Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow day

It's snowy and cold out this morning, making it extra hard to go in to work after the weekend.  Staying warm and eating soup for dinner are my top priorities for the day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Squirrel dress-up

These pretty much speak for themselves--ridiculous and amazing.  From the Life Archives.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Southwest thoughts

It may be no surprise, based on my road trip post, that I've been obsessed with the American Southwest.  It's mostly thanks to just having finished this book, which chronicles the writer's search for the "Anasazi" (quotes used because the term is problematic at best).  I'd love to go on my own journey to these ancient places.  And, to be just a bit more seasonally appropriate, I'd also love to snowshoe through them.
Mesa Verde, image found here

and here

and here (this is my kind of park guide)

from here

Chaco Canyon, from here

And Capital Reef National Park, from here

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fruit and veg

I have a problem with getting obsessed with things pretty easily, and then dropping them from my thoughts just as easily a few months later.  I often toy with the idea of improving the quality of my food--making my own jam, yogurt, bread, etc, so I know exactly what's going into it.  Commitment to actually doing these things is the hard part for me.  So, in an effort to make myself actually carry out my imagined ideals, I decided to sign up for a weekly CSA.  Every Friday, a box of fruits and vegetables will be dropped at my door.  Colorado's growing season is short enough that it's not all local by a long shot, but that kind of compromise is okay with me...I'm approaching this with a "baby steps" attitude.  This week my box is going to contain leeks--here's a recipe that I'm going to try to make.  I've adapted this one from epicurious; it seems like a cozy meal for the cold weather we've been having lately.  And if I'm really ambitious, I'm going to try homemade yogurt this weekend.  We'll see what actually happens--I'm predicting something smack dab in the middle of "lazy" and "productive."

Potato and Leek Pie

3 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cups 1/3-inch cubes peeled red-skinned potatoes (10 to 12 ounces) (also in my box!)
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 medium)
1-2 fennel bulbs, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Pie crust (recipe doubled), room temperature
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)

Melt butter in skillet. Add potatoes, leeks, and fennel. Stir 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Cool completely.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out crust to round pie shape and size (~10-12 inches in diameter). Cut each crust into 2 pieces along center line. Brush dough with egg. Place 1/2 cup filling on half of each piece. Fold plain dough over filling; seal edges. Brush pies with more egg; arrange on 2 baking sheets. Bake pies 15 minutes. Reverse sheets. Bake until crust is golden and filling is heated through, about 10 minutes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reading wish list

I'm always on the hunt for a good book.  Usually I have a couple going at a time, 
and I try to find a balance between subjects that make me think and light reading.  
Here's what I've been eying--I think a trip to the library is in order.

 I love Borges.  I haven't read this one but I've
been  enjoying reading authors' thoughts on the
process of writing lately.

I've been trying to improve my sewing skills, 
so hopefully this will help.

 I recently read an interview with A.S. Byatt
on the Paris Review and it made me want to 
read more of her books more thoughtfully.

I heard an interview with the author of India 
Calling on the way into work one morning, 
and it sounds like an interesting read.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I've been itching for a good road trip. Preferably one that involves Monument Valley, summer clothes, a dude ranch, and other adventures. Maybe that's why Smokey and the Bandit is so appealing. Or maybe it's just Burt Reynolds.