Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ta Da! Baking Blog.

So I finally decided on the name for the new baking blog.

Lick the Spatula.

Cliche? Yeah maybe...but I love to do it while baking.

And it was available on blogger.

Win win.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Baking Blog & Umm...Cupcakes.

So I want to start a baking blog. I figure this blog was initially supposed to be a fun thing to help out of town friends and family keep apprised of what goes on in our oh-so-exciting lives.

But as our neighbor points's mostly about FOOD. Which if you know me, really isn't surprising.

Lately it's more about CUPCAKES. Which is my current obsession. Well who am I kidding, I love sweets. Period. And always have. Cupcakes is the latest manifest of my sweet loving tooth....I have always loved cupcakes and always will.

But I figure hmmm a baking blog could be fun. Because I go through the cookie phase as well. And the muffin phase, which is kind of like cupcakes. Honestly, I have always been a fan of 'things made in pans' ...!

So...I've been trying to come up with some names for the blog. I've bounced them off a few friends. A few resonate but of course the ones I really want are already taken on blogger because they are so amazingly cool. Like Glazed Over. I mean I'm sure I'm not the second or 10th person to think of that one. Or Vanilla Bean.

Anyway, the top contenders now are Sugar Nib (does anyone actually know what that is?) and Coarse Sugar. I like Coarse Sugar because I'm a fledgling baker, unrefined. But Sugar Nib is just so fun and cute. I don't want to pidgeonhole myself into a 'cake' or 'cupcake' name but I figure Sugar or something like 'baking' could work. Any other ideas ?!!?! I also had Glossed Sugar but I don't love it. I also liked the Unpolished Cupcake...but that's cupcake specific. Meh!!

So while I've been trying to think up names for the new baking blog....yeah. I made cupcakes.

I'm all chocolated out thanks to the choco-bake-fest I did last weekend and honestly the sight of chocolate cupcakes makes my stomach turn a bit right now. Is this therapy? If so, I kind of like it!!

I went fruity this time. I had some yummy Lemon Pound Cake from Miette in SF last week and it was soooooo overly sugary sweet lemony citrusy sour that I think my mouth was confused. So I wanted to do something lemony but not that crazy puckery sweet lemony. More like a fluffy vanilla lemony. Dug through some blogs...and compiled a few recipes. Came up with this one and it came out really awesome.

Vanilla Lemony Cupcakes
(filled with Raspberry jam)

1c cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 stick softened butter
3/4c baking sugar
1 egg and 1 egg white
1/4c milk
1 tblsp vanilla
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp lemon zest
raspberry jam

Sift cake flour, powder, soda, salt in a bowl, set aside. Cream butter and sugar til fluffy. Add egg and egg white, whip til incorporated well. Add lemon zest, vanilla, lemon juice, milk, whip well. At this point the batter is not smooth looking but slightly curdled (lemon I guess?). Fold in flour bowl, don't overmix.

Preheat oven to 350. Line up mini muffin party cups or use small mini baking pan with liners. Using a canteloupe baller, fill each cup just partway with batter. Add put small dollop of raspberry jam in center, don't let touch sides of liners. Put more batter into cup, fill 2/3 only.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, using toothpick to check. If using regular flat pan with nut/party cups, put silpat liner down to help prevent blackening. (Next time I might lower temp just slightly as well to see). Let cool on oven rack for another minute with oven open before removing to cool.

This recipe makes 16 mini cupcakes. I would imagine it'd make about 6 large ones.

Frosting was just cream cheese, confectioners sugar, lemon juice all whipped into a frenzy til I liked the consistency. If you want, add some raspberry jam, just a tiny bit, gives it a pale pink color. Frost with spatula or pipe. Garnish with one raspberry on each cuppie (I used frozen).

Note on raspberries, they sweat and esp the frozen ones as they melt, so let them sweat onto a paper towel first before putting them on as garnish. I put them on then they started sweating so I took them off and let them dry out first on a paper towel but a few of the cuppies looked like they were bled on! Thanks raspberries. Also...they sweat LATER as well, so the raspberries are kind of a funny add, but people actually liked the little color they added to the frosting funnily enough.

Also, I think that I need a silpat liner on the cookie sheet next time because the poor little nut and party cups were all brown on the bottom from the heat through the cookie sheet. I need something to help even that out and maybe even raise the rack from the bottom more. Might try these again this wkd to perfect, as I only used 1/2 the cream cheese frosting on I have 1/2 left.

You could omit raspberry jam in the center if you don't want a filled cuppie. Then I'd really use the raspberry in frosting. But even with the cuppies filled and used in frosting, it wasn't too much raspberry, I just used a tiny bit. Also, interestingly enough people LOVED the filling in the cupcake. I have to try another filled one soon.

Lastly, random...but when my husband was eating his tonite I noticed that the jam area was slightly hollowed out as the jam baked into the cupcake. My husband said it was the steam releasing into the cupcake as the jam baked. I thought interesting, could that possibly be why these are so moist as well, from the steam?? Not sure, but it's fun to ponder.

Why am I babbling on? Pictures!

Batter up.

Batter & jam mingling.

Baked and cooling. I overfilled them so some went a little crazee.

Frosted and raspberried.

Dissasembled and dissected. Yum!

Goodies in the Mail.

I love when stuff comes in the mail. I'm an online shopping whenever a box comes its like Christmas. Christmas daily works for me. Or at least Christmas 2x a week. Sometimes Greg's Mom sends us these fabulous boxes of brownies...they taste like crack. Seriously. I have to eat them all immediately to save myself from eating them slowly over the next week and prolonging the agony. It's great.

This box was at the doorstep on Thurs night. No wonder I wanted to bake immediately upon opening. Look at the goodies inside.

YUM. I ordered from thanks to chockylit's blog and got the cutie nut and party cups she uses...figure let's diversify the cupcake liner love a bit. And I like them so far. I need to work on a few things but I figured the most important to get the finished, frosted cupcake out we're doing pretty well so far.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Let's Go Green...

For St. Patty's Day anyway.

Here are my masterpieces from Sunday night baking...I'm a lagger on posting as usual.

Chocolate Sour Cream cuppies with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting. The frosting was such a was crazy. I could just eat the frosting, forget the cake. Sacrilege????

The cake could be any recipe really. I used the one below from Sat and added sour cream, interesting consistency, people liked them.

The idea for Bailey's frosting is one I found online--can't recall where, but I used HowToEatACupcake's whipped buttercream idea...fabulous. Just gotta get it a bit stiffer next time I think. Or dollop it instead of pipe it.

Whipped Buttercream 'recipe'...I never get the quantities right but you get the idea.

1 stick softened butter
2c confectioners sugar
1/2c heavy whipped cream
1 tsp milk
Baileys Irish Cream liquer

Whip butter til creamed, add conf. sugar and milk til you get the consistency you want (might be more or less than 2c), add cream, whip with stand mixer paddle til insanely fluffy. Add liqeur. Frost.

I am still not sure if you have to refridgerate or not but I did anyway due to the small amount of cream. Don't want to give anyone food poisoning...hehee.

Out of what I have made so far, peanut gallery aka hubby's loves is this whipped buttercream and the kahlua cupcakes overall. I guess we like our sweet liquer!!

Cooling. They fell slightly which I wasn't sure about but frosting is fab for covering that up.

Whipped Buttercreamy goodness.

Frosted. Cuter this way I think before adding color.

St. Patty's Day-ified. One sweet coworker said they looked prof. Poor lovely deluded gal!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Let Them Eat Cupcakes...

So the focus of my life most of the time besides my allergic bacterial rat and my cute yet grubby car-working hubby is typically food. How to make it, when and where to eat it. Though lately more how to make it and more specifically cupcake it rather than other types of sweets.

Every time I have yet another cupcake, and it's often since cupcakeries are popping up like rashes around here...I think oh this is lovely, this is divine, and then 5 bites later, ugh this is gross, this is too sweet. I am so over them.

Until the next time...when I spot a cupcake in a window or the word 'bakery' as I drive by. And I perk up. And inevitably I'm eating another cupcake.

So lately I've started learning how to bake them. Anyone can mix up some boxed cake mix and slap on some Betty Crocker frosting (the bomb by the way)..I've been doing it for years. But really baking cupcakes? Like from scratch? With melted chocolate and buttermilk? Whaaa?

My 2nd experiment was already posted below and they came out wonderful...rave reviews from the peanut gallery, aka aforementioned husband and my ladies at work who haven fab with the feedback.

So I've started collecting recipes. When I eat cupcakes anywhere now it's almost more of a taste test. How do they get the frosting to be so buttery? Where did they get this CUTE cupcake paper?

Today was a lazy Saturday and so I decided to put all my hard research to work for me. I combined a handful of double chocolate/devils food/uberrichgoingtokillyou chocolate recipes from cookbooks and the internet and made these.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes.

and then I reserved half the batter and made two variations for testing.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

The jury is still out on what is the favorite. Got experimental on the frosting too.

Fun baking facts I've learned...the hard way mostly!!
--Mini cuppies only take slightly more than 1/2 the baking time of biggies.
--Test your oven's temperature. No seriously. I thought ours was off by maybe 10 degrees. Try FIFTY. So now when I want 350 I have to put in 400. Crazy huh? No wonder our chicken always took forever to cook.
--When recipes say 17-22 minutes, start checking at 15 and keep testing til clean. Depending on your oven and your ingredients, it might 15, don't learn this the hard way.
--Let cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing to cooling rack. Don't leave them too long in the pan or else the heat might continue to cook them a little too much.

So without further ado, the successful end-result recipe and notes on variations.

Basic Double Chocolate Cupcakes

2c hot brewed coffee
1 1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder (Hersheys)
3/4c well shaken buttermilk
1/4c sour cream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2c baking sugar
2c flour all purpose
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs & 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla

in med bowl, mix hot coffee with cocoa til paste forms.
in another med bowl, mix buttermilk & sour cream, whisk til combined.
in third med bowl, mix flour, baking soda, powder, salt in med bowl.
cream butter in a stand mixer, add sugar and beat til fluffy, about 3 minutes.
add eggs to mix, then vanilla, blend til combined.
add buttermilk bowl to cocoa coffee bowl, whisk til liquid and creamy.
add flour bowl and cocoa buttermilk bowls to stand mixer, alternating, til combined. do not overbeat, just blend til combined.

spoon into liners. bake 350 for 17-20 min or until tester comes out clean.

--add peppermint extract into batter for a chocolate mint cupcake. use any type of frosting.
--add kahlua into batter for a chocolate kahlua cupcake. for kahlua frosting, beat heavy cream until thickened. add kahlua, cocoa powder, confectioners sugar. beat til soft peaks form. don't overbeat or it will turn into butter.

mixing coffee and cocoa w/buttermilk cream

sugar and butter creaming.

mixing cocoa and buttersugar.

in the cups!

frseh outta the oven & cooling..

kahlua variation with kahlua whipped cream.

chocolate cuppies with kahlua whipped w/shavings.

mini kahlua with cream and espresso bean.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cupcake Me!

I know I know, my poor blog is languishing thanks to my Yelping.

So recently, I decided that I wanted to take a page from Janna's super-amazing baking book. Bought a frosting gun! Signed up for a cake decorating class with a few friends. But before that...I've been practicing.

Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes w/Lemon Buttercream ... Mini Style!
Recipe adapted from a Martha Stewart link...apparently Billy's is some famous bakery in NYC. NYC in my household. Awesome! I would post the recipe link but MS's website is down for now. I third'd the recipe and they came out fab. 24 Minis.

They ARE as good as they look. As I type this, my husband is eating one making loud MMMM noises. Ahhh, gotta love my fan base.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fraiche Yogurt.

This one is for Janna.

Fraiche Yogurt in all about my visit last nite here in my Yelp review. I wanted to like it better but the decor was the only fab thing about it. Wish you had been here to try it with us.

Back in the Swing of Things.

It's nice to be back home and settled in.

Scenes from everyday non-feverish life are fab.

A curly pony.

Bowl of berries in 0% new fave 'dessert'

Vday bug love & a Schurra's Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Heart (Lent was postponed on Vday of course)

Protein pancakes with AnyWhey photo up above, our breakkie for this morning (thanks Mike!!)...recipe for anyone interested!!

3/4c whole wheat white flour
1 scoop AnyWhey protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown or turbinado sugar
1 egg white
3oz fat free natural plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

Mix flour, protein powder, cinnamon, sugar. Add egg white, yogurt, vanilla, blend to mix. Add water to reach desired consistency. I added frozen blueberries, used real butter for the griddle, and sugar free syrup. YUM. The above makes 2 servings of four 3-4" pancakes; 260 cals and 20g protein each serving. Protein packed punch.Woot.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sweetless for Lent.

Lately I've been eating way too much of this...

(fab cinnamon roll in a cafe in Buffalo)

and this...

(the famous Stan's Donuts in Santa Clara..thanks Yelpers)

and this...

(fab cupcakes from Sara Lyn's in SF)

So when Lent came around, I hemmed and hawed for a few days...but then I committed. Mostly.

No sweets/desserts for Lent. I'm a Catholic but never really truly 'practiced'. To be honest...this is more about 'can I really do it for 35 days (it was supposed to be 40 but the hemming and hawing took a few extra days)' than the whole God will love me more if I don't eat as much sugar (probably not since I'm way more cranky!). But really I just needed to reign in the sugar intake. Since I got the evil flu when I started, it's been quite easy actually. Maybe I already went through my 'detox'. But ask me on day 25 how I feel.

I can however have natural tart yogurt...a justification because it's (a) natural and (b) yogurt and (c) the only garnishes are fresh fruit. So I figure it's not really a dessert. Plus it has protein. Bonus.

(yummy tartness from Cafe Delatti)

Scenes from Buffalo.

We haven't seen Greg's friends Mike and Molly and their kids in almost 4 years, since our wedding in Hawaii. A lifetime ago.

So it was fab to see them again..spend some time with them and their family and enjoy some fun hours in their beautiful house. Hanging out with their kids almost makes us want to have some of our own. Almost.

There was a lot of this going on for the boys...

And a whole lot of this for the girls....

And we all benefitted from a little of this. Wings are much better in Buffalo.

Super cute picture. I like this one because Alex is pouting and Abby looks delighted. HAH!

I don't even know what was happening here...only that I can see Greg's tonsils.

Two pretty ladies...

Silly boy! Tricks are for kids.

Mike and Molly's house was just beautiful and we felt right at home. Thanks for a fab visit!!!

Traveling Fool.

MIA=Missing in Action.

That's been me for oh...gosh the last month!! But I have such a good excuse. I think it's called Life?

Traveled to Minnesota for work. GAH...Minnesota you ask? WHY? Yeah I ask myself that sometimes too. -13 degree weather. Yes that's a negative sign in front of the 13. I impressed even myself with my lack of reaction to the blistering cold and snow. It was very pretty and bleak at the same time. So incredibly dry that it made California look like a wetland. I was happy to come home and my sinuses were happy to rehydrate.

Traveled to Buffalo for fun. Well the traveling part was not fun, but the visiting part was. One of Greg's friend's from college turned 40 and his lovely wife wanted us to fly in as a surprise. Since we are unfettered by those pesky attachments called children and my parents are only too happy to be pretend owners of a white rat for a few days, we said SURE. While sitting through hours of delays in the airport, I often wonder why that SURE came out, but in the end the visit we had with Greg's pal and his family was so wonderful that it was totally worth all the painful travel scenarios. Suffice it to say we got turned around midair once AND delayed a day on our return. At least we got to watch the Superbowl on a plush couch with pizza, thanks to the extra day delay.

Then gosh...I had all these great plans for updating the blog!! I have a ton of pictures too. But coming back after 2 weeks of traveling...stuff at work was piling up, the house was a mess. Life!!

Then fate intervened in the form of a nasty little germ called the flu. Moi...down for the count for 4.5 full days. 101.5 degree temperature. Body aches, muscles feeling like someone was forcibly ripping them out of my body. Delirium. Was definitely fun times. Forced rest. Another week of work missed. Greg got it but not nearly as bad as me and was only out of work a day. Jealous of those awesome genes that boy has got going on.

So now here I am...fever free and finally catching up on the blog, my email, housework, grocery shopping, whew. It's been a long month. Oh and Valentine's Day? Lobster rolls on the couch with my honey was all she much for our awesome prix fixe dinner ressies at The Grill. But damn those lobster rolls were good, and the company was pretty sweet too.

A picture of my miniscule tray table in flight is up life encapsulated on a small square of 8x6 for hours on one of the flights.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Present! For Me??

Fun job perk. Every once in a while a vendor sends us something fun as a giftie to thank us for working with them. One of my affiliates has started doing this on what appears to be a monthly basis (I'm hoping).
Got this at work on pretty. And even better is what was inside...fruity spring goodies. And the non-chocolate kind. Making it super easy for me not to eat coworkers love them though. Love you special vendor.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Caught me a Tuna.

Trader Joe's being my favorite grocery store...we do about 99% of our shopping there and get the other stuff we can't maybe on 2 trips a month to the bigger stores. TJ's can be hit or miss sometimes re: fresh fish and all that. So imagine my surprise when I saw they had sashimi grade Ahi Tuna. 2 steaks, 1lb of Ahi for $14? Wow that's a bargain. At Whole Foods it would have been more like $30. Red and fleshy, it looked divine. So I took it home.

Decided to get creative with it on Tuesday night. Tuna doesn't keep very well in the fridge like this, esp sashimi grade. And I wanted to do a sear. So it had to be pretty fresh. Even Tues was pushing it. So even though I wasn't feeling like Tuna, I grilled it up.

I wanted a lazy man's version of a flavorful restaurant sear. So I put on some salt, thyme, soy sauce and dried ginger. A lot of fresh cracked black pepper. I love a blackened pepper seared at a posh restaurant.

Heated up the flat grill then dropped it on. Sizzle, crackle, pop. It's lookin' pretty good. Tasted even better. Served it with TJ's yummy little chicken dumpling potsticker things I can never remember the name of. Asian night at the Tylers' on Tuesday. Greg pronounced it fab. I was impressed too. Who knew I could be so good at searing Ahi. Pronounced a success, next time I might get even more creative. Wasabi ginger paste anyone? Owie!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Winter Means Lasagna.

So last winter I perfected this recipe for lasagna that I originally found on Cooking Light. Every time I made it, I changed something which seemed to make it better. I made it all winter long to Greg's happiness...but I can't seem to find the drive to make it at all in hot weather. So I only pull it out when the weather is BRRisk.

Unfort now I can't find the sauce that I used to use as easily, so short of ordering it online in packs of TWELVE, I am trying to find an alternative. The one I made on Sunday was a very close contender, good in a pinch but I'm still testing.

Funny I never used to be a lasagna fan til I made mine. We both absolutely love it. And I never even bother eating it anywhere else because I don't like it as much as mine. And mine is I like it even more. Because while it's way better for you than most lasagnas out there, you cannot tell..because I'm such a flavor whore that I make sure it doesn't taste the least bit non-saturated.

My 'recipe' is loosey goosey...I basically add whatever I want in terms of quantity..aka if you like mushrooms, add a lot. Like it more meaty, add more meat. Like it more saucey, add more sauce. But here is the jist.

For the meat sauce:
1lb ground 94/6 lean beef (or you can do a ground turkey beef blend)
1/2 diced onion
12oz can of tomato sauce
12oz can of diced tomatoes (use regular or basil/garlic or whatever you want)
Jar of pasta sauce (My fave was Emerils Kicked Up Tomato, a nice spicy lift to it, but I can't find it anymore locally so I have been experimenting. This time I used Trader Giottos (TJ's brand)..see picture below!)
6oz Baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
6oz Crimini mushrooms, sliced
Dried Oregano; Dried Basil
Diced Garlic
EVOO for pan/spray

For the 'ricotta' cheese mix:
1 or 2 egg whites
1 container fat free or low fat cottage cheese
1/2c shredded parmesan
1/2c shredded skim mozzarella

For layering/prepping:
8x8 or 11x8 deep baking dish
Lasagna noodles (I love Dreamfields, it's got a ton of protein and fiber and lower in carbs)
1/2 a can of tomato sauce or rest of Pasta sauce jar

For the meat sauce..I sautee garlic in a spray of EVOO til fragrant. Add onion, cook 1-2 min til slightly translucent. Add ground beef/turkey, toss til mostly cooked. Add mushrooms, basil, oregano. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta sauce jar...stirring each time you add something. I typically only use 3/4 of the jar of pasta sauce. Reserve the rest for later. Let everything simmer in pan for 5-10 minutes, putting lid or screen on to prevent splattering.

I typically make the sauce 4-6 hours before building my lasagna OR let it sit overnight in the fridge. The reason is that I noticed when I did this that the meat soaked up most of the sauce and it became an even richer tasting dish and less 'saucey'. So if you have the time, pour the pan contents into a big bowl, cover and refridgerate. Another option is to pour it into a crockpot at this point and let it simmer on low for 3-4 hours. This will also reduce sauce pretty quickly.

When it's time to build lasagna, mix cottage cheese, parm, mozz and egg whites in a bowl. Put small amount of sauce only on bottom of dish.

Note, I don't use 'no precook' lasagna noodles because you don't have to with this dish. So don't pre-cook your noodles, no matter how much you think 'well there's no way they will soften without a pre-cook'. Trust me..they will. Also don't use those lame no-cook Barilla noodles, they are the most useless flimsy noodles ever and the dish is not the same with them. Dreamfields has those thick deep ridges that lasagna noodles should have. So make sure you use something like that.

Put down Lasagna noodles (I have to break mine 3/4 of the way to get them to fit in a square dish, if you use a 11x8 you won't have to do this) on top of sauce. Pour a bit of the regular tomato sauce over the noodles to wet them a bit (this is where the not-needing-to-bake-lasagna-comes-in. Spoon meat mixture over noodles. Spoon cottage cheese mixture over meat mixture, smooth over to cover. (I use small spoonfulls around the dish to keep coverage even but without building too bulky of a layer). Another pasta layer on top. A bit more basic/plain sauce. More meat. Another layer of cottage cheese. Then on top of the cottage cheese, layer a bit more meat sauce. Meat should be on the top, because the cottage cheese mixture will burn if exposed.

Bake at 365 for about 30 minutes. Pull out, top with 1/4c mozz cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes or until bubbling. My dish is always packed full so I get some boil over, best to cook on a cookie sheet or similar to catch runoff.

Let sit for ~15 minutes to cool a bit before cutting. This stuff is awesome the next day as well. Serve with toasted garlic butter bread...or our favorite, the Moroccan Olive bread from TJ's.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Whadd'ya Want?

Oh the attitude that I get from the fuzzy white one at times.
It's like 'leave me alone will ya? I'm nappin' on Dad'.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Trout...It's What's for Dinner!

Intrigued by a continuation of the Emeril Healthy Fast episode, made this trout dish on Monday. I am such a slack about updating this blog thing.

Anyway, the dish turned out fab EXCEPT for one thing. The nice guy at the fish counter at Whole Foods lied to me when he said that this trout was boneless. Greg and I spent 1/2 the dinner picking the bones out of the thing. Next time I'll use a nice Halibut or Seabass. But overall flavor was good. And it was EASY. Less than 1o min prep. Schwing!

Emeril's Recipe:,,FOOD_9936_100267,00.html

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Home Cooked Meal.

On Friday I watched Emeril on the flat screen at the work gym and they had this Healthy in a Hurry show. One of the dishes looked uber tasty, some sort of pasta crab thing. I looked it up online, and invited our neighbors over to partake of the dinner goodness.

However, since it was a light dish, it didn't really turn out the way I was expecting, a little bland for my tastes and I added a wee bit too much pasta. Greg loved it though, he cleaned his plate AND told me to stop disparaging his wife's cooking.

The salad was tasty though, romaine with stinky bleu cheese and candied walnuts from TJ's. Pear gorgonzola vinaigrette.

At least the bowls were cute. And the basil was fresh. A bit of leftover pasta is in the fridge, I might do some experiments on it tomorrow with additional spices.