Where I’ve Been

So I’ve been remiss with this whole blogging thing. And this is take, what, four or five at being a Responsible Grown-Up Who Continues To Write After Deciding To. But I swear, I’ve been busy! With cool stuff!! Like this:

 

Valentine’s Day dinner

 

I love telling loved ones I love them. But I loathe participating in things like Valentine’s Day or New Years, where everyone obligatorily troops out to restaurants for over-priced price fixe menus. Luckily, The Boy understands my idea of romantic, so we spend every New Year’s making a giant fajita feast, drinking too much champagne, and watching old movies in our pajamas.

And now Valentine’s Day has a new tradition (drum roll please)… HEART PIZZA!

That’s right, pizza has become romantical with the help of some cunning use of a paring knife on pepperoni. Just cut it the same way you would made a heart out of construction paper in first grade; fold it in half – don’t worry, pepperoni is surprisingly bendy – and cut a teardrop shape along the fold. I hear you can also be fancy and use heart-shaped cookie cutters, but then you’re the sort of person who owns heart shaped cookie cutters, and someone goes looking for a spatula in your kitchen drawers and finds heart cookie cutters and silently judges you and your life as you know it is over.

Or you’re me, and put off getting cookie cutters till the day before Valentine’s Day, and discover that every store has sold out of them. There’s that too.

 

SUCCESS!!!!!!

 

Okay, so I’m not totally immune to romance, and decided that in a nod to all things traditional I decided that I would try my hand at making a chocolate souffle for dessert. Because when you’re having beer and pizza for dinner the most complicated French dessert you can think of is the natural pairing, n’est pas?

As the picture might indicate, I was successful. And wildly proud of myself. Probably more than is strictly reasonable, but I’ve heard so many horror stories of dying souffles (not to mention Audry Hepburn’s struggles in Sabrina) that I felt a little bit like an alchemist, finally pulling gold from my smelter.

Yes, that was a weird lead-to-gold reference. I won’t blame you if you judge me.

 

I love a man in the kitchen

 

Lest you think all my kitchen-based experiments are successful, here’s a Cautionary Tale – handmade pasta. I grew up making pasta from scratch with my mom, and now generally speaking we tend to buy fresh pasta at the store over dried, but I had never tried my hand at making pasta old school style, with nothing but a rolling pin and a knife.

How hard could this reasonably be? I asked myself.

Italian Grandmas have been doing this for hundreds of years! I reasoned.

…let’s just say there’s a reason why people get pasta machines. I mean, yes, you could ride a donkey to work every day, but it’ll take fifteen times longer, you’ll look like a mess, and your butt will be sore. Replace “butt” with “forearms from trying to roll that bastardly dough into a reasonably thin sheet” and you’ve found out why I’m on the market for a machine now.

Italian Grandmas have my full respect for life.

Finally, just so that this isn’t 100% cooking-themed, it’s time for a dose of fuzziness. Don’t roll your eyes. You know you can’t resist her.

 

Emilia stops to smell the roses

 

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