Saturday, July 31, 2010

that's how I [lobster] roll

Judging by my blog as of late, one would assume all we do in our fam is eat. I won't lie: We're foodies, for sure. But perhaps more relevantly, I typically have my camera with me when we're doing the meal thing.

Today is my last day in New Hampshire with my sweet nephew (oh, and his parents, too). We grabbed more seafood for lunch. From the live critters in the front, to the plastic cup of vino, to the high school boys unloading the fresh catch in the back, it was an entertaining experience.

How can you go wrong with a place called "Al's?"
Whale watching, anyone?
Some random, "decorative" buoys in the foyer that reminded me of ginormous bottles of Clicquot.
I went for the lobster roll. And I might have ordered some seafood-stuffed mushrooms too. Sue me.
Love me some oysters. Maybe next time?
The aforementioned plastic cup of wine. Cracked me up. But it was surprisingly refreshing.
Seafood-stuffed mushrooms. They were great, and I should've stopped there ...
... but I didn't ... ahem.
Lobster roll.
Aidan, giving me some lovin'.
About to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Yes. We. Are.

cupcake Rx

Take one (or maybe two) to cure what ails you.

A little box o' yum from Wild Orchid Baking Company in North Hampton, NH.

I was told by the young ladies working the counter at the shop that "since they've been in the refrigerated display case, we should let them sit awhile before eating."

As if.

Aidan thought that advice was ludicrous as well:

A package arrived for my sister in yesterday's mail. One of her dear amigas sent this lovely (and timely [If I'm lyin', I'm dyin' ... this arrived minutes after our feast o' cupcakes]) notepad:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

chasin' tail (and claws)

Lobster, that is.

Cheese. Mmmm....
Aidan, showing the "red lobster that doesn't move anymore."

The remaining carcasses (always so much less appetizing when your belly is full):

auntie b goes to new england

Much to my anguish, my sister, her husband, and my nephew moved to New Hampshire about a month ago. I haven't blogged about it, because I'm still in denial about the whole thing. Let's just say The Great State isn't quite as great. I love my nephews to pieces, and having one of them live so far away has left a hole in my heart.

When a medical emergency required my sister to be unexpectedly and suddenly hospitalized two days ago, thanks to the invaluable help of my two best girls in College Station, I was able to grab a flight from TX to NH (well, technically two flights). Of course I was concerned about Elizabeth (she's on the road to recovery and eagerly awaiting the arrival of Baby #2 in a month's time); but the thought of seeing Aidan filled me with irrepressible warmth.

So here I sit at 1:30 p.m. (yankee time), sipping my fave cocktail, while my brother-in-law and nephew are on a lobster run. I thought I'd share some photos of Aidan I snapped yesterday. How is it possible that he grew in just one month? My boy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Hot damn. Tonight's the night. The return of Mad Men.
In a few hours, it'll be just me, my vodka gimlet, and my TV.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

i'm confused

Last week this sign was permanently posted on the doors leading into the building on campus where I work:

Apart from the ghetto-look of it (a white & red sticky decal? Really, now), I find it somewhat disconcerting that the "powers that be" felt the need to suddenly place under surveillance the building where I daily do my thing. But that's not what has me perplexed ....

"... may not be monitored?" What does that mean? Is it monitored, or isn't it? I thought the entire point of surveillance was to monitor?

Perhaps I'm reading it incorrectly?

Aggies. Jeez.

Monday, July 19, 2010

bags for your next roadie

Came across these and thought they were swell. Vacuum-sealed and labeled. Effortless and right up my alley. Available in both yellow & black.

(and TSA will think I'm super chic, next time they pry open and rummage through my luggage)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

more sunday rigatoni from gdl

My intention is not to turn my cyber hang-out here into nothing but Giada de Laurentiis recipes; but as I mentioned last week, I've been away from home for awhile, and I'm still making-up for lost kitchen time. And oh my ... today's Giada-inspired yumminess more than filled a long-neglected culinary gap or two.

I HAD to share.

It's called rigatoni with creamy mushroom sauce, and it is an absolute must make. Each bite was pasta ecstasy. Not unlike pasta ponza, it's utter simplicity, in terms of preparation. If you're a fan of mushrooms, prepare to be dazzled.

Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
From Giada at Home (p. 80)

1 pound rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 pound assorted mushrooms (such as cremini, shitake, or button), cleaned and sliced
1/2 cut dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add the mushrooms [I used cremini & shitake] and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the heat to high.
Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes, or until all the liquid evaporates. Add the broth and simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the Mascarpone cheese and stir until creamy.
Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl.
Add the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan.
Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the copped chives.