Monday, February 26, 2007

sunday dinner

so here are a couple of pictures of one of the dishes we made- lamb shanks with polenta. it used porcini mushrooms, orange zest, lots of bay leaves, and many other things. the lamb & sauce took 3 hours to make! we also served stuffed mushrooms, salad, spaghetti with wild mushrooms, and (best of all) banana bread pudding with caramel sauce. we had never made any of the dishes (except for the stuffed mushrooms), so it was all quite an experiment. i think i'm happiest with the bread pudding - i can't remember the last time my mouth was so happy!!!

PILP auction

pics from the auction...

baby & me. j seems to like to take pictures of me with babies. ???
he also took a lot of pictures of piper, the dog. she's the perfect family dog - what a sweetheart!!

some parents - to- be getting some practice.
well, it's another sunday night - my typical blogging night. it's been a somewhat busy weekend. friday night j & i whipped together some quiches for some friends who had a new baby. we went to bed early anticipating a great day of skiing on saturday. i didn't sleep well at all friday night due to an awful stuffy nose (most likely dairy reaction), so i stayed home while j hit the slopes. i was bummed, but as it turned out, it was fairly warm up on the mountain so the snow was a little like rain & the snow was rutted & soft. it probably wouldn't have been the best day for me. after j came home & cleaned up, we headed over to our friends' house to deliver the quiches & meet up with another couple. after a few hours of visiting, we headed to an auction at the lewis & clark law school for the public interest law program. it was our first auction, and we didn't fare so well. we bid on a few things, but didn't manage to walk away with anything, as the prices got WAYYY too high. our friends bid on a nice mini-vacation to the columbia gorge & won... guess they have the right touch. the package they won was one of the first ones, so i think people were still reluctant to bid. as the night went on, people got more daring.
sunday morning i observed some teaching - ed sprunger was in town. he wrote a very helpful book for parents for practicing, and i was very interested to watch his style of teaching. after a couple hours, i returned home to cook up a storm with j, as we had 4 friends coming for dinner. we had lots of fun, but now i'm ready for bed!

Monday, February 19, 2007

unfortunate hockey game

here are a couple pics from the hockey game - my hockey buddy, a.k.a. the hubby, and the scoreboard near the end of the game. a rather unremarkable game. perhaps it was partly due to the lack of beer (couldn't bring myself on a monday afternoon, especially considering the ridiculous concession prices). dunno. as it was raining all afternoon, i thought longingly of the snowy slopes up on mt. hood. tuesdays are my longest day, beginning at 9:30 and ending at 9, and i wouldn't have the energy to get through it if i had to ride back from the mountain late in the evening. i prefer getting up there when it opens, & leaving in the early afternoon. ah well. sometime the stars will align, and we'll make it up there again! for now, we can just save our money.

cute baby!

this is one of the two babies at the chinese potluck - what gorgeous cheeks she has!

chinese new year

l's house looked so beautiful & decorated for the chinese new year event. she and her husband s had been to china last year, and had a slideshow playing on the t.v. screen of photos from their trip. such wonderful & interesting pictures! l & another friend have been taking turns hosting a chinese new year celebration each year, so they had many decorations stored up. what a great host!

year of the pig

didn't mean to include the hineys in the picture, but it happened anyway. this is a view of the spread we had on saturday night at l's house, an early celebration of the chinese new year. my contribution is the two red pots at the left end of the table - brown rice & red chicken curry. i came home with a fair amount left, so now we have food for the week. i was going to try to make something else on tuesday for mardi gras, but i guess the shrimp etouffee will have to wait until we finish off the curry. i hate throwing food away!
the weekend, longer than normal, is coming to a close. to recap: the memorial service for kjersten oquist, heartwrenching at times as it was, helped me to gain closure on last week's tragedy. there's another one this coming sunday for angela svendson, the other victim of the wreck.
after the memorial service, i raced to the store to buy ingredients for red curry, which i needed to make in 1 hour in time for the chinese new year potluck. i almost made it in one hour - the fastest ever! with all the chopping & prep work, it took about an hour and 15 min. yes, curry is more a thai dish rather than chinese, but it's really all i know, and the host said any asian food was ok. it was a fun evening, with j's colleagues from work.
sunday morning i woke up & managed to go for a run & shower before 11:30 - a true feat for me on a sunday. met my friend g at the cameo cafe in nw. had a fantastic egg white veggie omelet. i was impressed. the last time i was there was probably about 5 years ago, and i remembered waiting over an hour for food. the service this time was fine, especially considering the size of the establishment.
after brunch, i swung by one of my community libraries to pick up videos on new zealand, and screened a couple in the afternoon. i had planned on seeing one of the movies in the portland international film festival, but i didn't feel like seeing one alone, and hadn't planned ahead with friends, so i stayed home. j came home in the evening from a fun two days of rock climbing at smith rock.
today i taught all my students in the morning, and j & i watched an unfortunate portland winter hawks hockey game this afternoon. the winter hawks failed to score any goals, while the lethbridge hurricanes scored 4. some regulars around us were saying the rest of the season (for whatever reason?) would be the same. guess i won't be attending any more hockey games the rest of the season! we spent the rest of the afternoon watching the other new zealand videos... not too exciting. we had considered going skiing today, as it is snowing somewhat heavily right now (in the mountains), but we didn't really want to deal with night skiing. it has to be the right combination of a major dumpage + weekend days to get us to shell out $$ for skiing.
j is off rock climbing again tonight, and he's supposed to swing by voodoo doughnuts for some mardi gras treats. i'm too busy to make the trip tomorrow, and as he's climbing halfway downtown, i asked him to run the errand for his sweet wife. :)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

well, the week is over. it hasn't been a very happy one. for some reason i've felt mildly nauseated since wednesday... last night j & i & another couple saw borat, then hit a mcmenamins. so much of the film was shown in the previews on television, so there was little "fresh" material left. it wasn't as disgusting as reviews i read... much more tolerable than the 2nd jackass movie. it did manage to distract me for two hours.
j left to go rock climbing this weekend. we were supposed to go to mt. bachelor this weekend & see our brother & sister in law, but i wanted to stay in town for a memorial service. i'm having lunch with my mom today before the service, and then have to figure out some sort of asian food to make for a "chinese new year" potluck dinner tonight with friends. tomorrow will bring brunch with a friend, one movie (to be determined) from the portland international film festival, a jog, and (hopefully) j's return.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

really sad news.

This is unbelievably sad. i knew these two women, and saw them at gigs around town. i just saw kjersten at a christmas party in december. i'm having a difficult time wrapping my mind around this, believing that it actually happened. both women were fine musicians, ones whose attitudes i really admired. they were always so positive- i can't remember seeing either one ever in a bad mood. i can't imagine how their families must be feeling - my heart goes out to them. i can't understand why this happened to them, why fate chose them. why not someone who has a negative contribution to society?
now i'm scared when my husband leaves the house, scared that i'll never see him again. i'm sure this fear will go away, and my scary dreams are just my way of processing this awful news, but for now it's difficult. i'm so thankful for everything that i have, and being able to see my family & friends.

i meant to post this awhile ago, but i recently updated this blog to a newer version, and until now have been having trouble logging in to post.

Monday, February 12, 2007

yesterday was a somewhat lazy day. j's brother & wife were staying with us this weekend, so we all watched tv & enjoyed a late breakfast. j & i just putzed around the house, getting odd tasks finished, in the afternoon. i meant to go running, but it started raining heavily in the afternoon, right when i had my last opportunity to go, so i opted to wait until today.
last night we were invited over for dinner at a friend's house. the food was fantastic - squash, orange slices, bacon, & onions cooked with bacon fat & butter in "hobo packs" over a smoky grill, red peppers stuffed with feta cheese, and an amazing smoked pork loin. there was even dessert with chocolate cake from pix patisserie and vanilla ice cream. so good. and it was fun to meet another couple. i hope they can all join us sometime in the future for some camping trips. thanks for the awesome food, j & j!!!

here's a picture of m, with her 1 month old baby l. we brought her half of the ravioli for her & her husband to enjoy. he was stuck at work dealing with a problem (on a saturday night!!). l is so cute! he was in a milk coma, completely oblivious to us.

all finished!!

here are pictures of the cute little raviolis before they were cooked, and then a "finished" picture from the end. they were SOOO good! the arugula & lemon zest paired well with the ricotta/goat cheese for the filling, and the pine nut brown butter sauce was fantastic. who could argue with pine nuts??! the worst part of making this dish was cleaning the arugula. i'm very particular about cleaning off all the dirt, going over each piece front & back. other than that, it was pretty easy. i'm looking forward to trying these with other fillings & sauce, perhaps freezing batches to use later. freshly homemade pasta is delicious!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

here are pictures of me & j rolling the pasta out. this was definitely a joint project.

here's the first bit i started to add to the pasta maker.
today started with brunch at a friend's house - all girls. unfortunately my stomach was a little sour, for whatever reason, from the celebrating the night before. three drinks shouldn't make one feel yucky throughout the night into the morning, should they? two is normally my limit... my body is really fickle sometimes. such a pain. anyway, when i got home from the brunch, i began a culinary project: making ravioli from scratch. i chose a recipe from that had a filling of ricotta, goat cheese, arugula, and lemon zest. it turned out really well. here's the pile of arugula i had to clean - it took so long to wash! you can also see the ball of pasta dough.

valentine's day gifts

j's mother gave us this card & book for valentine's day when we saw her at her birthday dinner. j's brother & sister got the same book. some of the recipes which i DON'T imagine i'll be making: james' 5-minute chocolate deviled kidneys; eggplant, chocolate, and goat cheese pizzettes; hare and chocolate sauce; roast lamb with chocolate, anchovies, and capers; chocolate tempura; chocolate sushi (the latter two are NOT desserts - strictly savory!). some recipes which i might try: chocolate pound cake with white chocolate frosting; raspberry and chocolate tart; chocolate manhattans. after quickly flipping through the book, the most interesting recipe sounds like the one for white chocolate panna cotta with saffron and cardamom. i've never thought about using saffron in a sweet dish...

yummy dessert

here's a picture of j & my dad, with our dessert in the center. we split the chocolate profiteroles, which had cayenne pepper in the chocolate sauce - it had a comforting kick to it! j chose a porto that paired much nicer with the chocolate than my muscato. i knew the muscat wouldn't match, but i just don't like port; it's way too raisin-y for me. after my chocolate mole (with chicken), the profiteroles went well. by the way, j got the steak mole (a more bitter mole than the normal one that goes with the chicken), and we both preferred the chicken one, if you happen to live in portland and ever visit d.f. (it's pronounced day-effay, named after the nickname for mexico's capital city.)

60th birthday

friday night we all went out for dinner to celebrate my mother in law's 60th birthday, which is actually on tuesday. we gathered at the nouveau mexican restaurant d.f. in the pearl district. in the first picture, she's drinking a shot of tequila which we were more than happy to order for her. j & i both got moles that were fantastic. i'd recommend the restaurant. they have an extensive tequila menu; you can do tequila tastings. i'm not a big fan of tequila- it gives me bad headaches, and i don't enjoy lots of salt with my liquor (olives are ok, but salt encrusted glasses really turn me off). i'm much more a gin/whiskey person.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

superbowl #41, 2007

on sunday, j & i went over to our friend b's house to watch the big game

here's a pic of c & i from saturday night at the hall street grill. we went to the beaverton arts council art show, where one of c's works was being shown, and then went out afterwards. there were tons of beavertonians at the show, which was held at the beaverton library in somewhat tight quarters. i plan to go back sometime this week to take another look at all the works. it was just too crowded to be able to get a good look!


two of my favorite things - manhattans and the profiteroles with chocolate syrup at bugotti's restaurant in cedar hills. yum yum yum! this pic is from a few weeks ago...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

yucko. we've both been sick this week. i got this sinus cold thing last weekend, on friday, and it lasted through wednesday. then j started feeling sick, and stayed home thurs & yesterday from work. he usually never gets sick, but maybe all this stuff i pick up from students is starting to wear him down. :( i think the sinus cold is going around, because one of my students' dad was getting it yesterday. another one of my students cancelled due to the flu, which i DEFINITELY don't want to get. so, we're lying pretty low this weekend. tonight we have an art show to go to at the beaverton library - our friend is one of the featured ones, and tomorrow we have a superbowl party. other than that, we're just relaxing, experiencing our random pick of netflix movies. the weather has been gorgeous lately, really sunny & crisp, but this morning it's finally getting back to the normal cloudy rainy weather. hopefully it will mean new snow up on the mountains, because as of yesterday it had to be fairly icy, with all the sun & skiing.

Thursday, February 01, 2007