Friday, April 29, 2016

The band

Chris plays bass in the band "Restless Widow". They play what they call "high energy rock" - basically the music you like to rock to when you're at a club. Very danceable; very fun.

The band
Recently they had a gig down in NYC. They played at the American Judo tournament held at the Athletic Club near Central Park. Cool!

Chris on the balcony
Scott warming up
Nick checking sound
Chris being silly, I mean, warming up
Unfortunately the only picture of the lead singer, Jerzee, came out so blurry I couldn't put it on here  and apparently Matt (drummer) is camera shy. But the gig went well and they had a great time. 
The city at night
We're three hours north of the City so Chris didn't get home until 4AM.  Once I actually woke up and he could tell me all about it, I heard about unlimited saki (they opened two massive casks), great dancing, a whisky with his niece (Yamasaki Scotch is excellent), and lots of fun.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Steam bending

Chris put together his steam box this week. He got the basic components for Christmas and finally got time to build the box. He figured he'd put together some Shaker Boxes to try it out.

The box
The box in use
Bending the outside of the Shaker Box
Inserting the pins
It's so cute!
Bending it more 
Attached and ready to cool
So now he lets it cool and then cuts the top and bottom to finish.  They're sweet little boxes and useful too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Finishing up the mudroom

Some projects seem to really hang around, don't they? You finish up the big stuff and the little details remain: decorating, organizing, utilizing. The mudroom has been that type of project. And though the decorating still remains, the important stuff - storage - has been addressed.

First up: sweater boxes. My niece saved me her diaper boxes (so strong!) and I cut them to fit the space. Then I cut up some old sweaters and glued them to the boxes. And voila! Neat and pretty storage.
The raw materials
Letting the glue dry
Next up were some wooden crates for the smaller shelves. Chris spent a good bit of time cutting scrap wood into strips for me (hooray for band saws!). Then I used the small nail gun to pop them together.
Assembling the boxes
Ta dah!
And here are both sweater boxes and wooden boxes in place. I think they look great and the storage is wonderful. I added a bit of ribbon to the bottom of the sweater boxes so that it'd be easier for me to grab them and get them down.  Easy and attractive.
So much storage!
Oh, and we finished the upper cabinets too. So now there is closed storage at the very top.
With the upper cabinets in place too
I'm working on creating knobs for the upper cabinets. I'm collecting nifty rocks on the property and glueing them to a flat head screw as a know. I'm still testing these for durability so they haven't been installed here yet.

The larger cabinet has purchased totes but the wooden crates were created by me. They're quite a bit deeper than the smaller cabinets and I've yet to fill them completely.
The other side

So that's where we are on the mudroom. Fully functional and well on its way to being decorated.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

This week's recipe: Squid with scallions & garlic, Shrimp Scallop Gratinate, and a new CI test recipe (whew!)

I like squid. Calamari. Squiggle bodies. Bait. Whatever you want to call them. I've never attempted to cook them at home though. No more worries about that - easy! Yummy! And I can make just enough for me since Chris hates them. 

Had a great dinner party at my brothers and we cooked lots of seafood. On the menu: Squid with Scallions & Garlic from Jacques Pepin's cookbook "Essential Pepin". He gives great instructions on how to clean (didn't have to as the squid came cleaned), how to cook and hold, then how to finish. Wonderful recipe.
Par-boiled squid
We also had Shrimp & Scallop Gratinate from Lidia's Family Table cookbook. Again, wonderful recipe. Fantastic flavor, quick to prepare, and reheated well to boot.  We even made it gluten-free by substituting Cheerios for the bread crumbs in a couple of the ramekins (try this - they make a surprisingly flavorful topping).  
The final dish was lobster risotto. We used my favorite risotto recipe (adapted from a variety of internet recipes and tweaked by me). We had the lobster steamed at the seafood market and then we used the lobster shells to infuse the chicken broth with lots of lobster flavor before cooking the risotto. I'd never tried this before but boy did it work. That aroma and flavor!

Final food news for the week was a new CI test recipe: apple strudel using Phyllo dough. A definite winner. In fact, I made it again last night.
Apple Strudel testing
Happy noshing!