Thursday, May 24, 2012

White Denim

Francesca's Collection White Denim Pants, Mossimo Supply Co Denim Shirt, Toms Shoes

Like many creative people, I tend to go through color phases.  I like to compare myself to Jackson Pollock when he was going through his "Blue" phase.  Currently, I am having a White Moment (notice how I capitalized it to make it a proper noun).  My White Moment consist of buying clothes, accessories, and decor in shades of white. Lucky we don't have any pets, but I do live with an artist, so sometimes this can be tricky.  During a shopping excursion where I was on a hunt for white denim, I came across this pair at Francesca's Collection.   They suited my 5'3 frame well, and had the right amount of stretch for comfort.  Paired with a classic blue denim top, the combination was perfect for a weeknight evening stroll.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Baked Spaghetti

I don't think you can ever fail with cheese and pasta.  It's one of those combinations that no matter how you cook it, it will always be delicious.  There is a local restaurant nearby that is famous for its baked spaghetti.  As with any good recipe, the ingredients are a secret.  After many years as a patron, my mom decided to  recreate the recipe with successful results.  It is a fantastic blend of creamy cheese, baked pasta and delicious marinara.  The only complication is that the process is somewhat challenging.  She cooks it in a water-bath at a low temperature for four hours.  I am no expert at Italian cooking, but it seems a little complicated for an Italian recipe.  I decided to make an attempt at changing my mom's recipe slightly (with some grief from my sister nonetheless), and created a pasta dish that was equally delicious with far less cooking time.  However, I wasn't thrilled with the consistency, so I don't want to post the recipe just yet, but I will show some snaps I took along the way.  Cheese and pasta will always be comfort food for me, so even though I don't see this dish as a success, it definitely wasn't a fail.

Rue for the B├ęchamel Sauce

Al Dente Pasta

Cheese Mixture 

Just in Need of Some Marinara

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day everybody! I hope you all had the opportunity to wish a mother a wonderful day.  As for me, I spent the day with my lovely mother, doing the things we love to do together.  First we went to church (as any Italian catholic mother would do on Sunday morning) at the Minneapolis Basilica, then stopped by the farmers market followed by a lovely brunch on the patio at Barbette.  The rest of the day was spent in the kitchen making Sunday night dinner for the family.
As I get older, I realize that I am more and more like my mother in so many ways. Thankfully, this is a good thing.  She is incredibly selfless, always willing to give a hug, and offering to cook something.  I get my love of entertaining from her and hope that someday I will also have dishes for every occasion and decorations for every holiday. She is the most beautiful person I know, inside and out.  I am so lucky to call her "mom."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weeknight Mexican

Today was a tough day at work. When that happens, normal people usually order take-out for dinner, lounge on the couch with the remote in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.  Let's not get crazy,  I will always have a glass of wine in my hand at the end of a tough day, but I like to make dinner. Tonight, we celebrated Cinco De Mayo early, with weeknight Mexican.  I went to the Minneapolis farmer's market on Sunday and bought fresh cilantro and local fresh salsa, so tacos seemed like an easy choice tonight.  I looked at a couple of recipes online, but didn't find any I absolutely loved.  So I decided to do my own thing and create my own avocado relish for chicken tacos.  I shredded rotisserie chicken breast to keep it weeknight easy, and fancied it up by grilling the corn tortillas on the stove top.  By the end of the night, my wine glass was empty and my stomach was full with home cooked comfort.  I am ready to take on the rest of the week.

Easy Avocado Relish (makes 6 servings)

2 Haas avocados peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn thawed
1/4 cup white onion diced
1 jalapeno small diced
1 roma tomato diced
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together and salt and pepper to taste.