Monday, February 23, 2009

We will be in Paris in 13 days!!!

I cannot tell you all how excited we are! We have some fairly big plans once were there-

Museum Pass- Gets us into every museum in Paris (most of them)
Wine Tasting-


Our Hotel is 3km from the Eiffel Tower and located a block or so from the Seine River. The hotel is also in the 16th Arrondissement, which is not a touristy area at all. From the reviews I read, its very much a locals neighborhood, with lots of neat restaurants, grocery stores and of course a bread store. We're right across the river from the Left Bank, which is a very famous area of Paris. This is what I found on the 16th Arronddissment:

16th Arrondissement (Trocadéro/Bois de Boulogne) Originally the village of Passy, where Benjamin Franklin lived during most of his time in Paris, this district is still reminiscent of Proust's world. Highlights include the Bois de Boulogne; the Jardin du Trocadéro; the Maison de Balzac; the Musée Guimet (famous for its Asian collections); and the Cimetière de Passy, resting place of Manet, Talleyrand, Giraudoux, and Debussy. One of the largest arrondissements, it's known today for its well-heeled bourgeoisie, its upscale rents, and some rather posh (and, according to its critics, rather smug) residential boulevards. The arrondissement also has the best vantage point to view the Eiffel Tower: place du Trocadéro.

We're still open for suggestions, if anyone has already been and did something lifechanging! Even if we don't know you, please feel free to leave comments on the blog!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

All it takes is a quart of buttermilk and a gallon of milk.


Put them in a large heavy bottomed pot and cook on high. The solids will separate around 190 degrees, (I don't use a thermometer).


Once it separates, you just strain the solids into a cheese cloth or thin dish towel and squeeze the water out.


You can use it immediately or put in the fridge for a few days.

I have to say, if you make this at home, you might as well use organic milk, and use at least 2% so you get a little fat in it. I did use fat free once and it was good, but I got a lot less of it.


I am not taking the bar exam!

Originally uploaded by mingerspice
My friends are all taking the Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas and other bar exams this week. I thought long and hard about sitting for MO, but it really would make no difference for me either way because I never plan to practice in Missouri. What does scare me is the fact that I am losing so much of what I learned in law school, so ill have to re-learn it for the CA bar, which is the hardest in the country. I won't have anything riding on my success other than pride, but I really would like to practice someday after I retire from my calling of librarianship. Once I get to an older age, I would love to work pro bono for a domestic violence non profit or shelter. I enjoyed doing that in law school, but I didn't want to make it my life's work.

I suppose this post is just a reflection of where I am at in my life. I am the envy of all my friends, I probably make as much, if not more than most of them, and I am happy. I think practicing law, especially during a recession, is just a cruel joke. So few actually love what they do, and for those of us who followed our hearts... well we have a crap load of debt to pay off!

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Birthday!

Last Sunday Rachel threw me the best birthday party ever! A couple weeks ago she came up with the idea to invite some friends over to play some music, and though it sounded like fun, I wasn't sure we would be able to get everybody together to make it work. She worked really hard on it and made it happen! I've been dying to play music again, but with school and life I haven't really had the time, so this was especially cool for me. I think we ended up with around 30 people total, though not everyone was a musician. We had 3-4 guitars players, 2 bass players, a fiddle player, a dobro player, a mandolin player and 3 drummers. Quite a collection! Rachel made some homemade pizzas with dough from Whole Foods that were incredible. I wouldn't hesitate to say they were the hit of the day. After everyone ate and had some beers, we got to rockin'! It's hard to figure out what to play when you get such a diverse group of people together, so we took turns introducing songs and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The songs ranged from a couple old Hank Williams songs to "Hey Joe" (the Hendrix version, of course) to "That's All Right Mama" by Elvis... I think our friend Tony even pulled out a zydeco tune. Overall, I think everyone had a great time and we had people asking when we were going to do it again! I definitely will not wait until my next birthday to do it again!

Mitchell singing Hank Williams, Nate playing the dobro and Chris on the drums
House band

Matt and I having a good time
Matt and Mark

Master of the E chord
Rock n Roll

Beans the party dog! (He was great with all the people at our house!)
Party dog
Farris, Anne, Ben and Dustin hanging out in the kitchen
Party in the kitchen

Beans and his new best friend, Farris
Beans and his boyfriend

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Italian Night!

Mark and I hosted this month's dinner party and it was a roaring success!

Mark provided the Italian beer, Peroni and Morello.

I made a ziti with homemade ricotta and sauce. The fresh cheese gave it such a light and clean taste. I was really happy with it!

I also made a mushroom and pea risotto, which was phenomenal!

Chris made pizza bread, it was a stuffed bread with meat and mushrooms. The mushroom one was great- I ate about 3 pieces!

Katie outdid herself again with homemade gnocchi. She hand rolled the gnocchi and cooked them up. They were amazing!

Jessica made a delicious salad, recipe complements of Giada! She also made a delicious ricotta cheese dish that was in the oven when I was taking pictures and I totally forgot to take a picture of it!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt and Kelly made meatballs with marinara. They also made the garlic cheese bread!

Aubrey made a delicious Italian wedding cake- it was AMAZING!

Ben made an amazing panna cotta with a homemade raspberry topping... All I can say is YUM!

It was a success. We finished off a couple bottles of wine and a ton of beer.

Hammy went home!

Hammy left us last Sunday! We are very happy for him!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mark and I joined a CSA Farm!

A CSA is community supported agriculture-

We joined the Strawberry Lane Farm in Trenton, MO.

We pay a weekly price- it comes out to be around $8 a week, and we pick up a basket of farm fresh veggies and fruit every week depending on what is in season and available at our organic farm. Its a great way to eat locally and support local farming!

Here is a bit about what it means:

How Does This Work?

CSA stands for CommunitySupported Agriculture. It is also called Subscription Farming, whch is a more accurate term for what we do. In a true CSA, all the members help the farmers a certain amount of time throughout the season and they share in the major decision-making for the farm. We are far enough from the city where most of our customers live, that subscribers are not expected to help do the farming, although they are welcome to help whenever they can. We do not have a core group (decision-makers) yet, but we are considering having one if anyone is interested.

Subscribers purchase their shares in the fall, winter or early spring for the following season. This allows the farmer to plan how much and what to plant and to have the production expenses guaranteed. In return for their investment, the subscribers receive a weekly share of fresh, locally-grown organic produce to be picked up at a set place from the middle of May to the middle of October. The exact starting date is determined by when crops are ready. This year, we plan to begin late May or early June, depending on Mother Nature's weather whims.

Becoming a subscriber creates a responsible relationship between people and the food they eat, the land on which it is grown and those who grow it. This arrangement helps create an economically stable farm operation in which subscribers are assured the highest quality FRESH produce at a reasonable price and in return, the farmer is assured a reliable market for a diverse selection of crops. It is a partnership in which everyone benefits. This is local food harvested at its peak for quality and freshness, resulting in the best-tasting, healthiest food available with no harm done to the environment.