Saturday, December 30, 2006

I had another Katy dream adaptation of Florence the other night.
There is a very yummy and regional soup that you can only find this time of year in Florence called Ribolitta. In English is means "Reheated" because the more you use it as leftovers the better it tastes.
I went to this little Tavola calda after class in the winter and had this soup with a side of roasted chicken for lunch with my friends. That's been a hard experience to replicate. It took a long time to find this recipe. However, since the surgance of Rachel Ray its in her cookbooks. You can also find Pasta Carbonara which is "bacon and eggs" pasta- a Roman delicacy. I think that the word Carbonara comes from the family name Carbonari and is a secret society today. Or it could have something to do with the cooking process involving coal. I like the former idea better. Rachel Ray calls it, "Coal Miner's pasta". She's probably right.

Here are the recipes:

-means “reheated” in Italian- soup that tastes better with each reheating. Also, a native Tuscan staple food in the winter time.
1. 2 onions
2. 6 Carrots
3. 4 ribs of celery
4. Fresh Parsley to taste
5. Cubed bread (day old, stale is fine)
6. Curly chard (handful or two- chopped)
7. 4-5 cloves of garlic
8. 5 large tomatoes
9. A heel of parmigiana (grate the actual cheese part for sprinkling on top)
10. Vegetable stock or meat stock
11. 1 lb of white Tuscan beans (Great Northern work fine)
*You can also put in any leftover pasta, green beans, peas, pancetta, and potatoes)

directions: Prepare a lb of white beans (Well washed). Cover w/ water in a stock pot and bring them to a boil. Take them off the heat and let them sit in the water for a couple of hours. Add more water to cover, add seasonings, and simmer until barely done. They should be watched because they ten to become mushy soon after they are done.
Clean and cut into medium dice: Onion, carrot, celery, curly cabbage or chard, garlic, and tomatoes. Mince a bunch of parsley. Saute the onion and carrots in olive oil.
After a few minutes, add the celery, then the chard and the garlic, adding more oil as needed.
Cook 10 min.s then add tomatoes, a heel of parmigiano and the beans. Add enough stock (vegetable, chix, or beef) to cover. Bring to boil, then simmer 1 hr to blend flavors. Add the cubes of bread. Allow to rest for several hours. Add parsley, reheat, and serve w/grated parmigiano on top and olive oil to pass around the table. Finally, add leftovers.
(Makes 15 servings depending on stock)

Pasta Carbonara:

makes 4 generous servings

1 lb spaghetti
a drizzle, plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I like 1st cold pressed *KO)
1/3 lb pancetta, chopped (Italian meat (Bacon) available at deli counter or specialty meats and cheeses section of grocer)
4 or 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped (*KO says do the work and chop it your self - do not buy pre-chopped garlic)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, w few pinches, crushed in palm of hand.
1/2 c white wine or chicken stock
2 lg egg yolks or 1/2 pt container of pasteurized egg product
1/4 c boiling water
1/4 cp grated Parmigiano Reggiano chz (2 handfuls) plus extra or passing at table (again- do the work and grate it yourself from an authentic Italian cheese *KO)
a handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
coarse salt (a must have in every serious food lovers kitchen), to taste
several grinds of black pepper (again no shaker of pepper- you should have a grinder with good peppercorns)

Warning: do not drain pasta until you complete step 3!

1. Place a large pot of water on the stove and when it comes to a rolling boil, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente (to the tooth), about 7 to 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Saute pancetta in a drizzle of oil until it browns, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 tbls olive oil, garlic and crushes pepper flakes and saute, 2 minutes. Add wine or stock to pan and reduce liquid by half, about 1 min.

3. Beat together egg yolks or egg product, and while whisking vigorously stir in a ladle of the boiling pasta water.

Drain pasta, and add pasta to pan with pancetta and garlic and remove from heat. Add egg mixture, cheese, parsley, salt, black pepper and toss 2 minutes until sauce is absorbed and thickly coating the pasta. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately with extra cheese

Friday, December 29, 2006

As embarrassing as this is for me to post... In light of the Gini essays on G-ma and G-pa O: here is a very early Katy artwork (circa 1990)... Mikey wrote an essay on Grandpa O and I drew them... I think Grandma O would have been happy that I drew her thin (although I wasn't trying to at the time).

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

(this is the same quiz from last year... thought I would repost and cross reference my 2005-2006 with my 2006-07 answers.)
The New Year's quiz
1. what did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
2005: Plan wedding
2006: Married and Honeymoon!
2. did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
2005:I kept most of them at one time or another. I didn't go to Europe with Kent, however.
2006:I accomplished a few more (I keep a list on the fridge and a few more are checked off).

3. did anyone close to you give birth?
2005:My Cousin Chu had his second baby this year.
2006: My friends Genevieve and Rich had Joshua and Chris and Trish had Madeline
4. did anyone close to you die?
2005:My grandpa Charles Anthony Wuennemann died around St. Patty's day
2006: No, thank goodness
5. what countries did you visit?
2005: Mexico and America
2006: Mexico and America
6. what would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
2005: more money and a single job that makes me happy.
2006: More time with Kent (travel)
7. what date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
2005: Hurricane Katrina and the poor doggies left in the storm.
2006: September 2nd: My wedding!
8. what was your biggest achievement of the year?
2005: Being a good girlfriend to Kent and trying to be a good friend.
2006: Getting "one job to rule them all!"
9. what was your biggest failure?
2005: Not going to Europe.
2006: Getting into Guitar Lessons and having to bow out after a month because I didn't have time to practice.
10. did you suffer illness or injury?
2005: It was decided that I suffer of depression
2006: A sprained ankle, sprained wrist, and a bout with a digestive virus
11. what was the best thing you bought?
2005: I bought a bike off my friend, Melissa's, Dad.
2006: I got a lot of gifts this year so I didn't buy anything too major. Maybe my Honeymoon...
12. whose behavior merited celebration?
2005: My girlfriend Genevieve and her husband Dr. Rich got knocked up!
2006: Everyone who went to my wedding! Thanks for coming- everyone was a joy to be with!
13. whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
2005: I plea the right to stay silent!
2006: Oh my, this really is an incriminating question. You know who you are...
14. where did most of your money go?
2005: Bills.
2006: Wedding stuff or bills.
15. what did you get really, really, really excited about?
2005: Planning my wedding, the prospect of moving and going to school, seeing my parents.
2006: Getting Married and going on my honeymoon. Quitting the school job and working at Reach.
16. what song(s) will always remind you of 2005?
2005: ?
2006: "Fly me to the Moon" - Frank Sinatra
17. compared to this time last year, are you
i. happier or sadder?:
2005: Happy- horray for medication!
2006: Happier (not due to meds :)
ii. thinner or fatter?:
2005: maybe a little fatter
2006: a little thinner
iii. richer or poorer?:
2005: Approximately the same.
2006: richer (a little)
18. what do you wish you’d done more of?
2005: Traveling
2006: Camping
19. what do you wish you’d done less of?
2005: sleeping. I slept most of 2005 away.
2006: watching TV
20. how did you spend christmas?
2005: With my honey, Kent, warm and cozy.
2006: with Mom and Dad (lots of food and fun!)
22. did you fall in love in 2005?
2005:I am always falling in love again with Kent.
2006: ditto
23. what was your favorite TV program?
2005: Project Runway
2006: Lost
24. do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
2005: No
2006: Sort retrospect
25. what was the best book you read?
2005: Harry Potter #6 was pretty good.
2006: another Douglas Adams book. They are pretty funny
your greatest musical discovery?
2005: That I hate R. Kelly's multi par song "In the closet"
2006: Shakira SHAKIRA!!!
(I don’t know what happened to 27 and 28)
29. what did you want and get?
2005: I wanted a nice place to have a wedding and I got it... wedding still on the way!
2006: a happy and joyous family filled wedding!
30. what did you want and not get?
2005: I generally want too much so I won't bore you with the list.
2006: (shhhhh.... a wedding band)
31. what was your favorite film of this year?
2005: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
2006: maybe "Running with Scissors"
32. what did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
2005: I turned 28. I can't remember. Must not have been too exciting. Unless it was the one where I got the New England travel guide from Andy and JR- In which case I had a nice breakfast at my friends' Melissa and Sarah's house.
2006: Low key again. I think it was a nice european lunch with my friends and dinner with Kent.
33. what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
2005: Traveling to Europe with Kent.
2006: Ditto
34. how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
2005: Kinda sloppy. Sometimes i dressed up but mostly I just wore what I've been wearing for the last four-ten years. I don't buy new clothes very often.
2006: Improved... more assecories and a little more razzle dazzle.
35. what kept you sane?
2005: Looking forward to moving, going to grad school, my friends, and Kent.
2006: Knitting
36. which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
2005: Definitly Colin Firth.
2006: Maybe Johnny Depp
37. what political issue stirred you the most?
2005: Hurricane Katrina and the poor doggies that were left in the storm.
2006: Gay Marriage... want my friends to be able to get legally married in name.
38. who did you miss?
2005: My parents in Mexico and Kara in Australia.
2006: My brothers and their kids... after getting a taste of my family I want more of that too!
39. who was the best new person you met?
2005: i think my best new people are the new associates that worked in the same classroom with me, Jessica Gordon and Brian Rath.
2006: Friends from work at Reach.
40. tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:
2005: There is no such thing as constructive criticism. To construct is to build up and to cricize is to break down and pick apart.
2006: Stay cool- don't lost yourself to stress.
41. quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
2005: The lyrics to "I'm telling you now" by Keb Mo'
2006: Lryics to "my hips don't lie" - FUN FUN FUN (Chicago's bachelorette party, the wedding, and out with my friends! Also a lot of workouts to my ipod)
Honorable Father in law dressed in his new overalls from Katy.
It was a very special Christmas. Mom kept saying, "Ohhhhhhh! I don't want today to end!"
Christmas is her favorite thing in the whole world second to any grandbabies that come her way...
I had the pleasure of giving some very special gifts as well as receiving a few.

For giving:
I got my honorable father-in-law overalls and a denim hat to match... I will post a pic. His father was Kent's favorite person growing up. He had a farm and kept squirrels (sort of like pets) in the bibs of his overalls and would feed them little things from time to time (as Kent tells the story). He would also get up in the middle of a meal because he thought he heard a rabbit or a raccoon getting into things and shoot his shotgun out at the yard.
Anyway, Duane was delighted by his overalls and hat. He put them on right away. I got down on my hands and knees and I folded up the cuffs to mark where they should be hemmed. I took them to my mom to hem and back to CR on the way home. When we drove up into the Olson's driveway Duane popped out of no where for his overall almost as if he had been waiting for them all morning long.
I got our nephew AJ (you may remember him as the usher at my wedding) a PSP game-thingy. He was confused by our generosity and we had to convince him that he could take it home with him.

For Getting:
Aunt Gini put together a very special collection of Obert memories. The complaint letters made me laugh out loud and a few of the stories choked up tears in my throat. All x-mas morning Dad, Mom and I read excerpts out loud and laughed and shared.
Excellent gift Gini. Good job putting that disclaimer in the front too! Way to stay one step ahead of the game! If someone has a different recollection they can write it in! It would be cool to see all the different versions of the same story.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I'm addicted to

It started out as an art project where people mailed creative postcards with very personal secrets divulged on them. Now they are scanned into this blog and changed every Sunday.

I haven't mailed a secret in yet...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Here is our beautiful sleeping X-mas pup.

isn't she cuuuuuute?

Monday, December 11, 2006

I've spent so much of this last month in a hibernation mode. I don't know if I'm subconsciously self medicating or if I'm just plain lazy but every night I've been coming home, cooking something for Kent, settling into my knitting and my television.
Tonight I did just that once again. However, instead of just watching television I decided to rent movies. I rented "Click"- that one produced by Adam Sandler.
It hit a resonate chord with me somehow. It made me realize that sometimes we live our lives in auto-pilot and before we know it a month goes by, then a year, then five years...
The guy in the movie is so anxious to make life better for himself and his family he fast forwards through the struggle to find that he lived his whole life with only one goal in mind and missed out on love, family, and himself.
I'm 29... I'll be thirty in April.
Its not old but I find that I keep looking to the next, "what's next..." Family? Marriage? Babies? A promotion? A move?
I have parents 45 min.s away. for the first time in about 6 years. My brothers haven't lives close to their parents since about 1990. That would be 16 years.
In that 16 years we have probably spent about 4 months of it as a family. Five of us: Mother, Father, two brothers and a sister.
Every one's life is different and it is what it is. Shit, Kent lives 25 min.s from his mother and father and see them only on holidays. When its all said and done, I wouldn't have it any other way. My brother, Chris, lives a very happy life in Seattle and has a beautiful wife and daughter and lots of family to bother him on a regular basis. My brother Mike also is happily married with a hilarious and joyful son in sunny weather and has a successful career. We are all strong, capable, and complete individuals.
Mom and Pop-o have traveled the world over and have seen many wonderful things.
Pop-o wants us to take a summer vacations in the Rocky Mountains. All of us with each our consecutive families. I guess uploading all those slides to his computer has made him a little nostalgic too...
I told him that I didn't know. That Kent and I were thinking of a trip to Europe. Pop-o said, "I understand, You guys have your dreams" and I smiled.
I think Kent and I may not worry about that for now. There will always be Europe (well, maybe not Venice but Venice smells funny anyway). If everyone is willing then so am I. Who am I to argue with good timing?