Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let the mensturals rejoice!

Apple has presented their new iPad. Most menstrual name ever? Yes. Do I want one? Also, yes. Maybe if I put my iTouch under my pillow tonight it will grow into a big iPad like in this picture. I'm a dreamer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



It was snowing today in my part of Italy. Beautiful, steady flakes for over three hours. None of it stuck and had stopped by the time I left work. But for those three hours I was a little kid from Virginia excited at the prospect of no school. I kept getting up from my desk to peek out the window, making sure the snow kept up its hard work of keeping me distracted. I checked the weather online and the internets said that it's supposed to snow on and off all night. Hope springs eternal.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cecilia turns 25


Yesterday was Cecilia's birthday. She turned 25, as you can see by the crown we made her.


We also made ourselves party hats and found some cute animal noses to add to the festivities. I was the elephant. Even though you can't see it in that picture, I was smiling. Maybe you can tell from my smiling eyes.


Missy (the wearer of the pig nose) brought the salad. I made the Pioneer Woman's stuffed mushrooms. The mushrooms are filled with cream cheese, onions, garlic, white wine and sausage.

The chicken is from the new cookbook I got in the mail last week: Nigella Express. It has four ingredients: chicken, garlic infused olive oil, bacon and white wine. It was moist, it was bacony, it made me do my happy dance. (I'm not kidding. I do a little happy dance in my seat when I eat good food.)


Finally to top it off we had cornbread. When I asked Cecilia what she wanted for her birthday dinner the only answer I got from her was, "Umm.... Oh! cornbread." Cornbread it was.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The girls

Cecilia turns 25 tomorrow. We girls know how to throw a wild party. Will post the menu and details tomorrow.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Turkey Chili

I made turkey chili last week. I made it and froze some and fridged some. All of the internets say that PLANNING and making AHEAD is the way to succeed at... everything. Weight loss, saving money, curing what ails you, and the secret to life.

So I tried it and I think the internets are on to something. Planning really might be the secret to life. The jury's still out on whether it's a secret that really wants to be found out or not, but the internets do know something.

Now, about the bowling turkey. I have every intention of coming home tonight and taking a picture of my final portion of turkey chili. I was going to grate some cheddar cheese on top and take a beautiful photograph. But when I got home I was hungry and I ate the chili. Because it was delicious. So instead of a picture of an empty bowl, you get a bowling turkey. Fair trade.

This is a very rough recipe because I mostly just threw in stuff that I had in my fridge, which is really something wonderful about chili. It can be made differently every time and still come out delicious.

Turkey Chili of Last Week

3/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms,
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
32 oz can crushed tomatoes
16 oz can kidney beans
1 Tablespoon chili powder
3 shakes red pepper
2 Teaspoons Oregano

In a large pot saute onion, mushrooms and garlic while browning the ground turkey. Once the turkey is cooked through and the onions are transparent, add the crushed tomatoes, drained kidney beans, chili powder, red pepper and oregano. Stir together and let cook 30-45 minutes until flavors are nicely combined.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shakespeare and Company

This to date is my favorite spot in Paris. It's a little book shop a stone's throw from Notre Dame.

Shakespeare and Company was established by an American woman at the turn of the 19th century.


Hoards of American writers flocked here during prohibition time so they could find their muse.


AKA, get drunkity drunk drunk.


The likes of Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Oscar Wilde are said to have hung out here.


I bought Elizabeth Gilbert's new book Committed while I was here and a canvas book bag with a picture of the store front on it. I wish I could have spent the rest of the afternoon here. But it was raining (how poetic!) and there was Chinese food to be eaten.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Paris in pictures


Trip stats:
Times locked in or out of the metro due to faulty all day ticket: 7
Croissants eaten: 12
Books bought: 1
Monets seen: 3 floors worth
Nights of Chinese: 1
Late night fights over heard: 1
Beds per person: .5
Smelly Europeans next to me on flight: 1
Crepes: 1.5

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bon weekend!

I'm going to Paris this weekend. I've never been. Can you believe that I've lived in Europe for 3 1/2 years and I've never been to Paris? C'est la vie.

One of the dreams I have is eating my way through France. When I went to Lyon last year I couldn't get over how good everything was. And I live in Italy. I'm taking my camera and plan to take lots of pictures and remember how everything tasted.
I can't wait. Have a great (3-day for my American friends) weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help Haiti

Looking for some ways to help the people in Haiti? Here's a few I've found:

CNN listed a number of charities that are helping out in Haiti. Please visit their websites for further information.

The Red Cross is donating $10 for every "Haiti" text they get to 90999.

Yoko Ono is telling people about helpful charities too.

Joyce Meyer Ministires already had missions set up in Haiti and are there as first responders. Here's how you can help them help Haiti.

My good friend Jocelyn was in Haiti doing missions when the earthquake hurt. She's safe, and the people she is staying with are ok, but their building is in shambles. Please keep them, and all of Haiti, in your prayers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

French Milk

French Milk by Lucy Knisley is my first graphic novel. I am so inspired by this book. I am starting to get into art journaling. French Milk is Lucy's journal of her trip to Paris with her mother for 5 weeks. It includes pictures and drawings and explinations. Plus Lucy is kind of a foodie like myself and documents what they eat the whole time, which I love. Some of the reason this book really hit home with me is because I love hearing people's stories. What they did, what it looks like, what they were feeling. Knisley encompassed all of that.
I borrowed this book from the library, but am seriously thinking about buying this book so I can study her sketches and be inspired over and over.
This weekend over President's day I'm going to Paris with Cecilia. After reading French Milk I'm even more excited for my trip. We plan on hitting all of the major tourist attractions one day and the Palace of Versailles the next. I'm not sure if this is true, but I heard that you can rent golf carts to drive around the grounds of Versailles. I hope it's so. I hope it in my heart of hearts.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New shoes for school

This past week was pretty intense for me because I was working the split shift (which means 0545-0945 then again 1300-1800, rough). So yesterday I woke up at 6 am and felt like I had slept until 11. On my break in the middle of the day I worked on school work, so by the time I got home at 7 my brain was pudding. I was just functioning enough to pour cereal in a bowl then pour myself into bed at 815. I'm not kidding. Last week I was in bed by 815 every night. Wild, I know.

It's given me a lot perspective on the American lifestyle. Work, work, work isn't healthy. I'm going to be very glad to have my quiet mornings again to work on school work and exercise and sip tea. All good productive things. I like to take a little time at the end of everyday to sit and think about my day. What was good. What was wasted. How to change tomorrow. Quiet tea in the morning? Good. Exercise? Good. Watching E! in the morning for 2 hours before work? Waste.

The school work went great, so to reward myself I went shopping:

Please notice the cute head band and adorable Italian sneaks.

That silver stripe is full of sparkles, didn't really come out in the picture. I've been looking for black sneaks for MONTHS. Plus these are velcro, I LOVE velcro. You don't have to waste all that time with tying and re-tying and double knots.

Maybe I'll post some pictures on adventures my new shoes are going to take. I'm so glad to be back to the land of the living.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pasta con pepperoni

I'm not usually a pepper girl. Black pepper? Yes, please! Some heat I can handle, but the taste of peppers themselves? I'll pass. That was until last Sunday when I went to Giovanna's house and she made a peppery cream sauce. It was outstanding.


Even though I watched as Giovanna prepared the simple dish, I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to create it myself. Since I was preparing it for some friends, I thought something would go wrong. It's just like me to make a dish I've never made to bring to a potluck or serve at a party. Preparing something you KNOW is going to taste good is boring, especially for me since my guinea pig is currently MIA.


The girls loved it.


Pasta con pepperoni

1 small onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pint light cream
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound pasta
parmesean cheese (added at table to taste)

Chop onion and peppers. Coat pan with olive oil and add chopped onions and peppers. Let simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile set a pot of water to boil then cook pasta to taste (11 minutes for al dente). Add the salt and pepper and cream while the pasta is cooking and let reduce into a sauce. Once the pasta is finished strain it and add to the sauce. Serve with parmesean cheese and watch the people at the table light up.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ciao 2010!

I spent the first half of yesterday relaxing and journaling and welcoming 2010. The second part of the day I spent rumping through Venice. I hope that yesterday is representative of how 2010 treats me. Quiet, reflective and adventurous, observing.

Venice is still bearing a fair amount of their Christmas lights.
venice lights 5

rialto lights

A lot of the stores were closed because they were observing the new year holiday (as you can see of this picture taken on the Rialto bridge.

rialto 4


Welcome 2010. I can't wait to start our adventure together.