Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Friday, April 30, 2010

Farfalle with Chicken, Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese

It's been a while since I posted a new recipe here, let alone a new recipe that blew me away.

At least, I think this is a new recipe. D* says we've had it before. I don't remember if we did. In any case, I haven't blogged it, so it's probably been at least two years since I made it, if I did.

I wish I knew why this dish was so entirely awesome. Was it the basil, even hydroponically grown? The goat cheese, which melted all creamily into the nooks of the pasta? The fact that I was really, really hungry? I have no idea. But it was good.

Farfalle with Chicken, Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese

I made it pretty much as written, except for using grape tomatoes. I left them whole, and even though I don't generally care for tomatoes, I loved their sweet bursts of flavor in this. I am looking forward to making this again in the summer, when fresh ingredients should make it even better.

Goal Roundup: April

Another pretty good month.
  • Financial: Savings to plan. Paid off my student loans (alas, the bottle of champagne I was planning on will have to wait until After Baby). The car is half paid for, as of this month. Used the month's extra paycheck to kill a big chunk of credit card. Go, us.
  • Health: Seems to be the month’s dump goal, but given that I'm pregnant and feeling lousy, I am giving myself a pat on the back for getting to the damn gym three times a week, even if it's just to walk.
  • Food: I did try four new recipes this month--three from Fine Cooking, which are on here somewhere, and another one I should blog this weekend if I can get my act together. 
  • Reading: Mistborn; Plato’s Republic: A Biography (audio); The Court of the Air; Persuasion (podcast).
  • Writing: Very, very little progress, but I am still grinding forward, and I've had a few ideas this past week that should be good for the story.
  • Birthdays were at least a day late in all cases, but I did send the cards.
May will probably be a wash, as we'll be busy apartment-hunting, getting rid of crap, and eventually, packing, which takes way more time than it ought to.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To Do

Drink plenty of water.
Cook and eat nutritious, homemade meals.
Get eight hours of sleep.
Earn a paycheck.
Blog insightfully.
Value friends and family.
Read work in your field.
Read work outside your field.
Comment insightfully on other blogs.
Research current/future novels.
Research agents.
Research publishers.
Attend conferences (for career).
Attend conferences (for writing).
Critique others' writing.
Write some more.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Not having a ton of time/energy to cook, for the most part. The morning sickness is diminishing, but I am regularly feeling overwhelmed by the rest of my life--like this blog is just one more thing to do (badly).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Three New Ones from Fine Cooking

After a dry spell, last week saw a burst of energy in which I tried three new recipes from the latest issue of Fine Cooking, a magazine of which I am increasingly fond:
  •  Tilapia with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce -- Instant keeper. We loved this one, and it was quick and easy to make. I don't really like tilapia all that much, but this is a good use for an increasingly common and popular fish.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass -- I still haven't found lemongrass around here, but even without it, this is a good soup. I'd make this one again.
  • Chinese Egg Noodles with Five-Spice Pork -- The dud of the week's efforts, alas, this was okay, but not something I'd make again -- at least not without significant tweaks, the first of which would be to eliminate the bacon. This turned out on the greasy side.

I don't know if this blog is having an identity crisis or what. I don't seem to have the time to make a proper go of it--work, kids, writing, reading, to which will soon be added apartment-hunting and moving. Too many hobbies, not enough hours. I hate to abandon it, though. I suppose if nothing else I can keep it as a record of the few new things I try these days.

This next week is going to be full of veggies after a weekend that's been mainly carbs, but they're tried and true ones for us. I want spring!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Menu 2010

We had a busy, busy Easter Saturday. And Friday, for that matter. L was off school, but I had to work, and D spent the entire day running around as a result. Saturday morning was spent cleaning (the kids helped by behaving wonderfully and, in L's case, attempting off and of to help). Saturday noon D's parents arrived amid the usual shower of gifts.

We spent a good chunk of the afternoon outside, enjoying the amazing weather. Another chunk was spent playing ancient arcade games. D earned a ton of daddy points by driving out to Home Depot to find seed starter cups, which I have been unable to find anywhere nearby, so that L and I could plant radishes and peas. I have no ideas regarding their long-term fate, but I thought L might find it fun if we can get them to sprout.

Dinner was around 5:30. I didn't really do appetizers this year, and there wasn't really any time in which we would have eaten them!
  • Loin of Pork with Fennel (Barefoot Contessa at Home)--I didn't want to do ham again, and I love fennel, so I had high hopes for this dish. Alas, I wasn't entirely thrilled with how this came out. I couldn't get a good reading on my thermometer and ended up overcooking it a trifle. The stuffing was good, but I think it could have used some more oomph; possibly I didn't use enough thyme. I would consider making it again, but with adjustments; perhaps a marinade?
  • Artichoke, Leek, and Potato Gratin--This went over well. My husband loves artichokes; I can take or leave them, but I thought this was quite good, if not exactly exciting.
  • Simple carrots
  • My usual salad
As usual, too much food was consumed by me. It being Saturday, D had to leave for church a bit after dinner, and everyone was still too full for dessert, so I sent some home with them.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Goal Roundup: March

Wow, that went quickly! It's been a pretty good month for the goals.
  • Financial: On track.
  • Health: Managed to fit weight-lifting in three weeks out of four, made it the gym despite weather and feeling lousy.
  • Food: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. This goal slipped a lot this month; part of that is due to the Shaws strike. We're trying to respect the picketing, so I've been cooking from the pantry more than usual, shopping at unfamiliar stores, and sticking to "tried and true" menus. I'll be trying some new things for Easter this weekend, though.
  • Reading: The Blade Itself (new), The Story of the Stone (reread), The Salmon of Doubt (reread), The City and the City (new). I've been listening to a podcast of Persuasion at the gym and a book about Plato's Republic in the car. Feeling good about this one.
  • Writing: Re-revised the first two chapters based on crit group feedback and continue to struggle onwards. My original goal of having a draft of Book 3 at this point in the year has been abandoned; changes in book 1 are likely to ripple into 2, so not much sense getting that far ahead now.
  • Birthdays: None this month.
The rain has ended, and though it's still overcast out there it's distinctly warmer than it has been. Forward into spring!