Archive for February, 2010

back from Iceland

February 22, 2010

We’re back from Iceland after eight days filled with wonder & adventure! We took over 1,000 photos. There’s more to come…


February 11, 2010

leaving tomorrow !!!

pasta e fagioli

February 11, 2010

This recipe is adapted from easy vegetarian: simple recipes for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

>>>The book says this serves 4, but I think it’s more like 6+.


  • 2 tablspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, choped
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 potato (I used a red potato), chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth & 1 cup of water (or 5 cups of vegetable broth)
  • 1 15.5 oz can any kind of navy/white beans (I used cannellini)*
  • 8oz of dried pasta shapes (orecchiette is traditional, but I couldn’t find them, so I used bowtie)
  • 2 pinches of hot red pepper flakes
  • A pinch of dried thyme
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


1) Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the onion, garlic, and potato. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened and slightly golden.

2) Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3) Add the broth (4 cups, plus 1 cup water), beans, pasta, red pepper flakes, thyme, and salt and pepper.

4) Bring to a boil, then simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until the pasta and potato are cooked.

Serve with Parmesan.

*Could use two cans, according to your taste!

vegetable couscous

February 7, 2010

This is unbelievably good! One of the best dinners I’ve made in awhile! I adapted the recipe from easy vegetarian: simple recipes for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The list of ingredients is long, but it’s a pretty simple recipe and I already had many of the ingredients. The spices in this recipe make it so flavorful.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamon
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 zucchini, thickly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, thickly sliced
  • 15 oz can of whole tomatoes (I sliced them in half)
  • 15oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • cilantro to put on top when serving
  • 2 cups dried couscous (I used whole wheat couscous, which you can find at Trader Joe’s). You could also use quinoa.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (to cook with couscous)


1) Heat the olive oil in a large pot, then add the onions, shallots, and garlic. Cook for two minutes, then add the paprika, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and cardamon. Cook for three more minutes.

2) Add the carrots, butternut squash, zucchini, and yellow squash. Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. You want to make sure the vegetables get coated with the spices.

3) Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, raisins, and broth. If the vegetables aren’t covered with liquid, add more water (or broth). I had to add almost a cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. I sprinkled some sea salt and pepper on top.

A closeup after I've added everything except the broth.

4) Cook the couscous according to the directions on the box. My couscous needed to be cooked 1 part couscous, 1 part water, with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. After bringing the water and butter to a boil, I took it off of the burner, added the couscous, and let it sit for five minutes. Then I fluffed it with a fork.

5) Serve the couscous with the vegetable mixture on top. I used a spoon that has holes so it drained the liquid, but you could also pour a more soupy mixture on top. Add cilantro and more pepper.

The veggies and couscous mixed together.

a good, good weekend

February 7, 2010

After school on Friday, I went over to Shannon’s house with a bunch of my colleagues to make s’mores in her fireplace and play Banagrams, which happens to be my favorite word game (it just barely beats out Boggle!). Chocolate + a bunch of teachers on the floor arranging word tiles = a great way to start the weekend!

On Saturday, Johnna, Josh, and Ross, three of our friends from Hampshire, came to visit and attend Winterfest. Ross’s girlfriend, Rachel, joined us too. We had lunch at The Mambo Grill and then watched some human dogsled races. We spent the evening talking, playing cards, and drinking wine.

Human dogsled races!! (Well, the crowd gathered to watch them...)

At The Old Court. David, Johnna, Rachel (Ross's girlfriend), Ross, and Josh.

Ross is in the background, Josh is in the foreground.

Me & Ross! (Yes, I spent the evening hanging out in my long underwear...)

Today David and I spent this morning looking at awesome things to do in Iceland (five days!!!). We’ve now put hiking a glacier at the top of our list. We went out to a Vietnamese restaurant for lunch, then we went grocery shopping. I made an early, delicious dinner (recipe to follow!). Right now dessert, custard, is baking in the oven.

This weekend has been so good. I did not even think about work. I wish I had more time to spend with friends and do things for myself and the people I love. I need to make more time.

mill building restoration

February 6, 2010

On Thursday, David and I went on a walk when I got home from school. At the other end of our street, there’s a lot of construction work going on. They are transforming another rundown, abandoned-looking mill building into 130 units of affordable artist housing. They’ve had to do a lot more tearing down with this building than others we’ve seen transformed, maybe for structural reasons? The mill building we live in, for example, still has the original hardwood floors.

It really looks so strange and beautiful.