Monday, March 24, 2008

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

We went to visit the big guy himself - no, not Santa, the Easter Bunny. Luke was bummed that he was too little to visit Santa (we weren't about to take him to the mall at 2 weeks old), so we made up for it by having his picture taken with the big bunny. He was all eyes and very well behaved; so much so, that he stared at the other kids who were crying as if to say, "Hey dude, it's the Easter Bunny." My little sweetie.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Look Out Martha

The other day, while Luke was napping in the a.m. I leafed through my latest issue of Bon Appetite. I love it. It's not as haughty as Gourmet, but has great recipes and articles. It's funny - I used to drool over "In Style" and "Lucky" but now I love reading food magazines.

But I digress.....I came across an article about homemade mayonnaise and how wonderful it is, etc. And I had taken out some chicken breasts, not knowing what I'd do with them. So I decided to try my hand at homemade mayonnaise and poaching chicken breasts (which I had also never done).
I've always kind of liked mayonnaise. I loved it on sandwiches as a kid and considered it a luxury as an adult trying to watch what I eat. When I was small, my dad would be making his lunch in the mornings before heading off to work and would make me a tiny mayonnaise sandwich on seedless rye bread that I would enjoy while tuned into a.m. cartoons. But as I aged and learned how mayonnaise wasn't the best thing for you, I turned to mustard to dress up my sandwiches.

So I wondered if homemade mayonnaise could re-ignite my mayo love. And I was challenged by it too - I mean, who makes homemade mayonnaise when you can just grab it out of the fridge? AND...I was inspired by the beginnings of the new season of "Top Chef". Love it. Love it. They make all sorts of nifty stuff off the tops of their heads - no recipes, no sous-chefs, no help.

It took me 2 tries to get it right (it's a little dance between whisking constantly and sloooowwwwllly adding oil) but it was this heavenly, whipped, rich concoction that distantly resembled the stuff in the jar with the blue lid.

That being done, I poached 2 chicken breasts (a new technique for me), chopped them roughly and added them to the mayonnaise. Then slathered that on some toasted rolls, added sliced avocado and voila! A delicious, warm chicken salad sandwich.

Oh mayo. You've been gone for too long.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ten Points If You Know What This Is - Answer Below!!

It's a cable box. I remember them being in my aunt's neighborhood, which was a particularly new sprouting of suburbia 35 or so years ago. We used them as home plates, "safe" areas, incorporated them into all parts of our outdoor games. I was surprised to see them still around with all the digital cable that floats around, but it was certainly a blast from the past!

The Making Of A Couch Potato

Here's my little couch potato watching television. I know, I know that tv isn't "good" for babies, but he enjoys the colors and sounds and is watching "Sesame Street", so at least it's educational. He was actually mesmerized by Richie Havens singing "Wonder Child" and playing the guitar and by Jose Feliciano singing and playing guitar as well. Glad to see he has an appreciation for the arts!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

An Apple A Day

I'm so not a fruit person. According to my mother, I used to love it. Would eat orange slices left and right, loved apples and grapes. Now, I'm just real picky about the fruit I eat. I'll eat the occasional grapes, I still love bananas, and maybe the odd apple here and there.

But lately I've been digging apples like crazy. Maybe it's something inside me trying to stave off scurvy or something, but they've been delicious.

I had part of an apple gallette from Boston Market. Now, I'm not one to like pie-type desserts. To me, dessert doesn't mean eating fruit. If I'm going to do dessert, I'm going to eat something decadent and chocolatey. Something that makes it worth it. But this apple dessert was amazing. A buttery crust, lots of streussel topping and the apples weren't tart at all. (I think that's why I'm wary of fruit - sometimes it's so hit or miss as to if it's going to be sweet or tart or unripe - I don't like playing Russian roulette with my food.) I've been dying to eat another one for days now.

More recently, Luke and I went food shopping and on a whim I bought Gala apples. I've been buying sliced apples from Trader Joe's and I think they're sliced Gala apples. So I grabbed one today when running out to my concert, which had a rehearsal before it, so I'd have something to eat in between. (Plus, I figured the apple would cancel out the liverwurst sandwich I brought as well) Why didn't anyone tell me Gala apples were so tasty? It was sweet without being cloyingly so and not too crunchy and not mealy. I'm now hooked on apples. Which I guess is better than being hooked on something like Cheetos or Big Macs.

Mr. Beethoven, If You Please

I had a rehearsal for the Island Chamber Symphony. It's a small group (obviously, since it's a chamber group) and I simply get a gas stipend, not a usual check, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of playing for them. It's the only classical music I'm doing lately, and I feel like it keeps me in check and keeps my classical chops in gear.

We're doing (did, since we had our concert earlier today) Beethoven's 8th Symphony, which has this wicked little cello part in the 3rd movement. And I was sitting up front by myself. So I get through it, and the conductor says, "You know, I've heard Ricardo Muti do this with the Philadelphia Philharmonic and I could swear that it's one cello at that point, and since you did it so beautifully, how about you play it alone?"
I was mortified and excited all at once.

So we try it again, this time me playing the part alone. And it's this little minuet type thing where it's just basically the French horns and myself. And I manage to get through it again and sound not-so-bad.

And you know what happened? Everyone applauded! It was so cool. I was embarrassed and damn proud all at once.

The sad thing? I hadn't practiced the part like I had wanted to. I went in and winged it. And it just came so naturally to me. Which always makes me wonder and regret and wish and pontificate. Should I have been a music major? Where would I be now if I had? Is it too late to go back?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How To Make Me Cry At My Desk

a.) Send me the following via e-mail to read upon getting to my desk:

A baby asked God, 'They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?' God said, 'Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.

'The child further inquired, 'But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.' God said, 'Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy.'

Again the child asked, 'And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?' God said, 'Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.'

'And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?' God said, 'Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.

''Who will protect me?' God said, 'Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.

''But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.' God said, 'Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.'

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, 'God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name.'

God said, 'You will simply call her, 'Mom.'

b.) Play the closing theme music to E.T. on the classical station.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Believe It or Not

Okay. So Sunday morning, around 6ish or so, I was reading all by myself in the living room. Luke was asleep as was Tommy. It's a little chilly and I've got a blanket wrapped around myself. All of a sudden out of nowhere I heard my name whispered. I kid you not. It was my whole name and I couldn't tell if it was a male or femal voice, but it was distinct as if the person was sitting next to me.


What Makes a Good Morning

  • Watching my two special guys sleep in the early morning while I'm getting ready for work.
  • Hearing a little someone stirring in their crib, going to investigate and getting a big smiley greeting.
  • Seeing a cardinal fly right past me on my way down the driveway.
  • Seeing a puppy in the car in front of me kiss the heck out of its owner and the owner kissing it back gleefully.
  • Hearing on the radio that it's going to be close to 60 degrees today.