Wednesday, March 7, 2012

So Very Close

A short and very long overdue post!

I am so proud to be partnering with a kind, creative, kindred spirit to share (and sell!) designs from the heart. (I should add that she is also very patient, as she has to deal with both my new mom-ness and my sporadic, sometimes elusive bursts of productivity.)

God willing, our website will be complete-ish by the end of this weekend. Despite it's embarrassing status, I'm going to go ahead and share the link. We are inklings, and we are so excited to be following our design dreams!

More to come!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Abigail Jane

Born November 16th, weighing 8 pounds 12 ounces, measuring 20 inches long. She is the most awesome thing I have EVER made.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brace Yourselves

I think I might just start posting to my blog again pretty soon. I may even change the header to reflect the new year! Time will tell...

Thanks for sticking around.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cobb Salad

We stayed at a DoubleTree Hotel when we traveled to Burlington a few months ago. Not only do they present you with warm chocolate chip cookies upon checking in, but their room service menu is surprisingly awesome.

I had ordered a cobb salad and was anticipating a ho-hum dining experience. I suppose a cobb salad is a tough thing to mess up, but this salad was so good that I recreated it as soon as we returned home.

I have been buying local chicken from our co-op and have figured out a cooking method that works perfectly, though I certainly did not invent this method! I confess, too, to buying skin-on chicken breasts because, well, skin tastes good. In my oven-safe grill pan, I sear the salted and peppered chicken skin-side down until it is nice and brown. I flip it over and pop it into a 375 degree oven with a probe thermometer set to alarm me when the internal temperature reaches about 170 degrees. The result is simple perfection!

Toss this chicken with some kind of greens, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled egg, avocado, roquefort cheese and vinaigrette. it's a new dinner staple in our home.

Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce

Another of Ellie Krieger's smart, easy recipes, I made fettuccine with creamy red pepper sauce a few weeks ago. I have a recent obsession with this goat cheese, though, and substituted it for the feta she calls for. It made for a creamy sauce, but lacked the saltiness that the feta would have imparted. Next time, feta!

I used a new whole-wheat pasta in this recipe—Bionaturae brand—and it was particularly tasty with a great texture.

Monday, July 27, 2009

At long last...

Wow, so many things could follow that ellipsis...

At long last... I am posting to my blog. I am not at work in the evenings until 10pm. I am not eating Subway for lunch and McDonald's for dinner. I have begun to grocery shop and form meal plans again. I am beginning to experience summer.

A lovely bunch of my former co-workers had sent me a gift certificate to Kripalu after I lost my mom in March. I was holding on to it until the perfect time which, as it turned out, was last Sunday. I went a bit above and beyond the value of the gift certificate, booking a massage and a facial, buying a bunch of skin care products for myself, and eating lunch at Kripalu -- a perfect way to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle!

And then, I took a walk -- my first glimpse of exercise since (embarrassingly) October. 2009 has not been good to me. I am working to get myself back on track.

This week's meal plan is almost entirely coming from Ellie Krieger's "The Food You Crave." This cookbook has some great-looking, healthy, fun recipes and tonight I made her Orange Pistachio Wild Rice Salad.

The salad was filling and finding the pistachios was like a mini treasure hunt. There are a few minor things I would change next time, but mostly I'd like to experiment with the addition of some extra ingredients -- kalamata olives? avocado? 'Til then, I'm just excited to have cooked something real, to have segmented my first orange, and to have some pans (for John) to wash.

Friday, June 19, 2009

In Appreciation

The 2009 Relay for Life begins in 7 hours. My life has been abnormally, unbearably hectic for the past 4 months. I am feeling lucky to have today off from work so I can make the preparations that a good team captain should, and so I can emotionally focus on this event and its specific meaning to me this year.

We knew before losing my mom that we wanted to do something special for the staff at Berkshire Medical Center who were so sensitive to her needs and dedicated to her comfort. What a difficult job these folks have. Soon following our last long day at the hospital, I began thinking of a way to thank these caring people.

I contacted calligrapher Debby Reelitz, who I had worked with previously on a piece that I gave to my parents as a thank-you for hosting my wedding. It was beautiful, and I knew that she would once again create something unique and special -- representative of both my mom and her craftwork.

We selected a color palette based upon my mom's beloved batik fabrics, and chose a poem that celebrated nursing.

I loved the frame as soon as I saw it, and although I worried it was too "whimsical" for something so serious, I could hear my mom's voice telling me that she also liked it and that there was nothing wrong with adding some fun into the piece.

I love it, and I am excited to finally present this most beautiful, meaningful "thank you" to the BMC staff today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2009 Relay for Life

Two months ago today, my mom lost her long battle with cancer.

One month from today is the Berkshire County Relay for Life. There are few things I can do to calm the tremendous loss I feel each day. Raising money for cancer research in honor of my mom seems like a good place to start.

I welcome you to visit our team page and make a donation -- of any amount -- to this wonderful cause. For the second year in a row, we are JoAnn's Knockouts.

Note: I will resume blogging sometime soon after this year's Relay.

(Dad, mom and friends -- 2008 Relay for Life)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mini Vacation: Burlington, VT

A few weeks ago, we escaped to Burlington, Vermont. I had been there only once, when I interviewed at the University of Vermont in 1992. In typical Erin-style, I had no memory of ever being there.

We were blessed with beautiful weather, and even got a little sunburn in April -- in Vermont! But mostly, we ate and enjoyed some much-needed relaxation.

Our Garmin GPS has a mind of her own, and she took us a bit off the beaten path as we traveled north, weaving through many miles of beautiful farmland. I had only a couple of must-do things on our trip, and one was to go to Mary's Restaurant at the Inn at Baldwin Creek in Bristol. Little did I realize that we had driven right past it en route to our hotel in Burlington. So, back we went though the miles of beautiful farmland to eat at this wonderful restaurant. The re-trip was well worth it, but that sort of "oops!" theme dominated our trip. I've never planned so little for a trip before, and will be much more diligent next time -- as is, you know, look at a map.

Mary's Restaurant:

Pedestrian Church Street on a warm afternoon:

How different my life would have been if I went to college in Burlington. I mean, there's no sailing in Bosto -- wait a minute...

The Flavor Graveyard at the Ben & Jerry's Factory (another "oops" moment that took us hours off-course):

Friday, May 15, 2009

Balsamic Chicken Thighs (and Wilted Spinach)

It is essential to have some good, quick dinner recipes committed to memory. This was my first time making this Balsamic Chicken recipe from For the Love of Cooking, but it is something I'll be making again and again. (Vinegar!)

I've been using chicken thighs in a number of dishes, but this is the first time I've used thighs in a quick-cooking meal. I found them to be a little too fatty, since the fat wasn't allowed the time to melt as it would in a braise or slow roast. My plan is to remake this recipe with chicken breasts.

Also from For the Love of Cooking, I made a side of wilted spinach with bacon, using Smart Bacon — also quick and very enjoyable!