Monday, November 30, 2009


After a week of fighting a cold, I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll be back at work. Sadly I was too sick for us to make it to my aunt's Thanksgiving on Saturday. Stupid cold. But on Thursday, we had a very nice Thanksgiving in Queens with Chris' family and family friends. It's amazing that even friends of the family feel like my family -- a reminder that "family" includes all kinds of relations.

This holiday season, I feel fortunate to have such a large family of people who are so kind and generous.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


VideoShare: Just in case you haven't seen this already. Muppets do Bohemian Rhapsody.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Paper flowers & pages

Taken 11/22/09.
Easy-to-make paper flowers from last week's scrapbook weekend with mom. Make a bunch and create a wreath. Instructions are at miss fancy pants.Started a 'my first garden' book on the weekend with my mom. Beginning pages above.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Overly dramatic snowman photos

Home sick from work today. Ribs, knees, even my armpits ache...unless I sit perfectly still. This past weekend my mom flew out and we spent 3 days at a scrapbooking weekend getaway (run by Right at Home). We kicked ass being crafty and made snow people out of glass jars. cute! I worked on a mini-book of my garden & mom worked on Halloween photos. More photos to come.
We made 3, this is my favorite. Taken 11/24/09.
Snow people made by others in the class. Taken 11/21/09.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Today I'm crushing on this hat. Of course, it's (too expensive) includes wool, as do most hand-made hats. Fingerless gloves from Craftland? Forget it. Wool wool blended-wool wool. For all you wool wearers out there...I get that wool is warm. If I wear anything close to wool my skin bursts into flames. Then again, when I come in contact with a lot of things, I feel like my skin is on fire.

Hat (and photo) found here.

Christmas tree up at work. Loving it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Recipe Rursday: Sweet Potato Spaghetti

Spaghetts 11/11/09.

With our very last item from Scratch Farm's CSA, a lone sweet potato, we made this odd little dish -- Sweet Potato Spaghetti. We will definitely make this again. The only thing I'd change is to add more rosemary, which adds a nice compliment to the sweet potatoes. I held back, and without the garlic, it would've been bland. But, another winner from Real Simple.

Spaghetti with Sweet Potato and Ricotta (Real Simple, October 2009)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti (3/4 box)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (we used one large)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 shallots, sliced (skipped the shallots, used minced garlic instead)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or dried - I used 1tsp. to avoid overdoing the rosemary, but next time I'd amp it up to 1T)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • 1/3 cup ricotta
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1⁄2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the shallots (garlic) and rosemary and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the potato mixture, Parmesan, and the reserved cooking water. Dollop with the ricotta before serving.

** For more recipes, check out the RedPepperFlakes Recipe Archives.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Green Green Green

More forgotten 2009 photos: Before heading to Ben & Saida's wedding in September 09.

cookey. 9/19/09.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recipe Rursday: Spicy Seafood Stew

Taken 11/2/09.
Sometimes I crave chunky seafood dishes. The Shrimp & Scallops recipe posted on Dooce's partner's website (way back when) is a good example of an easy, chunky seafood dish. Chris has been making stews left and right as a way to get through the heavy cooking greens (chard & kale) from our CSA. This particular recipe was his idea and led to a gigantic pot of hearty spicy goodness - perfect for a winter evening. He started with a slow-cooker recipe in Joy of Cooking, but took the preparation quite off-book. Note: the pot was so big, it fed us both 2-3 dinners.

Spicy Seafood Stew (variation on a recipe in Joy of Cooking)
The original recipe uses a slow cooker and no actual clams.
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1 Medium white onion
  • 1-2 chopped carrots (not used in Joy)
  • 1 medium celery root, diced (A very new CSA vegetable for us, Joy uses a celery rib)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (we skipped)
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves
  • 1 28 ounce of canned whole tomatoes, broken up with a fork (Joy uses crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 container of fresh clams & the juice inside (Joy uses 2 C bottled clam juice)
  • 1/2 C dry red (or white) wine
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more to taste!)
  • 1 lb. of skinless cod fillets, cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 8 oz. of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cook the onion, carrots, celery, red pepper flakes, and garlic, over medium heat until the onion is translucent & carrots have softened. Stir in the tomatoes, clams/clam juice, wine, oregano. Cover and cook on low for at least a 1/2 hour.

Turn the heat to high and add the cod and shrimp. Cook and cover until the fish is opaque & the shrimp are starting to become opaque (12-15 min. but checking periodically). Season with salt & pepper, optionally with 1/4 C chopped basil or parsley).

** For more recipes: RedPepperFlakes Recipe Archives.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Dad: Rocking all forms of Media

Riding on his recent national television fame on CNN, my dad has recently published his stock evaluations and recommendations in a top-selling investment magazine (Better Investing). He's such a media hog these days....sending me autographed copies of his articles and whatnot. Enough dad!! (click page below, to enlarge)
Page 2 of the article (below).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sometimes she's creepy

Taken 7/3/09.
Been going through forgotten, 2009 photos...this one should be titled: The Royal Lineage of Cat, or "Why do you anthropomorphize me like you do?"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Recipe Rursday: Cate's Brownies with Peanut Butter Icing

Taken and eaten 11/1/09.

These brownies were originally planned for Chris' birthday, but since his parents brought a cake from nyc, I saved the recipe for a later date. My co-worker & friend Cate made these brownies for her kids on her last day of work and kindly shared one with me. They're so wonderfully sweet, I knew Chris would love them. The amount of butter in them is somewhat shocking...for me, but I don't bake all that often. So, I consider them special occasion brownies. Note: special occasions can be any day when you want really incredible brownies.

And without further ado, here is the recipe for Chris' b-day brownies, from Cate (who may have gotten it from her mom). Enjoy!

Cate's Brownies with Peanut Butter Icing
Suggestion: I split the icing recipe in half and it was the perfect amount.
  • 4 Squares Baker's Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
  • 3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
---- Preheat oven to 350. Line 13x9 baking pan with parchment paper. Butter the pan under and over the parchment paper. (Catherine: Recipe calls for lining pan with foil and greasing the foil, but I've always used parchment paper. Amy: I used foil and it was a big mess...should've listened to Catherine)
---- In a pan, melt the butter first, then melt the chocolate on top of the butter. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar and let mixture cool a little bit. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add flour (and optional nuts). Spread in prepared pan. (Amy: I used walnuts. Turned out great.)
---- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick is inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan and cut into squares.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter (softened to room temperature) - (1/4 C)
1/2 cup peanut butter (1/4 C)
2 cups powdered sugar (1 C)
1/8 cup milk (splash of milk)
1 tsp vanilla (1/2 tsp.)

Cream the butter and peanut butter together. Add half of the powdered sugar and blend. Blend in milk and vanilla.Add remaining powdered sugar.Stir until smooth.

** For more recipes, check out the RedPepperFlakes Recipe Archives.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009