Martha Thinks

Monday, January 28, 2013

Playing with light

So this happened.  I was cutting off the top of a small head of lettuce because there were some brown bits on it...and I noticed it looked like a rose.  So I took a picture of it and for the very first time started to play with all of the fun picture options in Picasa, lighten, brighten, fade, sepia, color, etc.  It's so much FUN!

And now ta dah.  From a head of lettuce to a rose with help from a little mouse.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Backyard birds

Sitting at my computer and watching the strategically placed bird feeder directly in my view - makes me very happy.  I am not a big bird watcher as far as knowing the different species, etc. but I do like helping them get a little snack in the cold winter months. 
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Breakfast of Champions

Well champions who live in the Northeast and are facing no higher than 20 degrees temperatures today.  I have officially become a food snob.  There was a carton of whipping cream just staring at me in the refrigerator so I thought, live now!  Monday is a special occasion!  Whip it up for your own coffee!

And a little Callebaut chocolate grated on top just makes it all the sweeter. 

All it's all fun and games until the birdies start tweeting and the sun starts to get a little warmer and you realize swimsuit season is around the corner.  Then that whipped cream you've been eating all winter needs to go and...well, that's for a few months down the road.

Leave me alone.  I'm drinking my coffee.
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Just the right shade of blue.

Ah, indeed.  Tiffany blue.  This morning's adventure took me to Boston to purchase a lovely gift for a wonderful couple.  When I got married, it was the first time I received such luxury.  And it still remains iconic and special.

Deep inside the bag, the blue looks a little more sea green.  Seriously I could look at it all day.

And the bow.  Can we talk about the bow?  How long does it take for the salespeople at Tiffany to learn to tie such a perfect bow with the ends done at a perfect angle.  Are there classes? 

Even the sales receipt is elegant in it's own enclosed envelope, like a calling card delivering a private message.  Ah, Tiffany, I love you so.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

An ounce of prevention...

I am such a foodie that it is impossible for me to stay completely away from sweets.  I just can't "not" put whipped cream in my coffee on a freezing winter afternoon.  And I know I am not alone with the whole chocolate thing.  C'mon.  It's never going away.

But it is time to introduce more veggies so I thought this "Giada" recipe looked good for this cold January day.

Kale, baby, kale!  Already makes me feel good.

The finished pot.  Looks good, tastes GREAT.  Best part, eat as much as you want!  Thank you again, Giada.  You have never failed me. That will keep the nasty flu away.
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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On food, plans and life.

Last year's New Year's resolution was to go back to cooking school.  I enrolled, got my uniform, textbook, knife set, small rolling suitcase because I could not carry it all, guts to be in "school" with many half my age...tried my hardest, really I did!...but only lasted 6 days in a professional school.

Undaunted I carried on and devised my own curriculum to learn at my own pace.  I enrolled in a 4 week session of "Intro to Baking", one day a week, 4 hours a day.  It was delightful and perfect in every way.  I learned more there with just 8 students than at my full-on classroom of 29 students in the professional school.  The chef was warm and understanding.  I also found an amazing cake decorating class at a bakery, again a very encouraging and happy experience.

So one thing I would have to say I learned from last year is that there are no rules to achieving your goals.  When you get to be a certain age and something doesn't feel right you don't need to sit in the puddle and wait for it to stop raining.  Put up the umbrella and move on.  You've earned it, it's your right, it's your life!
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Oh yeah, and learned how to make fried mozzarella sticks.  So amazing that you will impress yourself, your family and your friends.  That amazing.  A little work, but go for it.  Totally worth it.
So I didn't end the year working in a professional kitchen, but the passion for food, taste and presentation has only gotten stronger.

The art and painting side of my life bubbled up again and I taught two children's painting classes and have been asked to teach another session.

I was able to enjoy my middle son's high school graduation and give him a party which I never would have been able to do as a full-time student.

I helped my youngest plan and finish his bedroom where he will hang out until he is off to college - and it came out great.  And although I didn't get the "perfect job", I made it to the final 5 candidates from a pool of 80.  And that makes me proud, too.

The funny thing about life is although we have our lists and notebooks, sticky pads and date planners, there is still much out there out of our control.  I plan to keep moving forward, one day to the next, keeping the recipe books and the paint brushes within arm's reach.

And lucky enough to be surrounded by friends who don't judge, just encourage, as we all see what's in store for the always unpredictable year ahead - is lucky enough. 

Bobble Me

Such an inspired Christmas gift, I cannot remember my children receiving.  My friend Pam - and Carter's godmother - set about to ordering personalized bobbleheads for them for Christmas.  She needed a head shot for both of them so we sat down together and picked one out.  Then the website needed eye color, hair styles and what little bobblehead clothing they would wear.

I think I might have thrown in the towel trying to find a headshot if I were ordering it!  You know we all have these great ideas and then, meh, takes too much time and we shelve them. 

But she persevered and in the end made all of us laugh a lot.  Though a little "freaked out" by just how well the sculptors got it right...the boys have a fun addition to take back to their dorm rooms for the next semester.
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