La Pasta e La Ragazza

Friday, June 20, 2008

Deep hatred of phone books

I once worked for a yellow pages advertising agency... for a total of 3 months. It was horrible, and wasteful. My job was literally to make copies of yellow page ads to send to the companies that wanted the ads listed. From every phone book the add was listed in. Think about how many phone books Sears takes adds out about vinyl siding (that was my account... now do you understand why i quit). Anyway, if you're young, hip, or simply under the age of 55, you probably don't use a phone book on a very frequent basis. So tell those damn companies you DON'T WANT THEM ANY MORE

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Attacked by women in black

I'm pretty sure one of the neighbors is growing chickens. If not, something is making a very loud chicken like sound. If they are, I call dibs on some fresh eggs.

Back to the subject at hand: I can't resist Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Clearance Sale. I get usually a bra or two and some undies for a good deal. And for all of you boys out there, no I did NOT buy any neglige. The sexist thing I bought was a t-shirt to sleep in, and thats only because I've decided it' kind of gross that I often sleep in the same shirt i was wearing all day. Anyway. I have no idea why I subject myself to the torture of going to that place. EVERY single employee (most of whom have only worked there for 2 days) asks if you're finding everything alright. And no one EVER says anything but yes. Because really, am I going to say "yeah, find me a non-neon colored 36D bra that is unlined with full coverage... also no beige". No, and even if I did, that's NOT their job... their job is to go around offering you bags (for bras? what? I can loop 30 bras over one arm and never notice the difference. I realize this is a marketing ploy, but seriously, get a life) a free bra measure (GREAT customer service) and the opportunity to help their company make even MORE money buy getting you to sign up for an Angels card... which has a ridiculously high interest rate, and for all of those DEALS you get over the year, you have to buy something with your card to get the deal. And you can't pay your bill in the store. AND they ask you twice. Once while you're shopping and then when you're checking out they actually badger you if you say "no, i'm not paying with my angels card" and ask why not, and you tell them that you dont NEED anymore credit cards. I have one credit card and one is all i damn well need. Thanks :)

The worst part is that some woman actually grabbed my arm and sprayed some insanely cold stuff on it saying "DOESN'T IT FEEL GREAT?!?!" in a high pitched voice. No, it's COLD, and now I smell like my freshman year of college roommate. damn place. I can't tell if it's the traffic volume, the customer service, the mass amount of pink, the VERY overweight girls deciding which thong they like the best, the music or the disgusting smell that is created when fake pear, strawberry, apple and vanilla are combined all together and sprayed in every which direction by the crazy lady with the cold firming spray that give me the headache... but I definitely have a headache.

But my disdain with fade and 6 months from now when I'm feeling blue, I'm sure Ill trudge the 1/2 block from TJ's to Victoria's secret to buy a new bra, a few new undies and some out of season christmas pajamas.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Re-birth and ricotta

Well, it's officially been a REALLY long time since I've posted to this blog, but I've had requests from both my mother and my friend Erin, and the occasional mention from my husband that I have a blog that isn't just pictures, and isn't "business" related. I'm hoping I can bring back the spicy side of things on this blog, as I'm not too concerned about my clients reading it... and if they click enough links to figure out that I'm a sassy, dirty mouthed photographer, well, then they have too much time on their hands.

This re-birth was inspired by the dinner I made tonight, which was in turn inspired by the Everyday Food sitting in the TJ's lunch room. My boss a few months back told/asked me to subscribe the store to some food and wine magazines. I chose Everyday food because it's FULL of easy recipes, which is what TJ's is all about. He got mad when he saw that I subscribed to a Martha Stewart magazine, which I think is totally ridiculous. She's damn good at what she does, with the exception of trading stocks, and I think she learned her lesson. Anyway. Thanks Martha, for your inspiration, and to Andy, for letting me prove that it's a great magazine.

The recipe called for pizza dough, but we didn't have any, and we've really been on this garbanzo/fava flatbread kick, so I improvised.

1st you make the flatbread. 1 1/2 cups of Uncle Bob's Red Mill Fava Garbanzo flour, and wisk in just enough water to make the stuff the consistency of say... a very smooth applesauce. Don't forget plenty of salt, and some pepper. If you're keen on herbs, or have too many in your garden, you can experiment with throwing some of these in too. I prefer rosemary. Bake on a nonstick (very important!) cookie sheet at 425F until the edges just turn brown. Remove and let cool slightly.

At this point, leave the oven on, but turn it down to 375 as you'll be putting the pizza back into the over to warm all of the toppings.

Take one bunch of green onions, and one bunch asparagus, trim off the roots and hard ends respectively. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and grill until nice and tender.

Trim both the onions and asparagus into 3 inch pieces and set aside. Spread ricotta cheese over the cooled flat bread. Arrange the asparagus and onions over the ricotta. Throw some julienned sun dried tomatoes over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Put the pizza back in the oven until all of the toppings are warm. Be careful not to over bake as the crust will easily burn.

Remove from oven and eat immediately.

Find Martha's original recipe here

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Culinary Adventures

Kyle and I spent our 1st anniversary wining and dining. We decided a few months ago that we'd go to i nonni, a place in Lilydale (I dont know where it is either) that is attatched to an Italian Deli and Wine shop. While I had peeked into the restaurant while buying bresaola in the deli (which of course, they no longer carry) I had no idea how nice of a place it actually was. We ordered a bottle of Rosso Piceno, as I will never loose my Marchegiano pride and the beef carpaccio as an appetizer. Now I've ordered carpaccio at a few restaurants in my time (not as many as I'd like, since it usualy goes for a higher price) but never have I been served such a large, delicious, lemony MOUND of carpaccio as large as this. Had I ordered the carpaccio for myself as an entree, I would certainly have been satisfied. But Kyle and I could never do such a thing when more than one course is available! For our primi piatti I ordered a ziti carbonara, which was prepared differently than I've had it before, made with egg yolk that was placed at the bottom of the bowl, so as not to curdle (where as, everytime I've had it, the eggs have been curdled) and guanciale instead of the typical pancetta. Guanciale is (I didn't know this either) a very salty cut of pork that at one time was the pig's gowl. VERY SALTY. Kyle ordered the Butternut squash gnocchi with trumpet mushrooms in what must have been a sage butter. I couldn't resist the houses' evening special of Beef tenderloin, cooked to order accompanied by wild mushrooms, fingerling potatoes and that nice, smooth perfectly prepared seared foie gras, looking up at me ontop of my 12oz (if not more!) steak. Kyle ordered a Ribeye with similar garnish (without the foie gras, unfortunate for him). Once we had both taken in no more than 1/3 of our secondi, we gave in, ordered coffee, limoncello and rolled back to our bed and breakfast to digest. If I ever find anything that is made with foie gras that I dont like, I will immediately alert the authorities, as it is simply divine.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Dinner at Tria

Well of course my most recent culinary experience is going to be at my place of employment. 1 1/2 bottles of wine, cheese, poutin and of course, the infamous hangar steak and chouemer pudding to finish is a wonderful time, especially with wonderful company. Kyle and I shared a bottle of Cline Red Truck a nice, cheap California "table wine" filled with Cherries and ripeness, a buttery and smooth triple creme du village brie (why haven't I been to Quebec yet?) that had just a hint of mushrooms, and the ever rich Poutine Martin. Chef Picard's ( Poutin Martin. Perfectly made frenchfries (just crispy enough!) with melted white cheese curds, veal gravy, truffle oil and don't you dare forget the fois gras! I had my favorite hangar steak, just bloody enough in the center for me to enjoy it while Kyle picked away at his lamb shank confi. If i were able to describe the chouemer pudding I would feel quite accomplished in my vocabulary. The perfect mix of creamy buttery maple gooeyness with just enough substinence to make you glad you had that last bite, even if you may regret in the loosening of the belt. Thank goodness for 1/2 off meals!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Diving into a new frontier

While I do have a marvelous daily LiveJournal, to talk about my every day endeavors, I have decided to a "blog" regarding my culinary adventures as I have now accepted my passion for cooking, wine, organic produce, cheese and dining at new wonderful restaurants as well as old favorites. While both the amoutn of money and the time I dedicate to food is somewhat limited by my student status, I am certain that my travels and the eventuality of my graduation will lead to great stories, recipes and culinary experiences. May the games begin. Buon appetito!