Friday, March 17, 2023

Monsieur Elliott Allan

There's a new baby in the family!  Darren's cousin's wife had a baby boy and that gave me an opportunity to knit a new hat.  Luckily, I had this lovely "Hue of the Moment" skein of Madelinetosh yarn called Road Less Traveled on hand.  As soon as the cute little Tea Collection shirt comes in that I ordered to include in our package of goodies we're sending north for the baby, this lil' human will be sporting the hat below.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Henry's Favorite Beach


I'm making another attempt to get our photos in some semblance of order and came across this one.  I don't recall the specific name of this beach in Kerala but Henry claims this is his favorite beach.  The location was nearly empty of people, which was a first for us during our time there.  Henry and Darren were playing in the water when a another father and son came by.  I don't remember the gentleman or his son's names but the kids played together in the water, running along the beach and catching crabs and turtles.  Darren stayed nearby to make sure they were safe, and the kid's dad went across the street to our hotel and had the staff bring a small table with very sweet tea for all of us.  We chatted for a bit and it was a lovely experience.  

Saturday, January 14, 2023


We don't get pizza nearly as often as I'd like at the condo so it was particularly galling to drive home and open the pizza box only to discover they had given us the wrong pizza.  This distresses me not only because I did not get the pizza I ordered but also because somewhere else in Portland another family was having the same sad and disappointing pizza experience.  

Did I go back to Blind Onion the next day and get the pizza I ordered?  You bet your sweet behind I did.  

Side note: Darren's portion of the pizza had two of the three toppings he wanted so he was able to eat his pizza.  

Monday, January 09, 2023

Recipe Corner: Spaghetti all'Assassina (Spicy Singed Tomato Pasta)

This is my latest favorite preparation of pasta and it is a beauty of a dish.  I love making the pasta using the fairly labor-intensive risotto process.  I think it's hilarious to put dry pasta into a nonstick skillet and essentially fry it up and then stand guard as the liquid slowly soaks into the noodles.  It's delicious!  This recipes comes from Cook's Illustrated but I saw that NYT Cooking has a very similar recipe for the dish that is, I'd expect, most likely on par with this one.

6 cups water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup tomato passata*
1 3/4 tsp salt
12 ounces spaghetti

Whisk water, tomato paste, and sugar together in medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low to keep tomato broth warm.

Heat 1/3 cup oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Cook, stirring frequently until garlic is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in passata and salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and oil around edges of skillet begins to sizzle, about 4 minutes.

Add pasta in even layer and increase heat to medium-high.  Add 1 cup tomato broth and cook, pushing between pasta strands frequently with edge of spatula to prevent clumping, until broth has been mostly absorbed by pasta and sauce around edge of skillet begins to sizzle, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup broth and cook, shaking skillet occasionally and continuing to prod pasta strands with spatula, until broth has been mostly absorbed and sauce begins to sizzle, 5 to 7 minutes.

Using two thin spatulas, gently flip half of pasta so bottom is on top and spread into an even layer.  Repeat with remaining half of pasta. Add 1 cup broth and cook, continuing to shake skillet and prod pasta, until broth has been mostly absorbed and sauce begins to sizzle, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and repeat cooking until sauce begins to sizzle, 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat dividing and flipping pasta. 

Add 1 cup broth and repeat cooking until sauce begins to sizzle, 5 to 7 minutes. Pasta should be firm but cooked through.  If not, add remaining 1 cup broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and continue to cook, checking frequently, until pasta is cooked through.

Increase heat to high and cook pasta, without moving it, until underside is deeply browned and crisp and some strands are beginning to char, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skilled from heat, drizzle with remaining 2 tbls olive oil, and serve immediately.

*Cook's Illustrated recommends Pomi Strained Tomatoes 

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Boy outfit #26

Shopping guide info:
1. shoes - Converse, purchased at Nordstrom
2. pants - Bridger jeans, purchased at Prana
3. sweatshirt - Adidas, purchased at
4. t-shirt - Cotopaxi, purchased at