Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cabin Fever Epidemic

If you live in the mid-Atlantic. you simply cannot believe your eyes when you look outside - SNOW EVERYWHERE! We had about two feet of snow this past weekend, and today, in the blizzard of 2010, we had another two feet or more. I was outside helping my husband shovel today when I met this lovely snow lady all bundled up in a quilt. I expect she is enjoying this weather.

I did make forward progress on Olivia's quilt today - I have now finished quilting all of the geometric shapes. This is a big quilt, queen size, and I think I need to surrender it to a long arm quilter to complete the background. You can get a taste for the design in this photo - the inspiration for the design was a mobile the shapes have a very 3-dimensional appearance.

Dinner - I like nothing better than spending time in the kitchen when trapped by a winter storm. Thing is, after the snow melts I am going to need some serious time working off all of the extra calories I've eaten. I actually think I am going to focus on healthy eating next week - a recipe a day for a low calorie meal - I hope to have the menu together soon, complete with a shopping list. For tonight, I'll let you guess what I'm cooking up --- if you guessed Linguine with clam sauce --- you're right.

Not just any linguine, home-made linguine. I use the recipe from Marc Vetri's cookbook, il Viaggio, it is the best pasta recipe I have ever used - calls for 9 egg yolks! The recipes in the book are based on the menu from his restaurant Vetri ( in Philadelphia. I had the pleasure of having dinner at Vetri - an unforgettable experience! I've tried many recipes in Marc's cookbook, every one has been exceptional!

Making pasta is so easy. One hint - always weigh your ingredients to achieve the best results. I use my Kitchen-Aid mixer to combine the ingredients and then knead the dough by hand. I have an Impreza pasta roller / cutter which makes quick work of handling the dough - no motor for me - I need some physical exercise - cranking the pasta cutter is the least I can do!

I dry the pasta on one of our wine racks - works better than the pasta rack I have. When I double the recipe I use my laundry drying rack to dry the pasta.

This was the finished dish - linguine with a simple pantry clam sauce. I added mustard greens to the sauce - I love the flavor of mustard greens in soups and sauces - it is the most flavorful of the "greens".

I also sauteed some fresh baby artichokes with shallots, garlic and grape tomatoes for a quick side dish. You can see below how I process the artichokes - simply remove the tough outer leaves, trim the tip, slice in half length-wise and scoop out the choke. After processing be certain to place artichokes in acidulated water (water with lemon juice added) to prevent browning.

Enjoy the blizzard!


Kelly Meanix said...

That looks so good! I have to make that.

Christine said...

Alright, I'm coming over for dinner!! Looks delicious. I love to cook but have been intimidated by pasta so maybe I'll have to give it a go.

The snow lady is a hoot. Stay warm! :) Christine

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