love affair with Ethiopian/Eritrean food.  There are very few cookbooks that 1) showcase foods from this region and 2) are easy to use.  I came across this one, which has great history and many many recipes that look amazing. The only problem I’ve had with it is that their portions are for about 20, when I’m only cooking for 2 or 4.  And from the internet searching I’ve done, while each recipe contains (mostly) the exact same ingredients, they seem to vary in quantities and proportions.  This is not too surprising; many ethnic cuisines are like this. I followed a few recipes as a guideline, and used what I “felt” was the right amount of ingredients.

I decided to make my favorite Ethiopian/Eritrean dish, Doro Wat/Tsebhi Dorho, which is a spicy chicken stew, along with a somewhat milder red lentil dish. I was very proud of myself for attempting this meal – I spent evenings prior to the actual cooking of this meal making berbere, the spice mix used (kind of like a garam masala paste, but different, and way spicier) and Nitter Kebbeh, which is spiced clarified butter.  

I also attempted to make Injera, the soft, spongy, tangy bread that is used by this culture as both the serving platter AND eating utensil.  I searched high and low for the authentic Teff flour used to make it, made the batter, fermented it for 3 days in my kitchen….and the results were so awful that it was inedible.  So I had the friends who were my guinea pigs for this experiment pick some up from our local Eritrean place, but seriously, my chicken and lentil dishes were dead on as far as flavor, heat, and overall taste go.  Will do this again – it was awesome.

          

I’ve also been making a lot of pizza lately. I make the dough myself, sometimes straight up regular dough, sometimes mixed with some whole wheat flour. I use homemade sauce (I made a huge pot in November, and froze individual portions in Ziploc baggies – very convenient) and low fat/fat free mozzarella (which I find doesn’t effect taste at all) and lots of fresh veggies. The results have been great!

          
 

Finally – for Christmas, my mother-out-law got me a subscription to Cooks Illustrated magazine, and on the day of Bingo two weeks ago, S and I attempted to make the “Ultimate Lemon Layer Cake” profiled in the January edition of the magazine.  I made the lemon curd and the icing, and S made the cake. It was tremendously good, very (as Martha would say,) delectable.  I will admit that it was probably the most time consuming baked good I’d ever attempted, and we were both very pleased with the outcome.

         

  

 

 

 

 

Now I’m hungry. Drat. Is it lunchtime yet???

 

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slackass

February 27, 2007

Totally spaced on taking some shots last night, though did upload one from my cell phone.  So one “small shot” isn on Flickr, now:) Enjoy!

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back to reality

February 26, 2007

Sometimes just going someplace else for the weekend can be seriously recharging.  Our weekend jaunt to Western MA did not dissapoint. We had a connected with some cool folks, did a little shopping, went to roller-derby, hung with friends, and I did something completey impulsive in a (likely vain) attempt to keep myself “young.” For friends, photos will be up on flickr shortly. For lurkers, you should reveal:)  For my mom, (who I’m almost 99% sure doesn’t know about my blog) I know your opinion and I don’t want to hear it. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, and I like the way it looks.

I know. You wanna know. You need to know. You’ll have to wait till I get home and upload though. Sorry.

We could only manage to get through about an hour of the Academy Awards last night. They did kind of “boring” awards first, and I found myself falling asleep around 10 o’clock or so. I did enjoy the “dancers,” as well as the verbal sound effect chorus. That was pretty darned cool.

Also…I’ve been given the opportunity to go and hijack Trista’s blog while she’s on vacation in Hawaii. Bitch. Any ideas on what I should write about over there??

 

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alicious what?

February 23, 2007

Dear Fergie,

I have serious issues with your hit song “Fergalicious.”  While I must admit that it is growing on me, when I first heard it on the radio, I thought it was a commercial for chewing gum.  We could talk for days about the downfall of popular music, or how I can’t believe your performance of “My Humps” won a Grammy, or even how offended I was when you named the “real” version of your hit song “Let’s Get it Started,” “Let’s Get Retarded,” but don’t get me side tracked because I’ve got a serious issue with this particular song.

You’re completely contributing to the dumbing down of America when you (intentionally!!) misspell words in your songs. “Tasty” is NOT spelled “Tastey.” I don’t care that it didn’t “rhyme right” without the extra “e”.  It just isn’t spelled that way. Spelling is not something I feel you can just change the parameters of to suit your needs. Be a real artist and figure out something else that works lyrically.

Thank you for your time,

j

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Atcher Cervix

February 21, 2007

So, I had a realization last night. In the 12 or so years that I’ve been getting routine gynecological exams, and the past year when I’ve had more than my share of cervical peeking, I’ve not once ever been asked if I wanted to look at my cervix. Not once time! I mean, it wouldn’t take much for them to just, you know, put a mirror down there so I could see, right?

I find this most interesting because we live in an age where people get dvd’s of the surguries they’ve had, and heck, my own mother has seen what her colon looks like, twice! I figure that these things (especially the surguries. My sister’s knee surgery was disgusting) are way more traumatic things in this world that we view on a regular basis than our own insides, right? Especially when we (well, some of us, anyway) are so invested in getting these parts to work right to make babies, etc.

I think I’m going to take S up on her challenge and ask my PCP, who is so so wonderful, btw, why she doesn’t offer patients a peek when they’re up on the table.

Your thoughts??

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photorgasm, etc.

February 20, 2007

So yesterday was a holiday that I didn’t have off. So, I did what anyone whose gorgeous wife was home lollygagging while I was slaving off at work would do. I left at lunchtime, came home, and had a lazy lollygagging afternoon. I took a bunch of pictures.  And I’m going to share them all with you. The only catch is that you must be approved as my “friend” on flickr.

First, the big news of the weekend? I cut my hair. It was time. The growing experiment was over. And look. My sunny outlook and impish grin have returned! It is amazing what one little haircut can do. I’ve been supernaturally changed (extra points for those who get the reference.) Seriously. It’s like the cloud of gloom and doom that seems to have been hanging near my head in recent months is totally gone – just because my hair is back to “normal.”  And it IS so normal for me. Lots of my friends, co-workers, etc, have all said that. It’s good to see you back to “normal.” And even though I had hair people “would kill for” (I don’t get this, but apparently my hair was like, good. For what? I dunno.) I was so so happy when the clippers hit the back of my head – I can’t even explain it.

Then, someone somewhere suggested that there be some sort of photo home tour. And as I figure it, I’d invite many of you over to my house for dinner, and being as that won’t likely happen, at least you can see where I live. There are all sorts of notes, etc.

Again, you must be approved as my friend on Flickr in order to see all of the photographic loveliness, so, have at it.  And if your name is something I won’t recognize, just shoot a message telling me who you are.

On to other things. Civil Unions in NJ. My mother is so excited about this.  Last week, her beloved German Shorthaired Pointer, Cooper passed away, and well, this was very very sad. The only good part is now my mother has a dog free home, and she’s very excited to host S and I in about a month or so. She would like us to get a NJ Civil Union, and she would like to have another party. I’m all for more parties. Plus there are a lot of family/friends who didn’t come (uh, or get invited) to our wedding in ’05 who would probably be up for celebrating with us. We’ll see. Maybe we’ll just go for burgers at Fuddruckers or something exciting like that. Who knows.

And in babymaking news- we had a very nice ovulatory cycle this month, which means that everything is a go for next month. New donor chosen, papers filed with the bank…now we just do that graceful dance of “hurry up and wait.” I am trying to not be hopeful about this go-round. Because if it did work it would be so much easier on our hearts, emotions, and most notably, our wallets.

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There’s only one place they call me one of their own

February 19, 2007

Just a quick note saying that the first civil union processed in the state of New Jersey occured just after midnight, in my hometown of Teaneck. Way to go kids, way to go.