Happy news, happy Autumn

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Halfway done with yet another baby gift– when it’s done, it will be a mobile. I can post it here because the above-named baby is 36 hours old and I doubt her mama is checking my blog right now. Mabel Sophia was born 9/30/11 at 7:20pm. Welcome to the world, beautiful!

Desmond said to Molly, ‘Girl, I like your face’ & Molly says this as she takes him by the hand…

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This week, Adam and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary with a date at Hope & Olive in Greenfield. I had a ham and brie sandwich with fresh greens and fig spread, and Adam had a burger. The french fries were too delicious for words. As were the cocktails. You can see the lovely Victorian-inspired ring Adam surprised me with in the last photo. I love it! And I am glad to have something to wear while my engagement ring is being repaired. Happy anniversary, Adam, I love you!

Compliance

This is what litter looks like in Amherst. I love this town. Taken 7/31/11 in front of Amherst Town Hall.

Lentil burritos & birthday imbibings

A real post?! What do you mean, a real post? She doesn’t post things anymore. Not real things.

This is a Real Post ™, written AND photographed by me. So let’s start with the drinks, because don’t you always want to start with drinks? This was in celebration of Zach Brown’s 28th rotation around the sun. There were these, and there was sushi. And there was much rejoicing. This place was a pleasant surprise! It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside is lovely & the food is great.
And then I made this, from The Chubby Vegetarian. It was epic. My first few experiences with lentils were when I was babysitting for this real hippie-dippie family (also stinking rich, go figure) who ate a lot of lentil soup. The kids were wonderful and sweet… The soup was tasteless and usually overcooked. So lentils and me got off to a rocky start. Thank goodness some kind soul (ahem, Carol) gave us this cookbook, which made it much easier to get acquainted properly. I can now personally attest that lentils are both delicious and nutritious. True story.

This stuff is not pretty in the pan. Nay, I daresay it’s not a pretty dish. Let’s call that the reason there are no pictures of the finished product… And not that we ate nearly all of it before remembering that I was going to write a post. Hah.

Some things I did differently– like using beer for half of the liquid instead of water, adding a ton of garlic (think half a head), and sauteeing the onions with six or seven (or ten…) whole dried hot peppers. You can see them floating in in the dish above. We also got lazy when it came to dressing them for eating, so rather than taco shells and fresh sliced avocado (which I am all about, when I have one around) we served on tortillas with lettuce, sour cream, some shredded cheddar mix, and pre-made guacamole from Trader Joe’s.

The overall effect of these changes on the recipe, I can’t say. I never made this dish without my adaptations– but I can say that I found it to be rich and flavorful. Smoky hints from the chipotle pepper and sesame oil, bite from the hot pepper and garlic, creaminess from the slow-cook of the lentils. This dish has it all, and has a texture very much like ground beef when you consider it in the sloppy joe-esque context. Add the cheese and guacamole and you have a unique dish with a nod to traditional Mexican cooking. I’m a fan.

Please don’t mistake me. This dish? White hot. It’s not that I think you’re a wuss, but Adam and I eat more spicy (and more intensely spicy) food than most other people we know. Our friends who love hot, spicy food are always surprised at how hot we will make certain dishes. For us, too much hot is the same as too much garlic. Which is to say, the concept doesn’t exist. At least it’s remote enough not to worry about on a day to day basis. Too hot? Too garlicky? Go the fuck home. :)

And my night ended this way: Two pans one spoon.

Tonight we’re off to a Sons of Anarchy premiere party, for which I made baked ziti (see above 2nd pan) and an obscene loaf of garlic bread that may or may not contain a whole head of garlic and 3/8th of a pound of butter. Just to, you know. Prove a point. Also to prevent vampire attacks. They’re on the rise these days.

Happy Autumn!

Flowers by Betsy

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My mom, Elizabeth, has the golden touch with orchids. They blossom all year.

Beach day on the North Shore

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Beautiful Crane’s Beach in Little Neck, MA.

Starred: crime drama, internet magic, cutoffs and carbs

via Coco & Kelley

So many gems to share this week– I’ll get right to it.

Then somebody moves, and everything you thought you had is gone to shit/but we’ve got a lot, don’t you dare forget that.

cocktails on the mind (via pinterest)

Hello! What’s new? I’ve been quiet around here because I have things to share that I can’t share quite yet, so rather than be cryptic for a long stretch of time I figured I’d wait. Then it took a long time and I couldn’t wait anymore. So, hi! I’m scatterbrained today. It’s endearing, stop looking at me like that. I’ve been feeling a thrill of gratitude and happiness lately, not uncommon for me when the weather is more consistently warm. (The post title is a lyric from Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos, not meant to sound complain-y, but quite the opposite. Life is so good sometimes, it’s unbelievable.) See also: New England Noir was feature in another Etsy Treasury, it is sunny outside, and today is our second ever CSA pickup (hopefully there’s strawberries.)

 

Today we had the cat shaved; I’m picking her up in a bit. Only slightly embarrassing, and only for a day or two. For her, I mean. The humans think it’s hilarious. Later today we’re viewing a house across the bridge. It’s painted a bright green, somewhere between mint and lime, at the moment. Let me tell you, if it became our house… It wouldn’t be that way long.

Things around here are slow but good, I’m still pasty pale because for the last ohh, forever, my days off have been cloudy and rainy. Christine and I are trying to plan a beach trip soon, though I don’t envision that happening until the beginning of July, maybe later.  Don’t mistake me: pasty pale doesn’t change much, even with sun exposure. My emotional reaction to vitamin D is more what I’m going for.

See what I mean? I’ve been in nesting mode lately, wanting everything at home to be completely organized and impeccable. It allows me to focus on unimportant things rather than doing dishes. I can justify it by being all, “but I can’t put anything away unless the pantry is organized!” Patently untrue, but effective for procrastination purposes. We got a really cute vintage tablecloth at the flea market last weekend, the day *after* we had company for dinner. So, we’ll have to do it again, that’s all.

Tonight we’re having a big salad, using all the greenery we can from Many Hands, and on Sunday I’m trying a recipe I’ve thought about for quite awhile now: gratin dauphinoise as made by Bea of La Tartine Gourmande. I do love that blog! It’s my father-in-law Jon’s birthday, and we’re celebrating with family and food, as we normally do. :)

How are you? Give me updates.

I make-a my money, man, without the coca– livin’ la vida without the loca.

I am the Most Boring Woman Alive ™. But I do have a new laptop (!!!!) and things are calming down on the I-have-every-minute-planned-ahead front. In my few spare moments, I’ve been fantasizing about domesticated foxes (self-incrimination? What’s that?) and looking for houses to tour. We’re not buying until this time next year, but! It can’t hurt to look. Next Thursday we’re viewing one that’s an awful mint-green on the outside (with some questionable interior design choices inside) but amazing architecture, windows, and space. I can deal with something cosmetically ugly, but a bad layout is unforgivable. More this week, now that I am re-wired.

 

(All pictures via Pinterest. Post title credit goes to one Ma$e, of Mo’ Money (etc) fame.)

The end of the world, part I

King (photo by Sarah Perrott Photography)

I don’t even know where to start. It’s been a crazy week or so since I last posted; when things get hectic I find it hard to be consistent. Plus, I am down a computer and a digital camera, so blogging is a little harder these days. So now it’s Sunday at 7 am, and I have sneaked downstairs to use Adam’s computer while he sleeps a bit. It was a 100+ hour work week for him again, but he doesn’t complain. I love him so much & I’m so proud of him.

It’s also been a sad week, because my dog boyfriend, King, was hit by a car and killed on Bay Road here in Amherst. I try to keep it light on the blog, but you guys. I am so sad. He was the nicest, dumbest, most lovable pup I know– wild to the bone and unafraid of any kind of adventure. (Except the life-sized cardboard Han Solo cutout Sare has at her house. He hated that thing.) I remember going with Sare and the dogs to her aunt’s riverside property, and how we marveled over how strong he was, pushing himself (most comically, I assure you) almost all the way out of the water with every stroke as he swam. Michael Phelps’ breaststroke had nothing on Kingy’s. I used to crack up, because he’d do things he wasn’t supposed to (like eat tomatoes straight off the vine, or bring home partially decomposed woodland creatures for his humans) and look so effing pleased with himself you couldn’t be upset.

 

Kingy both loved, and was entirely puzzled by, the garden sprinkler. Photo by Sarah.

I can’t imagine how Sarah’s feeling right now. If I couldn’t sleep over it, I don’t imagine she can either. Nothing can make something this sad feel better but time. I’ve got Radar with me on the couch; there will definitely be much cat-appreciation of him and his sister Dixie today and in the future. You just never know.