Wednesday, November 19, 2008

sushi and ginger

Rose Hoffer Gittell's 15th Birthday, which I was fortunate enough to be in New England to share in.  We had a lovely dinner in Downtown Portsmouth of sushi with Ross, Jody, Rose, Grace and I.  The miso soup was particularly delicious, and the sushi offerings equisite.  I had forgotten how much I love sushi and fresh ginger.  Gracie and I decided to walk back to the house afterward, but coming across the pond with icy winds didn't turn down a ride when the rest of them pulled up offering a lift!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

dinner in portsmouth

I arrived in Portsmouth, NH to stay with my cousin Jody for a few days while I attend the Greenbuild Conference in Boston.  She and the girls had grilled chicken ceasar salad waiting - Rose, 15, had made the dressing from scratch and Gracie, 9, prepared dessert of bananas topped with dark chocolate pudding.  It brought back favorite childhood memories - I can't tell you the last time a fixed pudding!

As usual in their busy (Jody is a Doctoral Professor at Brandeis University and a published writer and her husband Ross is a Doctoral Professor at MIT), but eloquently organized household, a glass of wine, yummy cheese and conversation proceed dinner, and candles are lit around the living and dining room.  Cozy and welcoming, with Bella the dog resting in my lap with her enormous loving eyes.  The table was set with handmade pottery, candles and linen napkins in shades of ocean blue.  We spent some time playing Apples to Apples afterward, Rose and Grace lobbying in lawyer fashion for their pics.   

Friday, November 14, 2008

stella's chocolate wackie cake

Dinner is cooking on the stove - it's Lorelei's birthday, and we're having boneless porkchops from the local butcher, rubbed with dill and garlic salt, mashed potatoes - at her request, fresh steamed green beans, and chocolate cake (my grandmother's wackie cake recipe) with peanut butter icing for dessert.

This recipe is Grandma Stella's - no changes, just pure, unadulterated, fattening, delicious, yummy chocolate!  Delicious with peanutbutter icing.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13 x 9" cake pan with butter, and dust with flour.

In a large mixing bowl, add:
3 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbs. cocoa powder
Mix with a fork or hand beater.  In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the following, then whip into the dry ingredients by hand:
1 cup salad oil
3 tbs. vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups cold water

Fold gently into cake pan and bakd 30-35 minutes, or until the smell of chocolate overcomes you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

wine, cheese and jazz

Beautiful fall day Sunday at the river.  David and I went to church at St. Stephens, then walked to Passage of India for lunch - our favorite place.  The soup, in particular is delectable, and I can't figure out what all is in it, to try to recreate it at home.  Ginger and currie for sure, with a creamy tomatoe base.  Maybe coconut milk?

After spending the afternoon in the lab - we both worked - CAD drawings for class for me, we quit and went to the Hilton for Central PA Friends of Jazz.  They did a 30 year tribute to Steve Rudolph, whose work is truly amazing.  For the first time, I had my act together enough to pack a picnic dinner for us - the food available there is expensive, and not that good.  With Greek humus and fresh cheddar, kalamata olives, dried apricots, a baguette, and a bottle each of Pellegrino and Gnarly Head Pinot Noir, it was perfect!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

John McCain called to concede the race for president.  We have a new president!
And change is coming our way!