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Archive for July 3rd, 2008

If you haven’t discovered Flotsam yet (and even if you have), you must check out today’s post, Weighty. She discusses gender stereotypes, how expectations differ between girls and boys, and the color pink. This is one case where the comments are truly worth reading.

Alexa from Flotsam is one of my favorite online authors. Her writing always makes me laugh and I have enjoyed watching her little girl, Simone, flourish. I would suggest going back to older posts and taking the ride with her. Her story is awe-inspiring: She struggled to get pregnant, and then lost one of her twins, a boy, mid-way through. The other twin, a girl, was born very premature and very fragile. Simone’s struggle to survive and the journey Alexa takes her readers is truly unique and personal.

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I read books. Not as much as I used to since the baby was born, but I do read them. At the moment, I am reading The Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich. She is one of my favorite authors, and no one wanted to pick the book for this month’s book club choice, so I put myself out there and picked it, even though I hadn’t so much as laid my eyes on it. All knew that Ms. Erdrich is a native American writer who I completely love. I’ve been waiting several years for her to write another book. You might have read Love Medicine or The Beet Queen.

What I have time (read: energy, attention span and brain cells) to read are magazines. Mostly I read Health and Oprah. Yesterday was a banner day in the world of “What I Know I Learned from a Magazine.”

First, I read an article in Oprah entitled, “I Was a 51-Year-Old Desk Muffin.” It is mostly about getting out from behind your desk and actually moving. Touché. Although for me, it’s getting off the couch. Anyhoo, I loved this quote from a friend of the author, Geraldine Brooks, who is a personal trainer: “My rule is simple: Look at the food and ask yourself, Do I want that glued on my butt?” I love this. It’s already helped me pass up my nightly chocolate cake fix. It’s helping me make better decisions about what I put into my mouth. Score one for Oprah.

Secondly, Health magazine included a recipe from Jamie Oliver (not usually my favorite). It is called Summertime Tagliarini. I know, I know. I didn’t know what tagliarini was either. Apparently, it is “long, paper-thin noodles). I didn’t find any at Fred Meyer, so angel hair it is. Whatever. Anyway, the recipe (which I can’t find on Health.com, strangely enough), is so simple. I hope it’s as good as it looks and sounds. The recipe is as follows:

Summertime Tagliarini

3 oz pine nuts, divided
zest and juice of 2 large lemons
1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs olive oil
4 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 oz freshly grated pecorino cheese (I found it already grated in a small tub next to an identical tub of Parmesan in a deli case.)
18 oz good-quality tagliarini (What the hell does that mean? Do stores normally sell bad-quality tagliarini?)

1. Smash half the pine nuts into a paste, then put them into a big heat-proof bowl with remaining whole pine nuts, lemon zest and juice, chopped parsley, and olive oil. Stir, the add the Parmesan and pecorino.
2. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Sit sauce bowl on top while water heats up-this will take the chill out. When water starts to boil, remove bowl and add pasta to pot. Cook pasta according to package instruction; drain, reserving a little cooking water. Toss pasta with sauce and reserved cooking water (try 1/2 cup) to loosen it. The heat from the pasta will melt the cheese, allowing the lovely sauce to coat it. Tip: If you find the sauce too thick, add a little more water; it should be incredibly silky, fresh, and fragrant. Have one last taste to balance the flavors. Add some Parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley; enjoy immediately.

I can’t wait to try it tonight. I think I might even add some shrimp (my husband doesn’t think it’s a meal unless there’s meat). I’ll let you know tomorrow how it turned out.

UPDATE: I just went into the kitchen to feed the baby and noticed that the lemon I bought YESTERDAY is half moldy. Awesome. I know, I should have gotten in the car, returned it to Fred Meyer and gotten my $0.68 back, but I decided to save the $1.75 in gas, cut the rotten part off and save the rest. Damn gas prices.

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