Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dreaming of Vegetables

More specifically, I should say that it was ever so nice to have fresh vegetables, straight off the farm, in my kitchen all summer. I highly recommend joining a CSA, especially if their late September deliveries are as spectacular as this one was, from Driftless Organics:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chipotle Bacon Shells and Cheese

A while ago, I got this awesome "Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese" recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs, The Kitchn. It truly is easy, and the pasta, cheese, and add-ins can be altered any which way, so I totally love this recipe. Last night I made some pretty spectacular adjustments to it, which resulted in, yes, my very own Chipotle Bacon Shells and Cheese. I highly recommend this particular version that I created:

1 pound medium pasta shells
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shreded chipotle colby
1/2 tsp salt
one squirt of yellow mustard
6 pieces of bacon, cooked

Boil water, and cook the pasta. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, begin heating 1 cup of milk over medium heat. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and the flour until there are no lumps. Whisk this into the heating milk and continue whisking gently until the milk thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. Turn the heat to low and add the cheese, salt, and mustard. Stir until melted and creamy.

Once the bacon is cooked, let it cool off a bit, and then cut/crumble it so that it'll mix in well.

Mix the pasta, bacon, and cheese sauce all together and eat immediately.

Monday, December 14, 2009

And the pictures of my decorating efforts...

I absolutely LOVE Nutcrackers... they are standing guard over my TV this year.

Over my dining table.

My wreath, tree, amaryllis and tulips!

My winter wonderland desk and the lobby of my office (with a lovely sunset over Elliott Bay in the background).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Holidays from Seattle!

Well, the holidays are upon us! Hanukkah began Friday night and Christmas is just around the corner. While Sarah was visiting me for Thanksgiving, we went to two, yes, two(!) tree lighting
ceremonies, which was a great way to ring in the holiday season. The Westlake Center tree lighting was quite the ta-do, with 5th Avenue singers, three different choirs (mens, womens and children's) and a fireworks display at the end.The Pike Place Market tree lighting was a bit more modest, but much more charming. They both were fantastic in their own way!

The Space Needle is also festive, with lights on top as well as a display at the base, with bright spheres making up the shape of a tree, very pretty!
I've also been busy decorating the places I spend most of my time, so I thought I'd share some pictures of holiday spirit, courtesy of me, at my office and in my apartment. This is my first year having my own Christmas tree, and it's so nice to have! My friends were kind enough to go get me one, which made life a lot easier. Trees in the city are hard to find and fairly expensive! They got me a nice 4 1/2 foot tree for $20 at Lowes, which as a relief because I was planning to pay $25-$30 for a 3 foot tree right in the city. I'll post pictures from my office and home in a post to follow...too many pictures already!