Monday, December 3, 2007

Been There, Done That

Sometimes retreat is the better part of valour. So when T's boss, The General, came for dinner I decided to do all dishes that I've done before. It was a very nice, sophisticated, well executed dinner. Read here......kind of boring for me.

Savory Cheesecake with Carmelized Onions
Homemade Pickle Dip and Crudites

First Course
Scallops and American Caviar in Califlower Soup

Main Course
Beef Wellington with Stilton
Puree of Potatoes, Parsnips, Carrots, and Carmelized Onions
Green Salad with Port Vinagar and Dijon Vinagrette
Sourdough Butter Rolls

La Bete Noire with White Chocolate Glaze and Raspberry Sauce

It was a ver good dinner, although the meat was a little tough, the rolls didn't rise as much as I wanted them to, and the cranberry syrup for the cocktails was a little gritty. But in all, I think a pretty well executed meal. Even with me being sick.

Which brings me to my current gripe, which is that I feel like things are moving so fast that I don't know what to do. I sometimes wish I could just stop the world from spinning for a few days so I could relax. Well, I have a couple international flights to look forward to, so hopefully that will help me get my fill of boredom so I can keep going.

I do have to say that I'm doing pretty good on not eating too much, although I don't seem to be losing any weight. fun dinners, no good food, no losing weight, and no time to slow down. Sigh.

Well, I'll try laying on the couch and wishing I could actually get into the Christmas mood.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanksgiving Take 1

The Swedes came, we had a lovely dinner, and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with how it came out. My one complaint is that the stuffing wasn't what I wanted. It was made with whole wheat bread, which just goes to show that I'm not one for health food. But below is the menu, and while it was pretty traditional, some of it was executed perfectly:

Turkey rubbed with Herb Butter
Green Onion Gravy
Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Green bean casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Fudge Pie

I was most impressed with the cranberry sauce, gravy, and the turkey. I had never made a turkey before, but luckily T helped me with it. The gravy was beautiful and silky, the cranberry sauce had a really nice zing, and the whole evening was perfect. Luckily my friend also came to bring a little light-hearted sarcasm to the dinner. I wonder if she will ever catch on that I bribe her with food because I'm just not that entertaining of a hostess?

Oh well, my first attempt at Thanksgiving was a pretty good success. And I liked working on it. Sometimes traditional can be the best.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dastardly Donuts

I'm sitting in a meeting discussing software radios. Or, more acurately, trying to focus on radios and instead spending lots of energy trying to resist the other half of the chocolate glazed, sprinkle coated, saturated fat-laden, demon donut that is sitting next to me and taunting me. I'm trying so hard to lose weight. But since I'm getting to the point where I can't easily lose weight I'm trying to lose it in a "sustainable" way. I'm doing pretty well, but there is this stubbord 5 pounds on my waist that just won't budge. Despite the 5 days a week of cardio, and watching what I eat (mostly......I gave in and had half of the donut........but it makes up for only eating half my waffle this's that for logic?), it still won't budge.

Well, as I've been sitting here I drank so much coffee that my stomach is queazy and I'm jittery and not in the mood for the donut. I guess I'm still obsessing over how T always says that he wants to lose weight except that he likes all the good food I make. I feel like I have to be responsible for what I weigh and what he weighs and try to not cook, I guess I just feel stifled. I want to lose weight, and I love to cook, and I want to support T, and I just feel like crying.......or eating this donut. Ugh.

I guess I need another hobby.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Well, I'm so thankful the holidays are coming that I'm doing Thanksgiving dinner early. Plus, I get a chance to cook for a bunch of people (2 of them Swedes who don't have Thanksgiving). The only problem is that it will be on a Tuesday, when I have to work, adn I have a doctor's appointment. So......... my anal-retentive planning side is coming out and I get to write a detailed plan, menu, and execution schedule.

Side note: Since I don't let anyone I know in on the fact that I write this blog, I can admit that for Easter Dinner last year I had 12 guests, had it on a Sunday, and I wrote a 6 page plan. To include down-to-the-minute ations for completing parts of recipes and a by-location grocery list, cross referenced to the recipes, and matched to the wine. And all of this was out of my 5x10 kitchen with semi-broken electric stove.

So, needless to say, this gives me an excellent opportunity to start my extensive planning process. Below is the tentative menu:

Turkey (I'm thinking I need a 10lb turkey for the 8 people)
Marscapone and Chive mashed potatoes
Wild mushroom and sage stuffing
Cranberry sauce (of some sort)
Grean Beans
Bread (of some sort)
Pumpkin Pie
Some other desert (TBD)

Well, looks like I have some holes to fill in this menu. Bring on the glass of wine, cookbooks, and my planning tools!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Than a Grain of Salt

Well, its been a while. Unfortunately I don't have that much to write about. I've spent the last month traveling almost non-stop. And then coming home on the weekends and collapsing. On the plus side, I have worked through about 1.5 years of backlog cooking magazines and pulled out the recipes I want to keep. Although I still haven't filed, categorized, or cross-referenced them as I would like. Where is my detail-oriented mother when I need her?

Of note, I had one of my good friends and on of T's co-workers over for dinner. The soup was terrible. Its actually a very lovely soup.....when it isn't overwhelmed with salt. Same issue with the pork, too much salt. I was really off my game. The saving grace of the meal was my sticky toffee pudding that my friend said was "so good I wanted to dive into it and eat my way out."

So while it wasn't a complete disaster, it wasn't much fun for me. The food wasn't great, and the company was strange. Not that either of them were actually strange, just a strange combination. I guess I'm not ready to be THE COMMANDER'S WIFE. It made me uncomfortable to realize, half way through the dinner, that everything I said was going to be repeated across the entire office. Sigh.

Well, since that experiment (both food and company) was a flop, in a "get back on the horse after you've been thrown off" sort of way I'm going to have T's deputy (not the one who is a flake, the one who isn't) and his wife for dinner. T proposed that I not do an overly complex meal.....which of course made me pout. In a rare moment of compromise, we collectively came up with the following menu:

Mini tarts of atichoke hearts and marscapone
Garden Salad with Raspberry Vinagrette
Turkey Breast Tournados (this is the new dish I'm trying) - Stuffed with Pancetta
Grilled Antipasta Vegetables
Fontina Cheese Sauce (for the Turkey, to approximate chicken cordon blu, and the Veggies)
Apple Tart Tartin

So only 1 new dish, but I've never done a turkey break before, and it should look pretty if I can do it right. Plus T helped me put the menu together, so I think it will be good. And probably something they will like, as opposed to suffering through one of my creations. Speaking of which, I need to find someone like Greg to suffer through my creations. I won't ever get any better by making traditional food. I think its time for another cooking class.

Or perhaps some sleep...... I'm exhausted. I'm off to go dream of the best grilled cheese sandwich in the world (from Sesame).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Treats and Treatments

Living in Charleston is terrible for my face. I'm sure when I'm 50 and don't have any wrinkles from all the moisture, I won't feel this way. But being in my 20's (I'll admit, late 20's), I feel that I've had my share of acne and its time for it to go. I'm not exactly a high-maintenance girl, but due to mounting frustration I gave in to my vanity and went to get a facial. I have had one only one other time, and it was administered on a cruise ship, where I kept slipping off the table, the woman kept slipping while doing my extractions and poking me in the eye, and it made me look hideous. So I was pleasantly surprised with this one. While the picking at my acne still hurt, there was nice smelling things, steam, soothing music, and no snotty british woman making fun of my sensitive skin while poking me in the eye as I try not to get sea sick.

I know what you are thinking "what is she talking about a facial for in a food and travel blog?" Well, between the massage (akin to kneading), the chocolate and vanilla oil, the steam, and having my hands wrapped in plastic and stuffed into heated gloves......I felt like a pastry, in the nicest sort of way. I left feeling perfectly yummy and ready to ooze into an easy chair.

In order to prolong the wonderful soft feeling, I decided that champagne and cheese was the best medicine. I'm finding more and more that while I love to feel like the pastry, cheese is more of a treat than almost any sweets. Which is, I suppose, why I have earned the nickname of Mousy.

And now, the Mousy is off to nibble on some cheese, make a nest in the couch, and revel in the feeling of being a perfectly contructed chocolate pastry.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Coast to Coast dinner

So, what goegraphical feature does the US have two of that most countries have only 1 of, if any?

One of my dearest friends from Europe was in town, and of course, came to dinner. When I asked him what he wanted he said "something interesting, local, something you can't get in Europe." Those rather vague directions and one expensive trip to Whole Foods spawned the Coast to Coast dinner. (In case you haven't figured out the beginning question, the US has coastline on 2 oceans)

Appetizer was wild-caught South Caronlina shrimp over grits
Main course was Colorado Bison, with some hickory seasoning
Sides were wine-braised mushrooms and Southwest Chipotle Cheddar popovers
Desert was candied California Valencia oranges over white chocolate scramble

In all, it was a fantastic dinner. The white chocolate scramble reminded me why I shouldn't ever make deserts without a recipe. While it was very good, the white chocolate, cheescake, and crust all kind of oozed together and came out looking more like an egg-white scramble than the white chocolate tart I was going for. But again, you can't go wrong with chocolate, butter, and sugar.

And the bison wasn't bad either......if one were to like red meat I think it would actually be wonderful. My favorite was, obviously, the popovers. But in all, a great meal. And even better since I came up with it only about 2 hours before I served it. I may be getting better at this entertaining thing!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cheese is not a diet food

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey Recipe - Cheese -

I'm sitting at my desk, nibbling very, very slowly on a bagel, cheese, and onion sandwich trying to make it last as long as possible and somehow trick my body into thinking it is a full lunch (when I really wish I was eating the sandwich above). T and I are on a diet, kind of. Well, he wants to lose weight, and I just can't cope with my exercise/gorge/fast/guilt-trip/exercise/repeat process. So we are trying to eat more healthy. Its really hard, he likes to just eat cold canned beans, and I feel bad about eating when someone else isn't, and of course there is the wine that we like to drink. Sigh.

The good news is that my mom and dad are coming and I can probably get them to eat the things I cook. I'm definitely going to make the egg bake that T loves. And it is our anniversay while they are there. Well, we celebrated our anniversary in Whilmington a few weeks ago, but the actual day is coming up. I had wanted to make a really nice dinner, but I guess my ideas of "really nice" also mean "really heavy, fattening, and filling." Another sigh. I'll figure something out. I guess I should see this as a challenge.

I just like to be able to cook things based on what I think they will taste like and look like, it bums me out to make specifically healthy food. It makes me feel like I'm being punished.

Oh well, I'm off to a second lunch. Even though I'm almost full now. I need to get better at managing my calendar, social engagements, and my own darn stomach.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

What country am I in?

Well, Sweden was, on average, the 2nd best places for restaurants that I've ever been (Venice being the best, but perhaps it was the company and the cheese........). Everything was extremely flavorful, very colorful, and exquisitely plated. Although I didn't have much traditional Swedish food. Except for the Moose Burger with Reindeer Bacon. I liked it just about as much as I liked Duck Breast or Venison Loin (meaning it fell somewhere above brussel sprouts but below broccholi). Other than that, I had lots of what can best be described as eclectic food that was intensely flavorful. Especially the Asian-style food.

The trip after that was in Washington, DC and consisted of Americanized Irish pub food and mediocre beer. Well, you can't win 'em all. At least I was able to exercise in DC, as opposed to the excessive "experiencing the culture" that happened in Sweden outside of the 12-hour work days. So I guess the motto is, once again:

Work Hard
Play Hard
Eat Well
Drink Well
Sleep on the Ride Home!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Travel Food

I love the Alton Brown show about Road Food on his show called Feasting on Asphalt. He travels across the country looking for good, authentic American cuisine as found along the road. And while I'm on the road a lot (at the moment I think the count is up to 1 full week at home over 3 months), I don't seem to have the same great things to say about American cuisine. Last week was Tampa, this week was Fayetteville, I've also hit San Diego (twice), and DC. And while I've had some good food some of those places, I can't seem to find the same good, authentic American cuisine. I'm currently sitting in a Chicago-style pizza joint in Wilmington, NC. The pizza was mediocre at best, but at least the beer is cold.

Well, now that I think about it, let me be fair. San Diego had two FANTASTIC restaurants that mom and I went to. One was definitely my style, very cutting edge, modern, and super creative call Chive down in the Gas Lamp District. The other was Anthony's Fish Grotto, which I think would play well on Alton's show. The fish was great, but what was more fun was getting my mom to order a big blue drink. Since she doesn't drink much its always fun to get her to try a new cocktail, somehow it feels like a mini victory in getting her to understand me. But when it comes to food, she and I are in pretty close agreement. Both places were great.

Unfortunately, the other trips were less colorful, interesting, or even tasty. Mostly chain restaurants and steak houses. But perhaps that speaks more to the tastes of my coworkers than what America has to offer. And just in time to keep me from really falling into a funk over unoriginal food, a trip to Sweden has just popped up.

So.......ludifisk here I come!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Thank you for the thank you......

T and I had our realtor and her husband over, who are friends and parents of very good friends, as a thank you for all their help in finding our house, getting moved in, finalizing paperwork, arranging various inspections, deliveries, etc., and generally making the move across the ocean much smoother. While we have corresponded with them quite a lot, I had never met D (the wife) and we hadn't spent much time with either. So the menu was a shot in the dark and with T's help I think it was one of the best thought-out meals. Made much harder because it is hotter than the 5th level of Dante's Hell, meaning I can't make my usual heavy-rich-creamy-butter-over-the-top meals, and I don't know them so I didn't want to go too avant garde (sp?). Plus it is hard to cook for less than 6 people because I always end up with too much food. So the menu below was what we settled on, with a little bit of everything, but I think it fit the bill:

Appetizers (served with Prosecco)

Belgian Endive leaves filled with Obatzda (a German cheese mixed with beer and spices)

Arctichoke Hearts wrapped in Bacon

First Course

Seared Scallops over French Green Lentils finished with a marscapone cream and cider reduction

Main Course

Spinach Stuffed Sole (substituted Haddock) topped with a Shrimp Cream Sauce

Butternut Squash Gnocci with Balsamic Brown Butter

Balckberry and Goat Cheese over micro greens served in a Black Pepper Asiago cheese bowl


Key Lime Cheese Cake

I had made the scallops before without the lentils, and I think they were better without the lentils, it was too much earth for the light scallops. I only set the fire alarm off once or twice while cooking the bacon...... One more justification that people who don't like meat can't cook it very well. But I'm determined to try. The meal was lovely, and it actually all came out at the right times, although I could have made some of the parts easier. But T thought it was the best dinner I've ever served, so I'll take that as a win!

And, of course, in very sweet southern tradition I got a thank you card from them a few days later. I had to resist the urge to send a thank you for the thank you for the thank you.......I figured they might not see the humor. So I'll chuckle to myself and eat some more cheesecake!

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Weekend at Home

Also means an entire weekend of me and my professional quality 6-burner gas about orgasmic! T and I spent the whole weekend alone together and he let me cook to my heart's content. There were some successes (like the Italian Egg Bake I made up) and some failures (like the Baked Brie that was so terrible that I won't even put it on the menu below). But in all, it was a relaxing, refreshing and completely invigorating weekend.

The two big new dishes were the breakfast dishes on Sat. They were the Italian Egg Bake and Raspberry Stuffed Ricotta Pancakes. The pancakes were made using my Grandmother's cast iron pan that no one could figure out what to do with. Turns out that it is exactly like the one that is being sold in William Sonoma. And the pancakes were DELICIOUS!!!

Italian Egg Bake
1 loaf artisenal bread (I used rosemary olive oil)
3 Eggs
2 links Italian Sausage
1/2 C Milk
1/2 C Italian Cheeses (I used 1/4 C Parmesan and 1/4 Mozarella)
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
1 t Italian Seasoning
Olive Oil for brushing (approx. 1/4 C)
1/8 C Parmesan Cheese for topping

Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut top off bread and hollow out the middle with your fingers, reserving the crumbs. Brush the inside of the bread with olive oil to completely coat. Bake in oven 10min, making sure to take out before getting too brown. Brown the sauage links in small chunks and remove to drain on a paper towel. In a bowl beat the eggs, add the milk and cheese and beat again. Stir in approx. 1 C of the reserved bread crumbs, using cut up pieces of the top also if necessary to fill the cup. Stir in the cooled sausage and the spices. Pour the egg mixture into the cooled bread bowl. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Bake in warm oven for 35-40 min. Remove, let sit for 12-15 min. Cut in slices and serve immediately.

Update to post:
I went to William Sonoma and saw the pan they used for the stuffed pancake recipe. And while the wells are the same as the one from my grandmother, the pan was markedly different. It was a non-stick aluminum while my Grandmother's is a very well seasoned cast iron. Which heats differently, seasons differently, and is wicked heavy. The pancakes were great, but definitely need to be eaten immediately. They definitely don't keep their nice puffy shape very long.

Also from my Grandmother's arsenal for this weekend I made Green Goddess dressing (the recipe is too fattening to even list the ingredients....I prefer to keep this particular indulgence to myself). On the whole, it was a great weekend. Cook, eat, watch Food TV, rinse, repeat.....

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Whole Weekend

I'm so excited, I feel like a school girl. T is coming home from his business trip and I'm finally home from mine and we are going to spend the whole weekend together. He even promised to turn off Felicity (the Flashing Blackberry). I know, it seems so silly that we had to plan a weekend just to spend time, but I was just feeling so lonely. And I was feeling like work was crashing in on my life and sucking me in. But now I'm planning menus for the whole weekend and I'm so excited about being able to cook for someone.

The current menus are as follows:

Dinner (to be eaten slowly, with wine, on the couch)
Cheese Fondue with roasted onions, sausages, and crusty bread
Chocolate Fondue with pound cake, red fruit, and marshmallows

Stuffed Ricotta Pancakes - Williams-Sonoma Recipe View
Italian Eggs over Foccacia

Dinner (to be eaten at the table)
Not sure yet, but I'm sure I'll get inspired soon......

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Birthday Alone

Well, here it comes again, another birthday. I am, as one of my least favorite ex-boyfriends once told me, "almost 30." Yes, I know many people would remind me that I'm still young and have so much life ahead of me. But I still can't help but feel that my prime is behind me. So, in order to counteract that feeling, and the lonely feeling of spending my birthday alone, I am planning on making Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I'm starting with the below recipe from FoodTV, which is still my favorite late-night friend. Even though the original Iron Chef isn't on anymore. Who doesn't love the Jackie Chan-feel of the Japanese kitchens and super-seriousness of the competition? While T. did take me to a FANTASTIC restaurant for my birthday last weekend, I am still a little sad that he won't be with me on the exact day to give me a hug as I cry into my cosmo and cup cakes about being an old lady.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe: Recipes: Food Network

I'll post an update on the success of the cupcakes. But for tonight, I'm off to my first cooking class ever. It is kitchen basics, and starting with stocks. Of course T. makes lots of jokes about how I am learning about stocks and bonds, but since I haven't ever had a cooking class I may as well start at the bottom.....with boiling water.

I wish I had more energy to write. But frankly, between the heat, the frustrating job, and being alone right now I just don't have the energy to do much. It will probably be toast and yogurt for dinner again. Sigh.........

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fire Alarm

I've hit pretty close to break-down. Ok, so I am in the process of a break down...... No need to correct me, I know I'm a little unstable. Betweent the move, the family in town, having other people in the house, work travel, T's travel, and just general unrest I've been getting more and more depressed. And having other people in the house makes it pretty hard to find enough space to relax, destress, and get back to normal. I guess its been building for a while.

The fire alarm went off last night, both literally and figuratively. I got to the point of not wanting to be in the house anymore. It was the emotional equivalent of a very loud, uncontrollable siren. Which is probably how I sounded in my crying, shaking, sniveling, dripping breakdown. But it was, in many ways, what I needed. I need some space, I need some quiet, and mostly I need some of the pressures to relax. I think the breakdown came just soon enough to not do anything more drastic than take a little time off with my feet up.

The more entertaining alarm was the bacon that I burned, while talking to my dad on the phone. Apparently bacon cooks more quickly than I think, and it smokes. And not in a good way. But again, we have alarms for a reason, and while the house smelled like burned bacon, and I'm pretty sure we woke up the whole neighborhood, the house is still standing and I did have enough bacon left to salvage the sandwich. Which actually turned out very tasty.

Cheddar, Apple, Bacon Melt with Carmelized Onion Mayo

2 slices of bread (pumpernickel is suggested)
1/4-1/2 Apple, sliced thin
4 strips of bacon
4 Slices of Cheddar Cheese (about 1/4 cup grated)
2 slices of tomato

1/4 C diced red onion
1 T olive oil
1 t port wine vinegar
4 T mayonaise

Saute the red onion in the olive oil and vinegar until very tender and transparent. Combine with mayo and set aside. Saute bacon until just crispy (avoid burning, smoking, and fire alarms whenever possible), let cool and break into 2-inch pieces. Butter bread and lay butter side down in pan. Spread 1 T prepared onion mayo on bottom slice. Layer apple slices, cheddar slices, bacon, tomato and top with the other slice of bread. Grill until cheese melts, flipping sides until done.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Quick, quick

I am usually pretty critical of my own cooking and entertaining. But yesterday I did something that I'm going to pat myself on the back for. Saturday night we went to the wedding of T's cousin. T's family was mostly all there. Family consisting of 2 parents, 3 uncles, 3 aunts, 7 cousins, his daughter H, and a partridge in a pear tree. On a whim, I invited one of his uncles to come over on sunday afternoon to see our new house. But, to be fair, we needed to invite the rest of the uncles, which of course means the aunts come, and the cousins aren't far behind, and the damn partidge somehow made it in too.

Actually, it was a great time. The bride and groom even made it over. As I had 2 hours to prepare I think it turned out pretty well. The recipes are all approximate amounts as I was mostly just throwing things into bowls and plates. But all in all, it turned out very well. There was plenty of food, wine, and family........the way Sunday afternoons should be.


Mini Sandwiches

Smoked Salmon Blinis

Port Wine Potato Salad

Sun Dried Tomato Asiago Dip

Fresh Fruit

Sugar Cookies

(menus to come later......I'm hungry now)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Cheese, Mice, and Moose

There is nothing richer, more satisfy, or more indulgent than smelly cheese, fresh bread, and red wine. T. tells me that I was a mouse in another life for the sheer volume of cheese that I can consume. One of the most wonderful combinations that I have had was presented to me at a Michelin one-star restaurant in Stuttgart. After smiling indulgently and putting "some of everything" on my plate from the cheese cart the waiter started adding a variety of spreads and educating me in the combination of sweet and salty and savory. A super-sweet orange marmelade went with the English stilton like some leather-and-lace cliche...... But it was brilliant!

Left with some very high quality (and appropriately stinky) cheese in the fridge and some rather unadventurous in-laws coming over I made two cheese spreads out of the nice cheese and "some of whatever I could find" in the unstocked pantry. The two resulting spreads were rather tasty, and while certainly not as luschious as English stilton, orange marmelade, and a well-aged Bordeaux, they seemed to satisfy the range of palettes in the house.

Port and Blue Cheese Spread
1 C Stilton or strong, aged Blue Cheese
3 T Butter
2 T Port
2 t Balsamic Vinegar
1 t pepper
Cream Cheese to taste

Beat all ingredients in a bowl until creamy. Add cream cheese in 1 T alottments until taste is mellow enough.

Aged Goat Cheese and Scallion Dip
1 C Aged goat cheese, rind on
1/4 C Mayonaise
1/4 C Sour Cream
1/4 C Chopped scallion
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t salt

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and stir until melted, approximately 8 min. Rind will melt last, do not boil.

Serve both with crudites and pita wedges. Goes well with Three Blind Moose chardonnay. Best if consumed without in-laws present to fully enjoy all flavors, but still good if needing to entertain......

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Change of Command

My husband, T., took command of his district today. It was a very nice ceremony, with the longest receiving line ever. And while I did enjoy it very much, it was an interesting change of events to be "someone's wife" for the first time. Everyone was very nice, and very welcoming. But it is quite a shift from being an engineer, solo career, go anywhere in the world to being the commander's wife, in pearls and working on making the right social scene and impression. But it will be a good experience, I think. T did such a great job of being supportive and making me feel like I was a partner not an accessory. It makes me so happy to have such an amazing husband.

The flip side of the experience was that his parents were here, staying in our new house that isn't quite ready for guests yet. I was so nervous about the change of command, and them being here, and other family coming that I have been feverishly cleaning out my fridge by making random dishes out of extra ingredients. Below is the Hollandaise recipe that I made from my Grandmother's cooking school cook book. It made me feel a little better to be holding her cookbook and making something that she probably would have made (she made the richest food I've ever had). It made me feel like even if it was just through a worn, tattered cookbook, I had a constant connection with my history and it made me feel just a little more grounded.

And of course, successfully creating a beautiful hollandaise sauce made me feel successful. I might not get the big contract, but I can make some darn good buttery sauces!

4 egg yolks
1 C butter
2 T Lemon juice
pinch salt
pinch pepper
2 pinches chipotle pepper

Whip egg yolks by hand until light yellow. Place in double boiler with 1/2 cup of butter. Wisk until smooth. Wisk in the rest of the butter until smooth. Wisk in salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper. Serve or refrigerate until use.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Oysters and Olive Oil

I find it strange that the first word in the title of this blog is a food I actually don't like very much. And I suppose if I was more of a writer I would be able to come up with something that fits me more. But the more I look at the words, the more they make sense, in an obscure and rather personal way. My two passions are travel and cooking, and trying to think up a name for the blog the cliche that kept coming into my head was "the world is your oyster." And somehow the rest of it just rolled from there.

Its a little late to start a travel blog, since I spent 3 years in Germany, traveling all over Europe and hardly posted a thing. And now I've moved back to the states and will not be able to travel as much. But perhaps I'll get a chance to start to experience the US. On the flip side, I now have a kitchen larger than the previous one (broomcloset size and about as well lighted and accessible) and access to much more fresh seafood.

While I have had a blog before, I'm terrible at posting things. I think it has more to do with preferring to put effort into one-on-one interactions. But since this is something everyone seems to be doing, I'll give it a try. For now, off to play with Google homepage more....