Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dinner - Spaghetti Carbonara

What do you get when you combine butter, cream, cheese, bacon and eggs with some pasta?  A small heart attack?  Well, not technically.  It's actually call spaghetti alla Carbonara.

The origins of the dish is quite a grey area with many legends.  Carbonara is derived from the Italian word for coal.  So, was it a meal first made for Italian charcoal workers?  Was it originally made over charcoal grills?  Perhaps first made with squid's ink and given that coal color?  Some say it was all the black pepper sprinkled on it that gave the speckled charcoal look?  Hmmm....  Well, one thing for certain, though delicious, this dish isn't for the faint hearted. Literally.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Anatomy of a Kiss

There are so many. There is the classic kiss, the au revoir peck, the bisou on each cheek, the kiss on the hand (so Continental!), the French kiss, and the delightful smooch. There's even one named after Eskimos. You probably have a favorite.

Stealing some sugar is sometimes surprising.

 But, is it better to get those sweet kisses?

 Or is it better to give a little smooch?

How many kisses do you give in one whole day?  How many do you get?  A handful? A few dozen? My quota has risen considerably with the addition of our wee one.  And I can't think of anything better than being kissed to death.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Santa, please!

Dear Santa,
I hope this letter finds you well.  I'm not sure about the reliability of this week's Financial Times Weekend Edition delivery so far north.  However, if you had a chance to look at the How To Spend It magazine insert, this Saturday's copy was a bit special: A Passion for Fashion.

I do recognize that you keep a rather simple closet with a bias towards fur-lined red suits (with matching hat, of course).  But, if you could see to it to take a peek at the Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear collection by Stella McCartney, you would find a simply fantastic Lewis top with wool trousers that I've got my eye on.  I've even wished upon a falling star that I'll see it wrapped up under the Christmas tree this winter.
Image complements of

Since you do get rather busy, I wanted to get this note off to you quickly in advance of the holiday rush. I trust that you know and remember my size.  I've been pretty good this year and I'll make doubly sure that I'm extra good for the remainder of 2010.
My fingers are crossed.

I haven't decided on which cookies to leave beside the fireplace.  Peanut butter or would you prefer something with chocolate? Brownies, perhaps?


Friday, September 24, 2010

A Day in the Life of the Wee One

Today's Agenda:
1.) Wake up at 9a.  (Waking at 2a, 430a, and 6a don't count)
2.) Play with toes.  (Found toes for the first time yesterday.) Great fun.
3.) Smile at mom after getting tidy diaper.
4.) Tummy time.  Roll over for 4th time and make sure mom misses it again. (Mom has efficiency issues and tries to multitask.)
5.) Eat breakfast.
6.) Swing in chair and greet morning.
7.) Nap.
8.) Wake and repeat.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Comfort Food: Grilled Cheese

I don't know about you but, when the weather gets a little bit cooler and you're pulling the sweaters out of the back of the closet, comfort foods always come to mind.  Sipping tea in the morning listening to the neighborhood waking, wrapping your hands around a warm mug of hot chocolate in the afternoon, curling up on couch with a fuzzy blanket and a glass of red to finish off the day.  Makes you smile just thinking about it.

But what about dinner?  Something simple.  Filling.  Grilled cheese sandwiches.  That'll hit the spot.  Like a warm hug on a plate.
Now, those toasted wedges weren't filled with any plain ol' cheddar, no sir.  Each bit oozed with horseradish white cheddar cheese!   Don't worry.  There's just enough horseradish to keep it interesting but not too much that you need to keep a box of Kleenex as the centerpiece.  The heat of the sandwich played nice with the sweet 'tater fries and a little bit of healthy was provided by a red cabbage salad.

Make that a warm hug from Mom on a plate.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wine Review - Middle Sister

Making dinner the other night I found that I was missing an needed ingredient: wine!  Don't you think a meal is more complete when it is coupled with a glass of wine?

Dreamy Husband to the rescue!  Soon a bottle of pinot noir is being uncorked in the kitchen.
I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for pretty pictures.  You're not supposed to judge a book by the cover, or wine bottles in this case, because, well just because.  But falling for good marketing is so easy! 

Not only is this wine in an adorable package, but it is a great fruity, peppery wine!  On top of that, it looks like a great winery.  Just take a look at their website.  It's delightful!  

We will surely drink this pinot noir again and probably uncork a few of Middle Sister's other grapes!  Uncork your own bottle and share your opinion!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fit as a Fiddle

Ok, so it's been a little hard for me to come to grips with some simple arithmetic: my age + post-baby bod + no exercise = really unfit.  Denying the current situation has been pretty easy.  My old clothes actually still fit.  Fit well?  Well, no.  What happened to the muscle tone?  Was it accidentally packed away with the old college t-shirts?

So, as of this morning, I've started a new regime!  I'm aiming for an upgrade: Ms. Mig 2.0!

Now, one knows that one must be gentle upon embarking on the 1.0 to 2.0 upgrade.  So, I'm going to be kind and start off with stretching and floor work complements of the New York City Ballet.  Since I am neither a New York resident nor a dancer, my figure and I will be DVDing it.  I'm kind of excited!
I won't be found wearing leotards or spandex currently nor when I've mastered this program.  But I hope to feel good and strong.  And when I take a quick peek in the mirror at my backside I hope to have a little smile.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I {heart} Cupcakes

It doesn't matter who you are, if your old or young.  Cupcakes are delightful!  There is a bakery close to my dreamy husband's work.  They make unforgettable cupcakes!  Seriously.  I'm a little picky when it comes to frosting.  I don't like a grainy, mealy frosting.  My palate likes a smooth and creamy cap.  Not too sweet, but just like Goldilocks said: just right!

We ordered a bunch for the wee one's party.  They were a hit!  You gotta love the baby booties, rattles and diaper pins on top!

You know what else is great about each one of these wonderful little cakes?  The center is filled with icing!  They are also the only cupcakes that I've had that stay nice and fresh for days! I know!

And every once in a while, much to my delight, my dreamy husband will surprise me with a few cupcakes, just because he loves me!
They even taste wonderful right out of the fridge when the icing is firm.  I really hope he surprises me with a few tomorrow.  I'll definitely give him a kiss and maybe, just maybe, I'll share one with him.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Moment Captured

I remember the first time I visited Paris and met her, La Tour Eiffel. With her asymtotic lines, I still find her captivating.

I found this photo online and it absolutely makes me sigh.  The photographer caught... something... a moment in time, a dream, love, romance, hope with the simple push of a button.

Trying to find the photographer of this original has been the proverbial needle and haystack senario.  The Cherry Blossom Girl?  Her photography is delightful.

Do you have any ideas as to the one who captured Madame La Tour in her gossamer beauty?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guaranteed Smiles

Have you ever been in one of those moods that you can't shake? Everything irritates you...people are driving nutty on your way to work...your coffee order is messed up...the phone keeps ringing...your to-do list keeps getting longer...heck, you lost your to-do list!

Well, try this on for size!

A lucky girl named Claire went to an exhibit in the UK of fabulous and whimsical photographer Tim Walker.  If his work doesn't make you catch your breathe, daydream, and smile, well, you better just turn your car around, go home, close the door and take a nap!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mimosas with Margaux

What is one of the best things in the world?  Babies? Yes! Friends & Family? Yes! Mimosas? YES! When they are all together in one place, they are the best-est!

When our little bundle of smiles made her early debut she made it on one of her scheduled baby showers.  When we made it home from the hospital, it was on the date of her second baby shower!

So, we decided to throw a party ourselves!  What could be better than mimosas with Margaux?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Everything I Love

April is a great time of year. The snow is melting, people are defrosting and starting to smile again after the long winter.  I especially liked April this year. I went to the doctor's office for a routine prenatal checkup on a bright and sunny day and lo and behold my wee one decided to make an early debut. You can tell that she charmed her daddy in a nanosecond!

I know it's kind of cliche, but my world slipped off its axis that afternoon only 5 months ago and now very happily orbits around a tiny girl.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Second Sunday Suppers

You know those favorite people in your life?  J&K are definitely those people: funny, charming, smart, welcoming, and humble.  They are wonderful individuals and a fantastic couple.  We love them so much that we actually called them up and invited ourselves over to their beautiful home for dinner.  I know, not exactly the Emily Post thing to do!  But we did secure an invitation:

In the time-honored tradition of our Grandmas, Moms, and numerous Aunts who could always seem to “feed the masses” on a moment’s notice; as a rekindling of many fond childhood neighborhood picnic memories; as motivation to keep experiencing the abundant joys of cooking; and as a perpetual monthly celebration of very special family and friends...
We present you with our
Second Sunday Suppers
11 am to 5pm. Food, music, conversation, and perhaps cards or dominoes too. Bring the kids – there’s a large City park directly across the street. Meals will be more traditional: family-style or picnic-style – and all food will be provided.
(Though homegrown produce or home-made preserves will rarely be refused) If you wish to drink something other than Iced Tea, Lemonade or Water, please BYO.
One of the host's pups napping with our wee one
Whether a large group or a small one, we’ll be grilling and baking regardless, but it’s always more fun doing it for those you care about. And a timely notification of your anticipated attendance is still requested. If less are able make it in any particular month, then that just leaves more for us to package and freeze for easy weekday lunches and dinners, or to ship off to Hospice.
If you are greater than the 20th guest to RSVP, or if you give less than 24 hours notice that you are coming, then there’s a remote chance that you might be asked to show up with a loaf of French bread, an extra head of lettuce, or something from the grocery deli – our choice!
Other than that, just mark your calendars and keep the dates in mind – especially if your weekend travels bring you within the vicinity of our home. The first three dates are:
July 11th --- August 8th --- September 12th
We plan to do everything possible to set every second Sunday aside – for Food, Fun, Family and Friends. In the event of a future date cancellation, notice will be given as early as possible. (For instance October 10th will not occur, due to an out-of-town wedding that weekend.)

So, Save the Dates, and We Hope to See You Soon!
J & K

Now can you understand why we couldn't resist going to their home??  They are delightful and everything is always delish!