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Posts Tagged ‘Zoe’

Cookie Winner!

(drumroll)…the winner of the blogiversary cookies was chosen by the random number generator:

#4, Katie!

Seems like fate is on the side of the birthday girl — everyone wish Katie a very happy birthday tomorrow! Katie, I’ll send you an email shortly to get your mailing address and see what kind of cookies you’d like ūüėČ

 

And because a). I like to include a fun photo in every post, and b). Zoe has been regrettably absent from this blog for quite some time, let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that I have the cutest cat in the world:

 

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I’ve been doing my city-girl best to get my country on as of late, and I do declare, I’m doing a good job. I’ll be sharing some more fun market finds with you later this week (there is a Celtics game to watch tonight, after all!), but I couldn’t wait any longer to share some photos from last weekend when my boyfriend and I headed up to Brattleboro, VT for the annual Strolling of the Heifers event. The long and short of the event is that they walk ~80 cows (and goats and horses and sheep and oxen and people) right down Main Street. How could I not go? (How could ANYONE not go, really?) Check it out:

"BrattleBURRO kicks ASS" Love it -- Ha!

"Annie"

I want to steal the flowers for a front door wreath!

At the PETTING PEN post-parade.

Unfortunately, our grander plans to continue up further North after the parade were cut short by the TORNADOES that decided to hit Vermont that weekend. Since when does Vermont get tornadoes? Anyway, we decided it would be in our best interest to head back to Boston post haste after the parade, and so we did.

While I may not have livestock at my little urban homestead, I sure do have an affectionate kitty waiting for me whenever I open the door. And no tornadoes.

And the verdict? Zoe wins, hands down. Once again.

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So much going on in my world recently! ¬†In a rare change of events, I found myself somewhat happy to wake up this morning and realize it was Monday. ¬†Not, mind you, that I’ve had a bad weekend by any stretch of the imagination; quite the opposite in fact. ¬†I pretty much did nothing but eat and drink for 2¬Ĺ days straight, and quite frankly, my stomach simply needs to get back to routine so it has a moment to recover.

But on to the exciting news: ¬†I’ve started my cooking class! ¬†It’s the 6-week “Back to Basics” recreational course at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (see link at right). ¬†So far two classes have gone by — knife skills and eggs. ¬†Up next week: soups and stocks. After that, we move on to moist heat cooking (braising, stewing, blanquettes & fricasees), followed by dry heat cooking (roasting, grilling, and saut√©ing), and end the series with sauces. So far the class has exceeded my expectations. ¬†Too much fun.

What I would like to share with you today, my friends, is the epiphany I had last Sunday at the knife skills class. There is another way to cut a green pepper.

Now, I imagine that many of you, like myself, have traditionally attacked a green pepper in a manner something like this:

1). Take pepper and cut whole around top to pop out center

2). Cut into segments, using paring knife to cut out white inner yucky stuff (technical term) as you go.

3). Cut into misshapen curly-ended sticks

Now, presenting a NEW way to chop a pepper!  (Well, new to me, at least):

1). Start with beautiful pepper

2). Chop off both ends — enough so that you can see the insides

3). Make a vertical cut just to the left of one of the yucky white thingies inside.  Say hello to a fascinated Zoe.

4). ¬†Turning the pepper on it’s side, run your knife along the inside of the pepper, turning the pepper as you go. ¬†Preferably do this with a knife that is longer than the pepper, unlike the short paring knife I have in this picture. Otherwise, your teacher will correct you the following Sunday, and you will have to either retake pictures of yourself cutting the pepper with the appropriate knife, or decide to suck it up and post the picture to your blog as is so that you don’t have to go to the store and buy another green paper and therefore delay your blog entry for another week.

5).  You are left with a nice neat rectangle of pepper.  Ignore the fact that it is now upside down in photo due to poor choice of knife.

5). ¬†Slice…

6). …and dice!

7).  Note how nice and square your dice is, meaning your peppers will cook perfectly even.  Thank Nate for humoring you and leaning over your shoulder to take pictures of you chopping a pepper.

OK, so not my best work.  I will master the pepper yet, though.

In the meantime, as I mentioned previously, I’m so excited to have discovered fava beans! ¬†Now, fava beans aren’t exactly easy to find fresh (or frozen, for that matter), as the season is short, supplies limited, and standard supermarkets may not carry them. Luckily for me, my sister spotted fresh ones at Russo’s in Watertown and was kind enough to get me some. ¬†While there were many recipes I wanted to try, I finally settled on a recipe for¬†Fava Bean Pur√©e with Oil-Cured Olives, French Feta and Crostini. They were very yummy, and I would definitely make them again, although potentially not on a weeknight next time. Tasty and filling, they were all I needed for dinner.

And in case you were wondering, I enjoyed it with a nice Cabernet.

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I am craving spring.  What else could explain why project #1 is a bright green, short sleeve shirt made out of cotton voile?

The pattern is “Prairie Girl” by Favorite Things, and the fabric is from Anna Maria Horner’s “Little Folks” line of fabric (see link at right under People; she is one of my absolute favorite fabric designers)

Prairie Girl Pattern by Favorite Things

I’ll be making the shirt on the left, although depending on how that comes out, I can certainly see myself continuing on to do a dress or two. ¬†Needless to say, based on my last post, I will NOT be making the optional “dickie.”

And here’s the fabric:

Little Folks cotton voile in Meadow, by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics

Yes, that’s my cat, Zoe. ¬†Expect frequent cameos by Zoe in this blog. ¬†I can’t help myself; it’s genetic. ¬†(A side story: ¬†for my one year anniversary of quitting smoking, I bought myself a lovely silver Victorian locket. ¬†People who know me well asked, “Are you going to put a picture of Nate in it?” ¬†People who know me even better asked, “Are you going to put a picture of Zoe in it?” ¬†Sorry dear, the cat wins.)

Work in progress photos to follow…

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