Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I hate it when.....

It's already been "one of those" weeks. Nothing major going wrong, but it's just not going as smoothly as I hoped.

I hate it when I use up an ingredient I'll need later in the week. This time, it was onion. I cooked up some ground turkey breast on Monday for use in quesadillas. To give the meat more flavor, I figured I'd throw in some chopped onion as a bonus. Too bad I forgot I needed that onion to make sausage gravy later in the week. Ooops.

I hate it when things are deceptively packaged. The local grocery store had a sale awhile back on pork tenderloing, a two for one, so I picked up a couple. What I thought was one nice, big, fat tenderloin was indeed two smooshed together in the vaccuum pack thing. No fair! I hate cooking with those skinny ones. I ended up throwing it in my small crockpot with some salsa to shread it later. That will go in to the freezer and get pulled out at a future date. Perhaps the week after we get back from Vegas.

I hate it when the supposedly "microwave safe" plastic containers melt in the microwave. Seriously... it was only two minutes! It should not have happened, and I hate it more when it creates the mess it did.

I hate it when I learn the hard way that you should be early to lunch meetings where they're bringing in sandwiches for everyone. No choice in sandwich for me (I ended up with roast beef). It's not like you can turn around at that point and head out for lunch.

I hate it when I get a new cooking magazine and there is nothing good in it.

I hate it when I have a feeling how I should change up the recipe for something and I don't do it. Happened with the malted milk ice cream. I knew I should have left the malted milk balls out and just sprinkled some on top rather than mixing them in to the ice cream before it finished freezing.

I hate it when I am a mere eight days away from being in Vegas. I wanna be in Vegas NOW.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday in the Kitchen with the Hausfrau

I love lazy Sundays in the kitchen.

Well, I guess they're not that lazy, since they tend to involve a lot of cooking. Which I love. And cleaning of the kitchen. Which I hate.

Today's efforts so far....

Thai Chicken Soup. I saw them make this on America's Test Kitchen yesterday afternoon, and I've been jonesing for some Tom Kha Kai, which this basically is. I'm currently in the unlucky position of being cut off from my Thai food dealer, a former co-worker, who has taken a job in another state. I think his wife may still be running the resteraunt here for a few months, but it's no where near close to work or home, so the chances that I'd make it there are slim to none. But, the local produce mart is well stocked with Asian pantry items and some produce items, so it's not too far of a stretch to try and make some of the stuff at home. I used light coconut milk in the soup and panang curry paste since I prefer it over red curry paste, but I do have to say this stuff rocked. I happily slurped down a big bowl for lunch, and carefully packaged up the rest for future eating. I'm usually a stickler for some kind of starch in a soup - noodles or potatoes or something - but in this soup I did not miss it a bit. I even forgot to get lemongrass yesterday, and the soup was still wonderful.

Also have the mixture made up for a Chocolate Malted Ice Cream. Kinda combining two recipes out of the Perfect Scoop cookbook, since we're huuuuuge fans of malted chocolate shakes from Culvers. A taste test of just the mixture has me thinking the final product will not suck. It's chilling in the fridge, in an hour or so I'll probably put it in the ice cream maker, then it'll chill in the freezer until after dinner.

For dinner, I'm finally doing a belated V-Day meal, with butter poached lobster tails, some boursin mashed potatoes (to use up what didn't make it in to my omelette last week), a salad, and perhaps I'll crack open the shrimp bisque I bought yesterday. I headed out to a not-nearby Meijer store since they carry some awesome soups - Hope & Tims Fresh Soups - that I got addicted to when my local grocery store carried them. But, the store no longer carries them, and I've been less than thrilled by the replacement, especially since they didn't carry the lobster bisque that was like crack to me. The Meijer didn't have the lobster bisque, but I'll happily try the shrimp one. The stuff is actually packaged as a Meijer brand, but I'm hopeful.

Last night was Fish with Creamy Leeks for me and a steak for the hubby. I loved the fish and the sauce.... so much so that the sauce also topped my baked potato. So good, and so easy. It even "held" very well.... I finished that up before I even cooked the steak for the hubby, and I just clamped on the lid and let it sit while I dealt with the rest of the meal and it was still wonderful and warm by the time I plated it. So good.

Ok. Off to do more Hausfrau-ish things than blogging. In addition to the mess currently in my kitchen, I was hoping to get the bathroom wiped down and some general cleaning done so I'm not swamped next weekend. I always like to leave a realitively clean house before I go on vacation - nothing sucks worse than coming home from a place with maid service to a dirty house - and I've got my work cut out for me. And, between the lobster, ice cream and everything else on the agenda for dinner, I need to get in some excercise! I'm still doing well, down another pound this week, although I'm slightly peeved since they is one thing I bought for Vegas that I don't think will fit by then. Oh well. Just something else to look forward to.....

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Some things just should never be....

There are very few food concepts that totally distrub me. I don't mind mixing of meats and fruits, I don't have problems eating at greasy spoon places where things may not be perfectly clean (heck, a lot of those kitchens just remind me of my own...) but there are some things that are just wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Where I grew up, we weren't far from the "red light" district of the area. Depending on which grocery store we were shopping at on any given Saturday, we might pass one of the areas.

When I was old enough to understand that a strip club was a place where woman took off their clothes and men paid them money, I wasn't so shocked by it. But I was utterly shocked that every club advertised a "Free Weekday Lunch Brunch". The thought of food at a strip club is wrong. Just wrong. It is two things that do not mix.

Hamburgers at the zoo. I always thought ground meat was kinda suspect, and every trip I ever took to the zoo, I insisted on bringing food from home because even when I was five, I knew that'd be the only way I was ever sure there was no zebra in my food.

Gas station food. Like last night, we saw a commcerial that suggested leaving your office and going to pick up a salad at the gas station for a quick, convenient lunch. Ick? Always reminds me of the episode of Futurama with the "toilet sandwich".... one of the characters eats an egg salad sandwich out of a vending machine in the bathroom at a truck stop and hilarity ensues.

Today I saw a new one... walking thru the grocery section of a store, and like most places around here they had a little refridgerated section with some sushi. I actually like the stuff from some of them... it's made fresh, on sight each day and while it's not as good or swanky as a sushi joint, it's good.


In the case, they had some decent looking stuff which I was actually thinking about until my eyes came to a section where each container had a big, orange sticker on it that proclaimed "20% off!!!!!" As I looked, horrified, I noticed a couple more containers that even boasted 30% off.

Yeah. All I saw was 30% less confidence in the quality of the stuff.

Reduced price sushi = bad. I'm smart enough that I knew to avoid the seafood buffet at the Boardwalk when it was still standing in Vegas... and discount sushi is about as bad, at least in my mind. Ew.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not that bad of a b-day....

B-Day was yesterday.

Busy at work, fighting technology and a wonky internet connection that wouldn't let me send stuff to the machine that we use to make CDs, but I got outta work pretty much on time, traffic home wasn't bad, and we were going out for burgers for dinner.

At the burger place (Hackneys) we each got a black & tan, I had a cup of chili, we split an order of their "onion loaf" which is basically onions dipped in batter, then formed in to a loaf and fried. I'd tried it before at another location, but it was greasy and not nearly as good as the one last night.

Night was quiet. I'll take it.

I've had some awful birthdays in the past. When I turned 13, my best friend forgot my birthday. On my 20th birthday, I had an awful day of work, and awful day of college classes, due to a billing mistake my phone got turned off and I couldn't even call out to order myself some Chinese food for dinner. When I finally used my roommate's phone to called the now-hubby, in tears, to moan about my horrible day, his response was "But... your birthday is tomorow!" Um, no, I think I know when it is! We'd been dating about a year and a half (one birthday) and he apparently messed up the date of my b-day with one of his friends. I just took it as the shitty icing on the craptacular cake of the day. But he hasn't messed up the day since.

My 27th birthday (it seems to happen every 7 years) the hubby got laid off, I had to call five different pizza places to find one that actually had shrimp (everyone seemed to be out of it) to get my favorite shrimp & garlic pizza for dinner. But on the bright side, we did find a new pizza place that is still our favorite.

Yeah. For my 34th birthday, I already plan to crawl in a hole and hide the entire day.

Not much else happening. Work is busy, looking forward to being in Vegas in two weeks. Made omelettes for dinner tonight to use up some egg whites so I now have the 6 egg yolks on hand to make the Malted Milk ice cream from the Perfect Scoop cookbook, but when I went to make the actual mixture I found I was low on sugar. Guess that might wait until Saturday or Sunday.

I did make the blackberry-banana sorbet, yum. When I first ran it past the hubby he said "what could be bad about that?" but when I offered him some when it was done, he said "banana? Ew!" Yep. He listens GOOD.

Not sure what the weekend plans are yet... have to bring in the truck for an oil change, and I know my brother in law is trying to do some kind of get together for my sis in law's b-day, which is tomorrow. We'll see. Although I'm not looking forward to dealing with going to a now non-smoking bar when I have to run outside for a smoke in these frigid temps, but rumor has it the place has a "special" area for some folks, and with the amount of money my huband and his brothers and cousins have dumped in to that place over the year, we better qualify as special!

Monday, February 18, 2008

"They" say this is a bad flu season.....

... and boy howdy are "they" right.

I kept hearing over the weekend that across the US the flu season is kicking in to high gear, partly because the strain that is going around isn't covered by the flu shot.

But yeah, it's bad. I think I'm finally feeling 95% human again. Hurray!! I think the hubster is at least at 90%, which is good since he got it way worse that I did.

And I want to buy stock in the company that makes Zicam. That stuff rocks.

Cooking has still been fairly lame around here... freezer diving for chili over cheese/green chile tamales for dinner tonight. Always tasty, though. Tomorrow will be a pot roast. Woo hoo. Thinking of changing it up at least a little and throwing in some peppers and a can of tomatoes (also might be good since I believe I'm low on beef stock). Last night was Polish sausage, cabbage, potatoes and pierogies. Nothing special, but always hits the spot.

I have the third anniversary of my 29th birthday (grin) looming this week, and right now the plan is to go out to dinner. Even if we don't, I still ain't cooking.

Weight loss has been stalled with the sickness, but I'm not surprised since when I'm sick I tend to pound massive amounts of OJ and chicken soup without regard to anything else but getting the sickness outta my body. It's what works for me.

I was excited that blackberries were on sale this week at the grocery store, I bought some and made the base for the Blackberry-Banana Sorbet outta the Perfect Scoop cookbook last night (throw a bunch of blueberries, a banana, some sugar and water in the food processor, puree it all then strain - pretty easy) but I still I have throw that in the ice cream maker. I might actually do that now, so we can have a treat tomorrow night....

But back on track this week (as much as possible with a burger pig-out planned for my b-day) in hopes I can drop just a couple more before we hit Vegas.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The best laid plans....

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!!!

Yeah. So. Best Laid Plans.

At the start of this week, the plan was to do butter poached lobster tails and some nice boursin mashed potatoes and roasted veg for dinner tonight, with a nice salad and a maybe a little treat for desert.


On Monday, my co-worked came in to work feeling mildly sick at the start of the day, and spewing a full-blown pox about the office by the end of the day. Woke up Tuesday and I could feel it coming on, so I ran out at lunch and picked up some Zicam and started popping those like mad. By the evening, I knew I was getting sick.

Yesterday, felt a lot like I'd been run over by a truck but otherwise fine. The original plan was to do the poaching step for the lobsters last night, I was even thinking about using up my stock of frozen lobster shells to start some bisque, but it took every ounce of energy I had to pop open a couple cans of soup and heat them in the microwave. Hubby also felt like he was coming down with a little something. The lobster tails made their way back in to the freezer.

This morning, I awoke to the magical sounds of the hubby hacking in to the porcelain god. In the entire time I've known him.... 14 years.... I've never, ever, known him to get sick from a cold/bug. Yet he was. And was running a 102 fever.

I still felt OK, I knew he just wanted to sleep and I figured it'd be easier with the house quiet, so I headed off to work. At some point in the day, I realized I might actually be feeling somewhat human again. Came home where the hubby was still pretty much out cold. When he woke up, took his temp, and at least it dropped a bit.

Had to pick up a couple things and I knew I was ready to eat a non-soup meal, so I hit Potbelly's Sandwich Works and picked up a sammich, some soup and a shake. I thought I might be able to tempt the hubby's tummy with the shake. But, got home, and found they gave me the wrong soup (hey, I am still trying to stay within the realms of my diet) but the hubby took that. I'm stopping with half the shake gone.

So.... no lobstser, no nice, romantical mid-week meal for us. Might do it over the weeked if we get to a point where we both feel human again.

Right now, it looks like my evening will be spent doing some work for Old Company. Happy Valentine's Day to me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm really, really sick of the snow.

Driving home last week during the big snow dump we had. They at least let us leave early (I got out about 2:30pm) but my usual 20 minute drive took about an hour and half. Notice the only "clear" spot in the roads is the ruts, and the six inch high sludge.

And this is what happens when I've had the heat on for awhile and I stop on a decline and all the snow slides off the top of my car roof....

And this is what it looks like when I get home to find they shoveled the neighbor's driveway... and threw all the snow in our driveway for some reason...

It was about 8pm before they shoveled out our driveway. Nice.

We've got more snow on the way tonight, but it shouldn't be more than a couple inches.

Tonight was a yummy dinner for me...

That is the Trout with Haricots Verts and Almonds (FYI... Hericot Verts = Fancy French Green Beans) done with a slightly different execution. I was doing it for just me (gave the hubby a steak to naw on) so I steamed the fish filet with the green beans in the microwave, cut it down to a tablespoon of browned butter. But oooooooohsoyummygood. And man, I love love love those microwave steamer bags.

We've got more snow on tap for tonight/tomorrow. Oh yay. Not as exciting of a food day, either... it will either be the chicken breasts with the avocado salsa or the Polish spaghetti. I'm thinking with looking forward to travel hell in the morning and possibly in the evening, it might be the p'sketti.

Sunday, February 10, 2008



I will admit, I am one of those people that could probably live for a few weeks, if not a couple months, off all the food I have in the freezer and pantry.

Yesterday and today, I decided to do some cleaning/inventory of what I've got around. It has been awhile since I've done it.

I had no idea Stove Top had an expiration date. Threw out three boxes.

Anything I found in the freezer that had a 2006 date on it went.

I've got about 6 cans of cream of mushroom soup. I don't use it that often. Why do I have six cans???

The plan for dinner tonight is some meatballs, maybe spaghetti, and finally going to smoosh together two recipes I saw on PBS recently in to one and make some asparagus & green onion manicotti, since asparagus was 99 cents a pound (it's been like four bucks a pound FOREVER, it seems) at the produce mart this week.

I bought some ground beef yesterday, and knew I had some sausage around somewhere from he recent deep dish pizzas. I didn't find the sausage in my freezers, but I did find what ended up to be five pounds of already cooked & frozen meatballs in sauce. Five pounds FIVE. Guess I'll be using up those before making any new batches....

I've also apparently been stockpiling fish. Which is odd, since the hubby doesn't like fish. I do, and I've decided I want to get it in to my diet more often, so about once a week I'm going to just buck it up and make him a steak or something and do fish for myself. I did finally buckle and buy some lake trout at the produce mart yesterday, so the plan tomorrow is a steak for the hubby and the Trout with Haricots Verts and Almonds for me. Looking forward to it.

But, I found that I also had some frozen rainbow trout in the fridge, and salmon, and hailbut and cod. Why?? It at least looks like I'm good for awhile on the fish I do have.

Anyway... the plan for the week....

  • Sunday - Spaghetti & Meatballs & Manicotti. Might also attempt some french bread from scratch. Bye bye, five pounds of freezer meatballs....
  • Monday - Steak for the hubby, trout for me, some steamed veg and baked potatoes. I'll used the trout I bought this weekend.
  • Tuesday - A chicken breast with avocado/red onion relish thing from the recent Everyday Food issue. If my avocado holds out that long, all they had at the produce mart yesterday was some pretty close to ripe ones.
  • Wednesday - Polish spaghetti. This is from the hubby's family. And it'll use up some of the cream of mushroom soup. It's one of those recipes that is pure comfort food for the hubby, and although trashy and questionable, there is something that I love about it. Might be all the sodium. Brown up a pound of ground beef and a chopped onion, then dump in a can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of tomato soup, a sprikle of garlic powder, and some cooked elbow macaroni (yes, I know, there is nothing "spaghetti" or "Polish" about it. I know. It's just one of those "family names" for a recipe.... like growing up, my family had "slimey pork chops", which we all loved, but called by that name). A sprinkle of shredded cheese on top is optional.
  • Thursday - Buttah poached lobsta. Hey, it is Valentines Day. I think it's a good excuse to poach lobster tails in a pound of butter, don't you?? I'll even get the lobsters prepped on Wednesday, which means it will be a breeze to do on Thursday. Although I'm not realizing I forgot to buy a leek at the store yesterday. Darn it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Random MP3 Player Fun

Yeah, I do have more Hausfrau-ish things to talk about... like the hell drives thru snowstorms too many times this week (with pictures) and making biscuits from scratch tonight. But I don't have the mental capacity to do that right now. A day of program crashes and frustraiting work at the 9 to 5 job, and people who won't take "no" as the actual answer to their question at the after-hours gig.

So... Random MP3 Player Fun!! Hey... he does them and I enjoy them....

The next 10 songs on my random playlist and why I love them....
  1. Lords on 45 by Lords of Acid - I'm mainly a rock gal, but I love me some raunchy techno. So much fun to get out on a dance floor and go wild. I actually got in to the Lords in high school when I was attempting to do music reviews for the school paper, and mailed (a real, paper, letter - remember those days??) every damned record company that I was able to find an address for. The only "bigger" one that bothered to respond to the suburban teenager was American Recordings, who were just starting out. And they mailed me SO many press packets and CDs for quite a few years - even as I continued to write for the college paper. Sadly, they stopped paying attention to me as the label got bigger, and the sweet free goods stopped. But they got me hooked on some great music I may have overlooked.
  2. Never Enough by L.A. Guns - Sigh. Have men ever looked better in polka dots than in this video?? And Kerri. Double sigh. (Yeah, that'd be a dude named Kerri, for those not in the know. I used to be very much in to rocker boys in makeup). I actually saw a line up of the band a couple years back, and they still do a good show.
  3. Ready to Go by Republica - Good song. The hubby was the original fan of this song, but it's grown on me. Just a great tune to crank on the car stereo on a warm spring day.
  4. Cowboys from Hell by Pantera - God, I miss Dime. RIP, babe. I remember when another Texas band was making their way thru town and I was.... 18, I think. I was going to be out late at the show and hanging with the band, so my dad gave me his cell phone to use in case of emergency. Little did I know guitarist would find it an emergency to call up Dime and bug him. The funniest thing of the the conversation....
    Dime (obviously waking from some kind of sleep): What time is it?
    Guitar dude: It's 9am.
    Dime: (long pause): Is that AM or PM?
    We laughed for about ten minutes.
  5. Blood Makes Noise by Suzanne Vega - awesome song. This song always makes me think about my husband's thought that headaches are a "made up" thing (even though he's seen my face looking like I've had a stroke when I have a migraine). I've tried to explain to him that this is the musical expression of what it's like to have a bad headache or a migraine.
  6. These Boots are Made for Walking by Nancy Sinatra - How can you not love this song? Awesome baseline, great song.
  7. Ghost at Number One by Jellyfish - I love Jellyfish, and this is one of their most lyrically powerful songs ("How does it feel to pack a pen with vinegar and insight?"). They are a band I am very glad I caught on to, since their music is just so mindblowing. The lyrics, the melodies, everything going on... awesomeness.
  8. Suburbia by Butch Walker - If you like rock music and you don't know who Butch Walker is, you should take the time to find out. His talent is almost disturbing, it's so deep. And you could not ask to find a nicer guy, even though he's had his share of hardships in life. Most recently, the house he was living in burned to the ground in the last round of fires in Malibu. The dude lost every possession - including all his master copies of EVERYTHING. But, people were all OK and that is what matters most.
  9. Jane Says by Janes Addiction - This song always brings me back to college. My roommate freshman year (who I continued to live with until senior year when she opted for off-campus housing) and I were two people who, on the surface, looked like we would not get along. I was uber-groupie-glam-metal chick, she was uber-alternative-gothish chick (although she hated it when people called her goth). But Morna and I clicked on a lot of the same musical loves, and Janes was one of them. So was the Cure, and Faith No More. But, I swear, during freshman year we used to play this song at least once a day.
  10. You Can't Bring Me Down by Suicidal Tendencies - This was a song that even got to me in my "I'm a glam chick and I hate everything hard metal music." How can you not love a song with the line "You wouldn't know what crazy was if Charles Manson was eating fruit loops on your front porch!" They're one of those bands that parents were scared of, but parents just didn't get that the message was actually kinda positive.
Peace out, kids.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Food Report

So.... all the cooking that was done this weekend....

The Creamy Artichoke Dip was a success, as were the breadsticks. Artichoke dip itself isn't that exciting in a photograph, but I was awfully proud of the breadsticks...

Those are about half/half whole wheat and regular flour. Lots of pepper and romano cheese. The adults loved them, as did my cousin's odd two year old. Every time we turned around he was grabbing for a breadstick.

Pita chips. In a plastic thing with a blue top. I used whole wheat pitas, split the pita, cut in to 6 or 8 wedges depending on the size of the pita, brush with a little olive oil (I'm not a fan of cooking sprays... I wish I could say it was because I was against all the chemicals, but honestly I just hate the way the tend to goop up your cookware) and bake at 350 degrees for about 7-9 minutes.

But, the fun of the weekend (for me, at least) was my Key Lime Sabayon-Pine Nut Tart with Honeyed Mascarpone Cream (based off the lemon version).

Hello, little key limes!!

With the help of my handy juicer, it was quick work getting the 1/2 cup of juice.

For me, it took 12 key limes to get all the juice I need. Here is the proof, in various stages of being juiced.

And the finished beauty....

Overall, it was pretty easy to do. A nice, no-fuss crust, and the sabayon itself was actually pretty easy as long as you don't mind all the whisking. And I usually don't. Even with my crap-tacular hands and grip, whisking isn't that hard. They key is a nice, big ballon whisk and holding it... um... I guess kinda like you're grabbing a broom handle... and using your arm and not your wrist to do the hard work. If you've got a bowl that is the correct shape, it's much more of an up and down kinda movement than a round and round thing.

I thought my hubby would be ga-ga over it, but I think once he heard "pine nut" he was determined to not like it. He still doesn't believe me that one of his favorite key lime pies we have out has a nut crust. But what would I know? It only says it right there on the menu.

Ribs today were tasty, of course (using Alton brown's "No Backyard Babyback Ribs" method, my own spice rub and bottled BBQ sauce). Served with some slaw, pork and beans, and cork muffins. Not much talking was done as we watched the end of the 1st half of the game and piled up rib bones.

The plan was to head over to the brother in law's house, but when we walked outside it was near white-out snow conditions, and we're now old and lame and thought better of going over to the brother in laws when we have perfectly good beer at home.

So, we came home, I did a few hours work for old company (in the middle of a situation I've dealt with before where the solution is usually "throw money at the problem to get it fixed quickly", which this time means that they'll throw money at me to get the work done quickly) and flipped between the game and Masterpiece Theatre. Very happy that the Giants won. Overall thought the commercials I caught sucked, although the groin shot on Justin Timberlake was funny.

And my kitchen sink is clogged again. After it stopped up, the hubby says "Oh yeah, I noticed it was a little clogged yesterday." Think it might have helped to tell me then?? Using some 'net advice I saw with the last clogging incident, I tried some Oxy Clean to see if it could deal with the problem. It has foamed and bubbled and the sink is draining very very very very very slowly. But at least it smells clean and not like a salad like the last time. Whatever. We'll deal with it tomorrow. If I'm lucky maybe this means a little kitchen re-design and some new countertops and a new deep sink, and the tossing of the damned garbage disposal that seems to be the cause of these problems. We had a disposal in our apartment (my first time having one) and I loved it at first, but the problems we've had here have changed my mind pretty quickly.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Snow Daze

The storm was supposed to hit the Chicago area yesterday evening, but it came in late afternoon.

My drive home from work took over three times longer than normal.

As I was sitting in traffic, I was amazed at the people who were still going about the evening, running in to stores, making stops at Starbucks. Seriously people?? It's hazardous driving conditions and you HAVE to get your frappacino on?? Don't you have coffee at home????

I was planning on running to Sam's Club on the way home, but I just wanted to get home.

Last night I prepped the Creamy Artichoke Dip and the crust mixture for the Lemon (well, I'm trying key lime) Sabayon-Pine Nut Tart with Honeyed Mascarpone Cream. Also made some whole wheat pita chips (also for the artichoke dip).

Woke up this morning, snow everywhere. I donno about other people... but I ain't fond of heading out in weather like this. I know I can drive in it, but I'm not as confident in other drivers. I called in to work... 'tis a snow day for me. But I do kinda miss being in a workplace where you're set up so you have the option to work from home in weather like this. And I'm not so fond of employers who don't value their employees enough to, oh, not want them to die in a firey car crash trying to get to work thru 8 inches of snow, but that is where I am now. And I suppose I'm also being a little over cautious, since I found out an old co-worker got in to a car accident from the snowstorm earlier this week. She is fine, but the car was wrecked.

Anyway... decided to get a start on the prep I still had yet to do for the party tomorrow. Made the Pecorino-Black Pepper Breadsticks to go with the artichoke dip, got the crust in to the tart shell and that is chilling in the fridge. I'll probably turn on the oven again in about a half hour and get that done. Then I'll get the rest of the tart done, but I do still have to run out for mascarpone tomorrow morning. But that is no biggie.

Now, it's time to think about something for lunch and to get the kitchen cleaned up a bit....