you can call me a dreamer

but i can' t help it.

although i am more than happy at the thought of a woman for president (wow, i remember how ecstatic i was when ms. albright became SoS) and i do truly like my senator (voted for her twice), i am just not 100% thrilled about her. yes, i know posturing is par for the course in politics. and of course, mr. gore seems like a saint now because of the very fact he doesn't have to posture anymore. but i just can't get over the feeling that mrs. clinton gives me. i am not inspired by her (lack of) passion and conviction. however, i am impressed by her intelligence, hard work, due diligence, unflappability, and keen ability to maneuver through anything.

but honestly, in the end, does passion and conviction make a president? i mean, who am i kidding? mr. bush has passion about certain things ... and well, look at where we're at now.

mrs. clinton will obviously win my state primary, so a write-in for mr. gore won't make me feel naderized guilt. and until it is for certain that mr. gore is going to ride off into the nobel prize sunset, i will keep on dreaming ...


vegetable risotto

i love risotto. it's quick and easy to make, and so versatile. whatever vegetables i'm fancying go into the pot. in the summer, it's often zucchinis. a mushroom risotto is nice and earthy on a cold fall day. the classic, for me, is a risotto with leeks, carrots, and peas. it's even better if you have some homemade vegetable stock, which i love making in the colder months. for tonight, we did the classic risotto and a side of steamed asparagus with lemon spritz. we had some leftover french baguette from last night's dinner, so we toasted that up with oil, garlic, and hot pepper.

risotto is not a recipe of exact measurements or precise direction. so here's my best guide, but feel free to improvise with what and how much you add to it!

classic vegetable risotto: serving size for 4 as main dish (or 2 with lots of leftovers)

1 cup risotto arborio rice
4 carrots, diced (un-peeled if organic)
1 small onion, diced
1 bunch leeks, quartered and sliced (white parts and little bit of green)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 cup frozen peas
4-5 thyme sprigs
olive oil + butter
salt + pepper
hot pepper flakes
parmesan cheese
6 cups vegetable stock (use homemade - trust me, it tastes so much better!)

1. bring stock to simmer in a saucepan.

2. soak sliced leeks in bowl of cold water. this allows the dirt/sand to fall out. while soaking, prep carrots, onions, and garlic. heat oil and butter in large cast iron pot. add garlic and hot pepper flakes, and cook until toasted. add carrots, onions, and leeks (pulling them out of the water, not through a strainer/drainer) and salt and pepper and sautee for 5 minutes until tender.

3. add risotto arborio rice and toast lightly for about 3 minutes. add thyme sprigs and then ladle two scoops of stock to risotto. the art of risotto is all in the stirring. too much or too strongly, and it gets gummy. too little and it will not cook properly. typically what i do is ladle in two scoops, let it simmer for about 30 seconds to a minute and then gently stir with a wooden spoon (more like folding) for the next couple of minutes until most of the stock is cooked into the rice. then add more stock and repeat until you've used all of it. occasionally i have had to use a little more than 6 cups, but that amount is pretty standard.

4. cook risotto until it is al dente but creamy. some people like it more soupy, but i like it with most of the stock soaked up. taste and salt and pepper again if necessary. the thyme will have fallen off during the cooking and stirring, and you can take out the stems.

5. turn the heat off, add peas and a good amount of grated parmesan cheese, and gently stir in. cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

6. serve with crusty bread and another side of crispy vegetables if you like (asparagus, salad, etc). you can add a little more grated cheese as garnish on top of each portion serving. the best thing about risotto is all the generous leftovers it makes - yumm!!

oh yeah ... "we" is mimi and the darling hubby :)

steamed asparagus and garlic toast

risotto with leeks, carrots, and peas



so i am totally inspired for some menu planning!! i don't want this whole blog to be about my so called life travails :)

i was always thinking about being more consistent with eating at home. here in the city it is much too easy to go out for dinner. i already eat every lunch out. so sometimes a week would go by with, literally, only two or three home-cooked meals. not only is that expensive, but it also gets boring ... and let's not forget, it's enemy #1 for the big butt i'm growing!

first i was inspired by $40 a week, which seems like a crazy small amount to spend on food. that's about two take-out dinners. maybe three home-cooked dinners. but maybe with some good meal planning this could possibly work???

then i googled around and found this veggie planning website. some of the recipes sound really good but i like the website more for its ideas about meal planning.

so now i'm on a mission.

i'll plan my breakfasts and lunches, and although they will probably remain store-bought, i'm going to try to be more conscious and informed about my decisions. i'll plan my dinners for 6 nights a week. wow! that's a lot! okay, let's make it 5 dinners a week. i don't want to make my goal so lofty i can't reach it. baby steps!

here is what i have so far ...
tonight: lobster ravioli with some sort of sauce / sauteed mustard greens on side
tomorrow night: leek and carrot risotto / steamed asparagus with lemon
friday night: dinner out

well ... it doesn't look impressive but it's a start!



why am i the most confidently insecure person ever? why am i so confident about my skills, strengths, and passions. but so ridonkously insecure about personal relationships? why am i always doubting? i wish, for once, i could just let go and enjoy the people that are in my life.


will it happen??

i confess, it is true. i (somewhat) believe in astrology and horoscopes. i truly fit my virgoan stereotype to a T. and sometimes the monthly/daily predictions are right. but i don't go all nancy reagan on making decisions. it's just interesting.

but the problem with reading my horoscope is that i get all expectant. like ooh, it says i will have a romantic night next week, can't wait! oooh, it says i might get into a fight with family, watch out!

so susan miller says:

Your career is about to bring excellent news. At the full moon November 24, due over the American holiday weekend of Thanksgiving, you will have a full moon that will put your name in lights.Or, you may hear news on Monday, November 26, a time when Venus and Neptune will be so congenial - artistic expressions should bring profit. My bet is that you will hear fabulous career news on Monday, November 26. See what happens!
and here it is, november 26 and nothing has happened yet.

but i am still hoping!

monday rants

so what else are mondays good for besides some old fashioned rants? i've got two!

1. why the heck can't firefox work nicely on my mac? it's either crashing with the spinning beach ball of death. or it's freezing, and none of the links or bookmarks work. click, nothing! i really much prefer it to safari, but i'm left with no choice more often than not. and why oh why does firefox not allow page setup configration in mac?? ugh! it's the simple things in computer life that make my happy world go 'round.

2. on a more serious note, why is A such a bitch? she has the nerve (the weakness?) to yell at us and say we lied about a death in the family so that we wouldn't have to go see her. yes, let me write that again ... she called us assholes and said we lied about a death in the family. what the frick? is she that unbelievably cold, selfish, and mean? i could take the high road and say whatever. but not when it involves my family. i let her have it! and i hope she suffers. cuz she deserves it!


dear diary

am i reverting to a pre-teen version of myself on the web? i always thought blogging was self-indulgence in html form. but i am absolutely enamored with my shiny new imac, and find myself on this beautiful machine more and more.

so here i am. and hopefully i will bore you to beautiful tears with all my random postings.

i have no idea what i will write about, although these are the things lately on my mind (in no particular order)...

1. how to motivate myself at work
2. where to travel next summer
3. who to vote for in the primaries (al gore are you listening?)
4. be happy with my unhappy schooling
5. to procreate or to wait another year
6. what kind of new job post-graduation
7. expanding my social circle
8. swim more, eat less
9. learn french once and for all