Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rescuing a Cake in Distress

Watch me try to MacGuyver my home-made version of a cake wreck over here.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How to Ride Out the Storm

Well, they were right.  No, they were wrong.  Our weather people actually UNDER-estimated the snowfall.  That's a first.  Most of the models predicted 6-12" of snow.  A number that made me say "Hah!".  The number sounded like a mere sprinkle in comparison to the hefty dumpage we had gotten in recent years past - 18" 24", significant snow that hung around in dirty piles for weeks post-storm. What's the big whoop about 6-12 inches?

No matter, I was ready.  I had shopped well.  I planned for Sangria, Chili, Pasta Fagioli, Chianti, Mac and Cheese, Whispering Angel Rose (my absolute fave), Queso Dip, Orvietto Classico, Stuffed French Toast, Prosecco, Calzones and oh, did I mention that I had wine?

Go ahead Mother Nature.  Crap your glittery white sprinkles all over us.  We were ready. We have wine.

Me and my big mouth.  I threw down the gauntlet and mother nature answered in spades.  30" of the fluffy, white celestial detritus fell. Still, I was ready.  I was pissed.  But I was ready.

A toasty Calzone with Parmesean Crust as a pre-amble to the snow.

A little Whispering Angel as the snow started to fall.

The morning after the big snowfall.  Looking out over about 30" of accumulated snow.

The snowblower cut more of a trench than a path.

The snow fairies left me a Donnie Darko bunny in the front shrubbery.

Crystal blue skies of the morning after the blizzard.

A post-snow plow brunch of stuffed French Toast and thick cut bacon.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year! Are You Feeling Beany?

Happy New Year!

If you would like a recipe for a hearty bean soup, grab the Beano and check me out over here.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Public Service Announcement About the Dangers of Drinking and Shopping

Thank you for stopping by today.  I am sure that you can tell from the title of this post alone, that I'm here to do a public service.  Civic minded, that's me, as I am sure that you've recognized from my previous posts about truck nutz, office pranks and chin hairs.

Today, I'd like to talk about a plague that is infecting the nation; it's called drunk shopping.  Nothing fires off a case of "morning after" buyer's-remorse than an empty bottle of Orvieto Classico and an open laptop.

This phenomena has resulted in some truly unusual Christmas and Birthday gifts for my loved ones over the years.  Who can forget the Screaming Pickle, Squirrel Underpants and Bacon Flavored Gum that my nephew received after a joint working session with Ketel One and Archie McPhee?  Or the hundred dollar Tinkerbell halloween costume that I got for my eighteen month old daughter after a few gloriously slushy margheritas at Downtown Disney?

And there have been many, many more.  However, nothing seems to equal last night's purchase.  After a lovely dinner of Angel Hair pasta with a bacon and onion inflected sauce (yummy),  the heaps of salty pecorino romano cheese running through it gave rise to a mighty thirst.  The delightful glass of white wine that I was savoring with my meal gave way to another and another and before I knew it, we were in the den, digesting carbohydrates and watching a documentary on punk music.

At some point in the movie (probably around the mid-late 80's), I lost interest in the subject matter and wandered off to the comforts of my laptop to peruse for a new picture for our recently remodeled den.  When I came across the picture below, I broke a land-speed record for closing a sale via Paypal.  I don't think it was more than 30 seconds from identification of the item to "thank you for your purchase".

Looking at it now with clearer eyes, I find it a bit intense, maybe even a little frightening.  I'm sticking with it though.  I will display it in my den or maybe my desk at work is a better place.  I feel like the expression on his face correlates to my feelings/state of mind for about 90% of the work day. It could also put an end to all the questions I get about why I don't have any pictures or personal effects at my desk.  I'll tell you that the reason for the lack of tchotchkes is, a girl needs to know that she can cut an run at a moment's notice, why be slowed down by possessions? But what better thing to leave behind for the corporate lemmings and the bourgeoisie in a defection situation?  Buyer's remorse resolved.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Posted a Recipe Over Here - Fettucine with Sausage and Walnut Cream Sauce

This recipe was born out of desperation.  Luckily, it was dang tasty and worth making again, so I wrote it down. I almost never write it down...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Radio Capital

We have established a Saturday tradition in our house where we tune in to Radio Capitale, Rome's main radio station and I clean the house while my husband putters.  While I am dusting and windexing away, I struggle to make out the words that the DJs are saying all to quickly for my limited understanding of Italian.  It's a little frustrating, but the joy I get when I realize that I just understood something that they said is really unmatched by anything else.  The only thing I can compare it to is how I felt when my son finally learned to poop on the bowl, 1 week before the start of kindergarten (yes, it's that good).

The station itself follows none of the same rules as American radio programming, and does not stick to a predictable format.  Here in the US, we are very label and genre sensitive and we don't want our death metal and smooth jazz to coexist anywhere near each other on the dial.  When you tune in to whatever the current, all-hits radio station is, you just know that if someone had a brain fart and played Led Zeppelin, the phone lines would light up in an Armageddon of vitriol.  It's true.  Someone could lose a testicle in that kind of melee.

The relaxed and open minded Italians seem to have no concept of format driven radio.  They will play Earth Wind and Fire next to the Weekend next to a live Eric Clapton song (they love the live stuff).  And deep cuts are not off the table at all.  They'll go way into a Genesis album and pluck out a song so moody and obscure, it will have you wondering whether someone slipped you a psychedelic in your Starbucks Flat White.

What I rarely hear on Radio Capitale are songs sung in Italian.  If I listen throughout the day, I may hear two, maybe three songs sung in Italian.  What I have never heard until today is an American song translated into Italian.

As I dusted the bar in the den, a familiar intro came on and as I prepared for these lyrics,

"I know what you're doing
I see it all too clear
I only taste the saline
When I kiss away your tears"

I got these instead, 

"So che cosa pensi 
รจ chiaro ormai per me 
il gusto troppo amaro 
delle tue lacrime"

Mind blown.

Duncan Sheik's uptempo but ultimately forlorn song was translated beautifully into Italian by Niccolo Fabi.  Here is an audio of the song.  It's worth a listen as the song's sad confusion over love is evident, even without a word of Italian.

Like Catherine Scorcese famously said in Goodfellas, "in Italian, it sounds much nicer".