Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pasta a la John

John made dinner tonight. What a guy. And it was such a tasty recipe that I have to post it here.

Pasta a la John (a riff on Pasta Carbonara)

olive oil
butter (this is not a low-fat recipe)
bacon (we used smoked English bacon)
small tomatoes
mushrooms, sliced
garlic, sliced
creme fraiche
mild chili powder
black pepper

Put the pasta water on to boil. Chop the bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic.

Once the water is boiling, start the pasta. At this point, add the olive oil and butter to the pan, with some chili powder and ground black pepper. Once you can smell the chili powder, add the bacon. Stir it around for a minute or two, then add the garlic. Once the garlic starts to soften, add the mushrooms and tomatoes, and a little of the pasta water. Simmer gently.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it. Add a spoonful of creme fraiche to the simmering sauce, stir, and simmer briefly. Stir the pasta in and enjoy!

It was REALLY good - he can make it again whenever he wants!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Evil Stepmother Of Doom

We took James to the Abbey Gardens yesterday afternoon, and he had a blast with the SLR. This was far and away the best picture.

We' turned into Boy Racers. All of us. Our v. nice Citroen C5 was coming up for its 90,000 mile service and some extremely expensive repairs, so we sent it to the great big racetrack in the sky (well, we traded it in), and bought a Mazda3. Sport edition. HOT. We didn't MEAN to get the Sport version, but they had pre-registered it and it had 68 miles on the clock and was waaay cheaper than it should have been and they're releasing a new design in May and wanted to get it off the lot and we drank the Mazda Kool-Aid and it zooms. And has tinted windows in the back and a bling-y stereo. It will also eventually get about 45 mpg, which is a fair improvement over La Voiture Francaise.

John and Travis stripped and re-varnished our front door this weekend, which meant that we were sort of tied to the house (we had to leave the door open until the varnish dried). Obviously, the only sensible thing to do was to hand-wash and wax the car, and vacuum it. Because there were at least three specs of dust on the carpets and two dead bugs on the front (they're gone now).

After we finished all the varnishing, lawn mowing, and car-washing, John made a movie.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leftover chicken a la Stowmarkate

We had the in-laws over for Easter and roasted a chicken, which was extremely tasty. I then made stock from the bones and veg, but had a fair amount of chicken left. We also had a few cherry tomatoes and some creme fraiche from an attempt at Scrambled Eggs A La Gordon Ramsay (which was very tasty).

Leftover Chicken A La Stowmarkate

Leftover chicken (duh)
Creme fraiche (or sour cream)
Tomatoes (or peas or whatever veg you have)
Some just-cooked pasta (with a little of the pasta water)
Dried tarragon

Mix all the ingredients together in an oven-proof dish, then heat under the broiler on medium for about 5 minutes.

Nom nom nom.

And, patience has been rewarded. Here's one of the videos the boys made last week - the rest link from this one!

[UPDATE: The subtitles on this one came out sort of small - if you make it full-screen you should be able to read them].

Friday, April 10, 2009

Nene Valley

We used John's birthday present from my parents (a two-year, family membership to the Nene Valley Railway) and went up to ride the trains today.

John and James have spent all week making movies (some of which will hopefully be posted on YouTube), and we had some fun shooting scenes from our version of The Great Escape today. Here's one of my all-time favorite pictures of the sm. boy:

We had a really good time taking pics and videos and running around the station, although John's having trouble editing it all into a coherent story line. Oh well, it was fun anyway!

Here's James, on the train, thoroughly enjoying his book (a Darren Shan). What is it with us and vampires?

And this one's for my dad:

As the daughter of a train geek (and ex-LIRR signalman) who married a train geek, I think this should be my new motto:

Here's a gratuitous railway shot, for all the fanboys (Dad, mostly):


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Recipe for happiness

6 days
1 round-trip flight from JFK to LHR
1 rental car
1 Bach Choir Concert
1 quarter peal (Bob Doubles, inside!)
2 visits to Narey's
1 forsythia bush
2 rosebushes
1 dwarf red maple
1 roast chicken
2 curries
1 Pizza Express
1 windswept and interesting visit to Sutton Hoo (with a tour)
2 pub lunches
6 back issues of Country Living
1 Bill Bryson book
1 hour of Flip video
1 husband
2 in-laws
1 StowmarKate's Dad (via Skype)

1 StowmarKate's Mom
1 StowmarKate

Mix well.

Unbelievably, I didn't take any pictures. We have some Flip videos, but that's it!