Monday, March 2, 2009

Catching Up...

The above picture is one of my favorite parts of my bedroom. The flowers in the picture are a kind of large counted cross stitch. I discovered the framed cross stitch at the Alameda Flea Market last summer for just $25. I fell in love with it right away despite the small amount of water damage. I just love the color combination and the beautiful roses. Hopefully one day it will end up on the wall but for now I think it looks lovely on top of my dresser.

Well, I was sadly very delinquent in my blog postings last week. That was because I was out of the house from 7am till 6pm each day attending a course on Breastfeeding Counselor Training put on by The Center for Breastfeeding with The Healthy Children Project. It was a great course and I hope to be able to use the information I learned through volunteering in the community.

In other exciting news from last week. On Sunday night (the 22nd) we had our friend Becca over for dinner. She brought some lovely potatoes and we cooked the dinner together which was lots of fun. I found some new recipes to try on Epicurious and they all turned out fantastically! I think I may have discovered my new favorite menu! Here's what we made (the links take you to the actual recipes on Epicurious):

Here's a picture of the salmon before it went into the oven. It's sitting on a cedar plank that we had picked up in Bellingham, Washington (my home town) last year when we visited. I hadn't ever used it before so I was very excited to try it out. The salmon is resting on some scallion greens and has been brushed with a ginger maple glaze - Yum!! It came out perfectly and was absolutely delicious!

To serve the salmon we put some of the mustard mashed potatoes on our plates, piled the salmon on top, and drizzled the whole thing with more ginger maple glaze! Yum, yum! The mashed potatoes were great and weren't too mustardy which I was worried about initially.

After dinner we made the Apple Galettes and their Caramel Sauce. It was my first experience working with puff pastry which I had found frozen at the grocery store. I was a little nervous about it but it turned out to be very easy to use. Here's a picture of the galettes right before we put them in the oven:

We baked them much longer than the recipe called for - perhaps 30 to 40 minutes but perhaps that was because our apple slices were a bit thick. When they finally came out of the oven they were a lovely golden color and smelled divine! I put them on the special dessert plates my mom gave me several years ago and we drizzled them with their caramel sauce (also divine!) and plopped a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the top. The results looked and tasted amazing! This is definitely my new favorite dessert. It wasn't too hard to make and looked and tasted just like something from a fancy restaurant (or possibly better!). I would definitely recommend them! They also have some almond paste in the middle of the galette under the apples which really adds to the flavor. Here's a picture of the final product just before we dug in:

The other big thing to report from last week was the addition of a new member to our small family. It turned out the Valicia did indeed need someone to look after Leila, her adorable kitty, while she is working in Korea for the next few months. Leila arrived on Saturday the 21st and has been gradually getting used to her new surroundings. She is such a lovely kitty and is very companionable. The first day she was quite shy and scared but she has really warmed up to us over the past week and is now quite comfortable running around the house. The only thing that still scares her is Woodley's harp. We aren't quite sure what the problem is with the harp, but every time Woodley starts practicing, she runs for the bedroom to hide.

Isn't she cute!

Valicia and David came over to visit her last Tuesday and brought us dinner which they fixed up over here. That was such a lovely treat because I was exhausted from my class and didn't have any energy too cook. The meal was wonderful and it was so nice to get to spend some time with them. Leila also loved the visit and was so happy to see them both.

It is so nice to have a cat around the house and Leila is a great companion. Right now she is curled up on my desk, just to the left of my keyboard. I think she wants to help with the blogging! I'll work on getting some more pictures of her to share in the next few days.

Now, to finish up, here are a few notes from last weekend:

Friday I finished with my class. In the evening we met up with Woodley's parents for dinner before going to see a silent movie at The California Theater in San Jose. It was a great night and it was such a treat to hear The Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

Saturday we headed up north to attend Woodley's great-aunt Audrey's Surprise 86th birthday party. We picked up Woodley's cousin on the way it was so nice to get to catch up with her. The party was very nice - Woodley and I danced a lot! and we had fun visiting with all the family. On the way home we dropped off Louise and went to Woodley's all time favorite restaurant for dinner - Ti Couz in San Francisco. I usually don't like going there very much because it is always quite crowded and noisy but it wasn't too bad that night.

Sunday we went to the Alameda Flea Market but didn't spend very long at it because it was a rainy day and there were only a few vendors set up. Since we finished much earlier than we had expected, we headed over to San Francisco and went to the newly renovated California Academy of Sciences. We didn't have too much time there so we only were able to explore the aquarium in the bottom level and the rain forest exhibit. The aquarium was by far our favorite. We hope to go back on a different day to see the Planetarium Show, the Living Roof, and the African Hall

This brings us to today, Monday.

I have a few to dos that I'm hoping I can get to today. Perhaps if I write them down here I'll be more motivated to get through them all. :)

1. Catch up on email from last week
2. Bake a loaf of whole wheat bread
3. Start gathering information about what we need to do to pay the California Use Tax
4. Wash and dry the linens
5. Clean the bathroom
6. Plan menus for today, Tuesday, and Wednesday
7. Go grocery shopping

I'll report back later!

1 comment:

  1. That was certainly a fabulous menu you picked! I actually just spoke to a friend in pastry school about the galette recipe, b/c they just made it in class! She said their differed in the following ways:
    - paper thin apples (aka use a mandolin, unless your pastry school teacher is standing over you demanding you practice your knife skills!! also helps reduce cook time)
    - no almond paste (forget that ideal! almond paste is delicious! and the way that it differs from marzipan is that it has butter instead of stiff egg whites)
    - the caramel sauce had no cream
    - the caramel sauce was poured over the apples before baking, and then they put an upper crust on it! they served upside down.

    Summary: I prefer ours.. but maybe with thinner apples next time so we can eat them sooner!! Delicious! Thanks so much for having me! =)