Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bonus Sunday

Didn't think I would make it up this weekend but when I awoke all by myself in the apartment (worked late last night, riding around the city with a phantom. Not as scary as it sounds. It is a camera that shoots veryveryvery fast. See, life moves at 24 frames per seconds according to film, 25 if you live in the PAL part of the world. Now, the Phantom can shoot things at 1000 frames per seconds, so imagine that played back at 24 FPS and you have slooooooooo-mooooooooo) there was really nothing to keep me there. I want to be at my house. And why couldn't I ? 

I got in the car and drove up. A little lazy, a little slow brained I watched James' progress on painting, cleaned up some and decided to cook us something special for dinner. 

Hmmmmm, let's see now.


Once again a winner recipe from the Williams Sonoma soup book. I made a few alterations this time.

Heat oil in a soup pot and once it's warm add 2 chopped yellow onions and 1 packet of bacon. I scissored the bacon in to small pieces.

Add 1 chopped red pepper.
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
a pinch (or 2) of Chipotle chili powder

Let it all become an aromatic dream come true.

Then add 8 cups of water and 2 cups of black beans.

I used dried beans but didn't have time to do an overnight soak so I put the beans in a pot and covered them with water + 2 additional inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and let it sit for 1 hour. After that rinse the beans and they are ready to use.

My soup simmered for about an hour and then I placed all solid stuff in a blender.

Finally I added chopped fresh cilantro and juice from 1 or 2 limes. 

Serve with home fried corn tortilla strips and fresh cut cilantro.

My veggie thoughts on the matter are very uninspired. The bacon adds such a smoky, tasty flavor that it's hard for me to think of substitutions. More chipotle perhaps?

We ate it with sour cream and crunched up tortilla chips. And these little fritters on the side...


Put 1 1/4 cup of flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Slowly add 1 cup of boiling water and mix till it becomes a dough. Take it out and put into plastic wrap for 1/2 hour.

Cut up one bunch of scallions and sauté them in oil.

Roll out the bough into a rectangle on a floured surface. 
Spread the leeks on top. 
Roll it up from the short end.
Cut up about 12 slices and put them between wax paper. Flatten the slices with your palm.

I stuck them in the fridge after this and about 2 hours later I fried them in oil in a pan until golden brown on both sides.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A superb weekend!

I can't really write right now because I have no fingertips. They have been stolen by the sandpaper demon and every key stroke hurts like bloody fire. F - oooooooo, I - fk #$%^@%** grrrr, R - aooooooo, E - omg I really should just stop writing.

But someone has to post pictures of our amazing Maple trees ablaze and the spectacular colors of the valley. 

And I have to brag about my homemade Alfredo that was just to die for for. 

So $^#%%@^~#**# here I go.

Maple Avenue

Yup. Those are our maple trees. We did goooood. And noooooo, for the 1000th time Mr. Scrap Metal collector man (they certainly are a special breed of people...), YOU CAN NOT have that radiator. Although I think we just decided to part with it and go more stream line (it's been waiting on going back in the pastry shop once it's done). So now - we are accepting offers. I really just want to see someone wrestle with the thing. It's like the weight of an elephant baby. Maybe someone could replace it with an elephant baby. I would love one of those. 

Our view is meh. Mediocre at best.

Great thing about Alfredo is that it's completely guilt free! 

Melt half a stick of butter in a saucepan. 
Add 1 cup of cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cup of grated gruyere cheese and stir until melted. 
Add 1 crushed garlic clove and lots of parsley.

I tossed the fettucine and the sauce with lots of fresh spinach and served.

No guilt - non whatsoever. And don't forget the Parmesan on top!

James put finish paint on the trim on the front yesterday and today it was the bay window. I sacrificed the skin on my fingers to the porch. Today I am painting it!

I took a little break in porch restoration and went up to our neighborhood look out point on Palazzo Lane.

Things we love about Clintondale. Our Gunk view. Apples! The fall colors. And even some birds.

Oh heck! Just one more. The ridge at dawn.

It's been quiet about the birds lately. Mostly sparrows hanging out getting fat on our seed. But all of a sudden they came back. 

I saw this little guy this morning. We haven't seen Juncos since last winter!

And this guy must have missed the train to Florida. The Blue Jays are back too doing crazy flybys and hootin and making a racket in the trees. 

We only really watched one movie this weekend and the angry critic says it was good. Not great. Could have been great but took a silly turn at 1 hour. It's a French movie called Un Prophete. A young Arab ends up in prison for what we know not. He commits a crime in there in exchange for protection. On one hand he is smart and starts to study but on the other hand he realizes he can make it big  in the crime world with the connections he's making inside. And it goes from Shawshank to a mobster pic. The title suggests an inspirational story of finding your roots . That would have been preferred. But its subtleties still make it very worthwhile.

Last weekend we did a double feature. Sam Mendes' Away we go (self proclaimed loser couple get pregnant and take  a roadtrip to find the perfect place to raise their child) and Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock (chronicling the events that led up to the Woodstock festival, and it should have ended when they got there. Instead we have to watch the protagonist doing acid and opening his mind and our interest dwindled FAST). It was a mediocre night I guess. Away we go was better than expected and Taking Woodstock was just as silly as expected. 

Best in awhile was Howl. In the theatre. Allen Ginsberg's (played by James Franco) poem comes to life by cool animation, recreated docu footage and courtroom drama. Verrrry good.

I've made no secret of the fact that I've been unhappy with my bizniz lately. Quoting in my head "hell is Hollywood and satan is a studio exec". But maybe the disappointments, straight up blow offs and cancellations all led up to this. I will be on the road until Christmas on cool, interesting gigs. Firstly, a travel job in the States - North Carolina, Yellowstone National Park and Detroit. And with no room to breath, off I go to Mexico City to prep a camera package and then I continue to the Chiapas region to work on an offbeat, creepy little indie in the vein of Nick Roeg's Don't Look Now. I'm excited. And I'm taking the Gazette on the road with me. James will get much done at the house and I will come home just in time to decorate the tree and throw the ham in the oven. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Winter proofing

Foamco came and insulated in the pastry shop and upstairs bedroom last week. It looks like the rooms are covered in blue ice cream. Yum!

We got a quote from the sheetrock guy and he will spackle and prime as well. Good deal. Then we pick a floor and paint colors!

We have a slightly different plan for this wall. My sister and Gizmo are in the process of building a garage that also holds a workshop and a small boutique. They used this paneling in the boutique. 

They are unfinished painted boards.

This is their bedrom and these boards are stained. We want the same look for the one wall in the pastry shop and I think we want to stain it blue.

Also thinking about doing it to the 2 short walls in the NOW laundry room THEN super cosy kitchen nook. Whenever we get to that...

We got new contractors and the porch molding is finally done. 

I drove all the way to Pleasant Valley in the rain to pick up these bricks. I acted like an absolute craigslist crazy showing up with no money thinking this guy was the one with the free bricks. He took me on a drive that was just a little too long for comfort up behind his house and there was definitely a moment when I was getting ready to tuck and roll. But then the tables turned and I started asking about the nearest ATM. In the middle of the woods. I googled my way to a bank and came back and loaded up the car.

I am going to line the flower bed over on the other corner of the house as well but as long as the weather is good all energy goes into getting this house painted.

Fall is coming on like gangbusters and this is lovely Maple Ave in color!

Tomorrow I go to the Doorjamb to buy a new basement door. And since it is raining I am sanding the front door and all the trim around it. It's the only task that is under a roof. If I am lucky I will also have time for a dump run! This weekend is supposed to be nice so maybe I will get to finish sanding the porch and to mow the last bit of grass. Just in time to start raking leaves. James is coming in tomorrow night and will get to work first thing on saturday with caulking and priming. And sanding and painting.

It is so relaxing to have a house in the country.