Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas came early

When I walked in to Bed Bad and Beyond last weekend, and they said I could use the 20% off coupon for the Philips Pasta Maker, my consideration that I don’t really need a pasta maker went out the door. Instead, I walked out the door, with this wonderful device.

I bought “OO” flour, and fresh eggs.  Since I am not one for reading manuals, I watched a video on youtube. Measure the flour in the provided measurement cup (250g flour), mix the 1 egg with a bit of water (and in my case, saffron dissolve in the water) in the second measurement cut, and wait for pasta to be pressed out of the maker 3 minutes later.

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After cooking the pasta in hot, heavily salted water for 6 minutes, it was al dente  and perfect. I made a pasta sauce, with a bit of goat cheese, herbs, and it was ready for the taste test.

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Yum!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas tree, christmas tree

The last weekend before Christmas. The weather continues to be mild and supposedly, it will be the ‘warmest Christmas of our lives’, according to weather.com for most of the US. I know some people who can’t wait for snow so they can finally go skiing, but after last winter I am not keen on snow for now.

 The tree is decorated.


 This year I painted the Christmas cards.

 With help from this little fella. He decided to not just supervise but get in on the action.

 Outdoor kitty is still out and about and supervises the late season raking of leaves.



 Recent lunches. Spiralized carrots, pomegranate seeds, hummus and frozen figs and strawberries. Or sauteed mushroom and corn, with hummus and fresh campari tomatoes. Or apple cake and tea (with the beautiful Starbucks 2015 Christmas Mug collection).

Thursday, December 17, 2015

“It’s not the years in your life that count, it is the life in your years.”

Sometimes, we settled into a predictable routine for long stretches of time, with kids or partners or jobs setting the routine.  Then, the days are long and the years are short, and we long for a bit of excitement, of mixing things up, of getting inspired again, changing lanes, trying new things.

This reminds me of the new best thing on Netflix, “Master of None”, which I first thought is a male Mindy Kaling version. While there are definitely similarities (Indian main characters living  in NYC), this show stole my heart immediately. It is so fresh, funny, a bit deeper, without any sense of cynicism, just pure heart, like “Friends” used to be.  The explored themes of kids, parents, or ‘the other man’ made me laugh and think for a while.

It only took me only 2 days to watch the entire 10 episodes of Season 1. Unfortunately, by the finale the main characters also decide to put a bit more ‘life’ into their years instead of settling down into a relationship with one of the most funniest first dates ever (in Nashville). Instead they fly off into different directions, literally. And, yes, I now need a pasta machine.

Ah, modern life, with so many opportunities, and how can we ever be satisfied with what we have and not think there might be something better and more exciting ‘out there’.

Here are some wonderful inspirations for the holidays season from the world wild web:

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Mulled pomegranate cider.

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Chai Hot Toddy

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Thyme Cornmeal bread by the LocalMilk

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if you are still looking for presents, these beautiful hand-painted plates are a great idea.

relax

This year I decided to not get caught up in the holiday stresses and run around of parties, gifts and cooking, but have a peaceful, calm and more contemplative season. A chai hotty toddy after a sunny walk in the woods, hand painting my Christmas cards, and the realization that things feel christmassy with store-bought cookies, too, is a relief.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas by the sea, Take 2

Last year I accidentally stumbled upon Camden’s Christmas by the sea activities. This time, I was prepared. Unlike last year when we had had several significant snow and ice storms already, this year it was mild, almost California-like (for Maine): sunny, dry and temperatures in the lower 50s. The stores and restaurants in Belfast and Camden were buzzing with visitors making a 2-3 day holiday season trip up the coast. Visiting a quaint, magical, wonderfully lit, quiet coastline with darling little intimate villages and finding just the right unique knick knacks to buy for presents, which are hand-made by local potters or weavers or artists, not by some machine in China. Large bonfires lit on the beach, Santa arriving by boat and reading stories, and hot tea in hand-made mugs and luxury hotels. Let’s be jolly.

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getting the Christmas tree.

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