After5

Archive for December 2008

It is New Year’s Eve and I have not yet made anything for dessert. In my family, it doesn’t matter what you make for entree or appetizer; if you don’t have a good dessert afterward, why bother with the rest. So my daughter and I will make two cakes. A lemon-meringue pie, which is actually really easy to make, and also Tres Leches (or Three Milks), which we love. Our cake making process is such that it allows a three year-old to stay busy in the kitchen while I make the cake. We start of with the best intentions of making something together. She scoops, I measure solids, she pours solids, I measure liquids, she pours liquids and then she gets to mix it all together. Then we decide that it is best if I give her a little bit of flour and she adds water and food colors to it. She loves to do that, and it allows me to finish the cake. Of course I could kick her out of the kitchen too, but I just love spending time with her, even though it means I have to mop the floor afterwards (and I really hate mopping floors, just ask my husband). I am looking forward to our baking afternoon.

Happy New Year! May it be peaceful, healthy and prosperous for all!

I came across a really cool fashion blog, and they have a forum to ask style questions. I love it! Its creator is a stylist from Seattle who is really hip, I mean really hip.  Check it out:
http://www.youlookfab.com

This year has seen me grow from a utilitarian cook to an apprentice sous-chef, which means that I’ve started to use spices other than salt and pepper and Italian seasoning and produce very yummy and healthy meals. Since I believe in cooking fresh foods as opposed to processed, I’ve started to experiment with Indian food. I’ve been going through recipes from two Indian cookbooks: 5 Spices, 50 Dishes and Indian Food Made Easy. I’ve discovered some really amazing dishes this way, and I also found out that I don’t like cumin seeds in my food. I like them ground and that’s it. Here are two more dishes I made recently which were really tasty.

Black-Eye Peas in a Spicy Goan Curry from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes, pg. 40. It is utterly delicious. I went easy on Cayenne pepper and added only a tiny pinch so it would not be too spicy.
Simple Spinach and Lentil Curry from Indian Food Made Easy, pg. 111, was really nice too. That was the dish where I discovered that I don’t like cumin seeds so the next time I make it, I will add ground cumin (half the measure of the seeds).

What I like the most about these two books is that the dishes don’t take that much to prepare and they taste great.

You know how employers say you can have a casual Friday, and then everyone rejoices and wears their jeans to the office, that is everyone except me. For me that used to mean that I had to tone down my dressing up for a day, and most of the time I would just dress up anyway. The reason is not that I am extremely vain, but because I lacked the proper booty-wear for casual Fridays and because I am seriously impaired when it comes to casual attires. I have one pair of jeans, Armani Exchange, which are great for my behind as long as I don’t have sit down. So I thought hard, even though it was really not a hard problem to solve, and I figured out what I needed: a high-waisted trouser cut jeans in dark wash. And that was my gift to myself for Christmas. I splurged in spite of my wailing over the economy. I got a pair of 7’s at Bloomingdale’s. They are beautiful, dark, no distractions, soft fabric and I love them. I love them so much that I want to sleep in them, and I want everyday to be casual Friday (well maybe not everyday). They go great with my motorcycle/riding boots, my oxford pumps and any other pumps really. I can even wear them with ballet flats.
Jeans

Don’t hate them because they are beautiful. Get them instead!

As I said in the About page, this blog is about things I would like to share with those who visit my blog. I’ve added a Currently Reading and Currently Listening sidebars as well as the blogroll.

I am currently reading the Idiot by Dostoyevsky and I am really enjoying it. It is so well written, and I must add it is really well translated, because the risk of reading a translated work is that the translator is not superb. That can seriously impact one’s enjoyment of the book. However that is not the case with this edition of the Idiot which was translated by Henry and Olga Carlisle.

I am currently listening to Viennese Waltzes. I don’t mean this very instance, but in general around the Holidays. I grew up in Europe, and in my family it was a tradition to watch the Viennese New Year Concert every January 1st at noon. So for me the perfect seasonal music is the Viennese waltzes, basically anything by the Strausses, Lehar or any other Viennese composer of that era. Now my daughter is learning to sway the beautiful 3/4 rhythm of a waltz. And it is absolutely ok if a polka or a march sneak in to liven up the mood.

The blogroll I’ve posted so far is pretty short as far as blogrolls go. These are the blogs I read daily, and I love them. So I wanted to share them with the readers of this blog. I hope you visit them and I hope you’ll love them.

It is Christmas Eve, and my contribution to the Christmas Eve dinner tonight is the mashed potatoes. I found a recipe on Whole Foods recipe site last year and have made it my family’s standard. I don’t have the link to it, but here is the recipe retold:

Boil 4lbs of potatoes in well salted water with 2 bay leaves and 4-6 garlic cloves. Then, when the potatoes are done, drain them, of course. Then, you put some olive oil, yes olive oil instead of butter and heavy cream instead of milk, and mash well. They are really good this way! Bon Apetit!

To those who celebrate Christmas, have a merry one! To those who don’t, I hope you enjoy the time off with your families.

So I chose to start blogging right before I went out of town for the Holidays, and that will not help continuity. But here I am  blogging on my Holiday. I went to Barnes and Noble today, and here are a few things I found there which just delighted me.

Did you know that there is a reprint of Daphne du Maurier’s novel My Cousin Rachel? It is available at B&N for $7.95! I read that book many years ago and I loved it, just like any other of her books.

Another book I came across is an Indian cookbook that I have been eyeing on Amazon. It is called Indian Food Made Easy, by Anjum Anand and it was available at B&N for $9.95.  I have not tried a recipe yet from this cookbook. While we are speaking of Indian cookbooks, this book is excellent: 5 Spices, 50 Dishes. I’ve made Punjabi Red Beans and Indian Beef Stir-Fry and both were delicious.


Currently Reading

The Idiot by Dostoyevksy

Currently Listening

Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack
Evaristo Dall'Abaco
Chopin
Mozart

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