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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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November 14, 2009

What's Been Happenin'

It's harder to keep this posting business up, when my life is not longer so exciting, but one can't be in Italy all the time (unless one moves there... hmmmm...), and I would like to discipline myself at this ripe old age, to maintain some kind of journal of my doings, thoughts, ideas, etc., so I have today managed to convince myself that it's been too long since my last entry and is time for another.

One exciting this this past week was picking up my framed poster from Hobby Lobby.  It's an architectural break-away rendering of Bruncelleschi's dome that I brought home from Florence from me.  And by the time it got to Huntington, it was looking a little delapidated, so it was wonderful to see it all crisp and smooth in its new frame.  My thought is that I will hang it from the ceiling in one of my two hall windows.  The windows go all the way up to the ceiling and are recessed about 7" or so from the walls.  I have roll-up blinds at those windows which I never raise (ever), so, since I have no other wall space large enough for this poster, it seems like kind of an interesting solution.  Now I just have to figure out how to do it and I'm working on that.



And, unforunately, I still haven't worked myself up to using my new pasta machine to make pasta.  However, I did buy a small bag of flour so it will be good and fresh and I also contacted Accidental Tourist in Florence to see if they could provide me with a little refresher course on the process we used (either time or all the wine we drank made my memory about it a little weak).  So now I have their instructions (along with some nice recipes), the flour and the pasta maker, so I've about run out of excuses.  Meanwhile, though, I did try another new recipe.  This was one I found on line while searching for recipes for ravioli stuffings.  It isn't a ravioli stuffing but that's how searches on line seem to work - it's a sort of stream-of-consciousness thing, at least with my searches...I sometimes find, after I get off line, that I totally forgot to find what I started out looking for!

This recipe was for pasta with cauliflower and anchovies and the picture of it on line looked so delicious.  I made it last night and decided if I was going to be serious about maintaining this blog, I should take pictures (I obviously have too much time on my hands), so here are three from last night's cooking session.  The first one is my "prep station".  Having visited Jamie's kitchen now a couple of times (more on that later), and, of course, having watched Food Network numerous times at my kids, I decided that I would try getting everything I could measured, chopped, stirred together, etc., before I actually started cooking.  So there's a little dish with the minced garlic and one anchovy, a cup with toasted fresh bread crumbs, another cup with chopped onions, the parsely and cayenne and the tomatoes and tomato paste.  After accomplishing all that, I took a break and went to Starbucks for a cup of tea.

 

Now, here we have the cauliflower browning in the olive oil.

 

And, here, after a lot of other shenanigans, we have the finished dish - not as beautiful as the one pictured on-line, but it turned out quite tasty.  However, if I ever make it again, I will use noodles rather than the pasta I did use (conchiglie or some such) and rather than the small elbow macaroni called for in the recipe.  And, since I had to cut the recipe down to 1/4 its original size, I wasn't sure how much a quarter of a cauliflower head would be and I think I probably had more than I needed (I bought one of those containers of already cut cauliflower).
 

I'm also not sure of the etiquette of sharing a recipe from another blog on one's own blog, so if anyone reads this and is interested in the recipe, this is where I found it:  simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pasta_with_cauliflower/ (put http:// at the front - when I tried to do that here, I got some weird message about allowing access to my clipboard!).

I think I'll go ahead and call this entry done and post a little more later about news tidbits from Huntington.

5 comments:

January said...

Mom, you're getting so professional with your photos of the process and your prep station! Doesn't getting everything measured out and cut up first make the actual cooking so much less stressful? That cauliflower does look scrumptious!

Mary Lynne said...

It does - and I have all those nifty little glass dishes that I only ever seem to use for salsa or soaking garlic in olive oil, so I didn't even have to go out and buy them! The cauliflower was good although it would be interesting to make the whole recipe and see what might be different. I think I could have let the cauliflower cook longer too after I added the tomato stuff cause it was still fairly crunchy.

But enough of that...I went for my Sunday morning Starbucks and crossword puzzle and there was no place to sit!!! !!! I was stunned and flabbergasted and felt like pointing out to all these people (mostly students who will be there all morning studying, no doubt) that I expect to have a table (preferably one of my favorites) when I get there on Sunday morning. But I didn't. Instead I went and bought two Krispy Kreme's and may try going back in an hour or so. Somehow, the thought of doing the Sunday paper here doesn't hold all that much appeal.

Christopher said...

That shot of the cauliflower literally started my mouth watering... and it is 8:45 in the morning... I love the shot of your prepped ingredients... your cooking show could be "Mountain Mamma Mia" ;)

Mary Lynne said...

Oh, I like that name! Remember when I used to fix spaghetti and meatballs and go into my mama mia accent as I worked? We ended up calling that recipe Mama Mia's Spaghetti and Meatballs. And it's still good - I always make a batch when Johnny comes to visit cause it's one of the few things he loves!

vrmichie said...

I laughed out loud when I got to the finish of your prepping and discovered you went off to Starbucks for a cup of tea. And I've been working on a cauliflower recipe that I'd like to share because we both love it but so far I can't quite figure out how to explain my methods. Yours does indeed look mighty tasty.

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