delphipsmith: (julia)
The news has really been getting me down lately, all the hyperbole and knee-jerk reactions and frantic pace and depressingly stupid words and actions by that weird guy who's been hanging out in the Oval Office recently. When I get down, one of the things that makes me feel better is cooking, so Friday night I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies (mmmm) which made both me and Mr Psmith very happy.

This morning I got ambitious and decided to try a recipe Mr Psmith found last week: Sweet Potato-Green Onion Pancakes with Poached Eggs, Holiday Ham and Pepper Jam. It sounds rather involved just from the ingredients in the title, but actually wasn't that much work. The most tedious part was grating the sweet potato (those little suckers are dense, man). I didn't bother with poaching the eggs, just rinsed and wiped out the pan I used for the pancakes and fried them over easy, while the pancakes were finishing up in the oven.

The end result was DEFINITELY worth it -- an elegant and satisfying combination of flavors and textures. And pretty to boot!

delphipsmith: (Elizabethan adder)
You've heard of Bluebeard of course. And, if you're a fan of Blackadder, Captain Redbeard Rumm.

Today, I present for your edification and jollification: CATBEARD!

(aka, Mr Psmith and Xena, one of our torties. She likes to hide in his beard. Freya, our other one, was off either climbing or destroying something, per her usual MO.)

xenaBeard.jpg
delphipsmith: (George scream)
So, just to be sure we're all clear on this: That was the MOLT I was posing with, NOT the actual spider. Please don't think me braver stupider than I actually am lol (For those of you want to look at it again, which may be none of you heheh, note how stiff the legs are and the clump of tissue filling the abdomen. Those are, er, "dead" giveaways!)

Also my apologies for not putting the picture behind a cut. I should have done, so as not to freak people out. There are things I just really do not want to see ever, and for some people, spiders are that. So sorry, guys!!

Here's the really funny part, though: when my brother and I were kids, he had snakes, rats and tarantulas. Our bedrooms were right next to each other, downstairs in a walkout basement. I had recurring nightmares that the spider had escaped and was sitting in my face. I swore that when *I* was a grownup, I would NEVER have those creepy things in my house no never not ever.

And now, here I am, *mumble* years later, with Mr Psmith, a room-full of tarantulas and snakes, and I'm letting him pose the damn thing's exoskeleton on my face.

Oh karma, you are a bitch, aren't you??
delphipsmith: (George scream)
Mr Psmith's biggest tarantula, Shelob, molted last week. He asked if I would kindly allow him to pose it on my face. In a moment of insanity (or possibly due to the three glasses of wine I had had), I said yes.

WARNING - BIG SPIDER UNDER CUT! )
delphipsmith: (WaitWhat)
delphipsmith: (George scream)
Good Thing the First: I am caught up on reading [livejournal.com profile] mini_fest, yay! So many wonderful little stocking stuffers, and one or two more substantial offerings. My favorite so far is a Minerva/Severus piece entitled Dark and Deep. Doesn't that title make you want to go there right now and read it?

Good Thing the Second: Real life is FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY slowing down, and I am so looking forward to getting back on LJ more. Since October when we moved house, it's just been one thing after another and woah, am I ready to slow down a little. I can also take on more of the mod-ly burdens for [livejournal.com profile] sshg_giftfest, which to date have been shouldered almost entirely by the valiant [livejournal.com profile] amorette, whom I owe big time for doing SO much more than her fair share. She is a true rock!

Good Thing the Third: Mr Psmith graduates tomorrow!!!! I am so proud of him I can hardly stand it :)

Good Thing the Fourth: This, shared with me by a fellow nerdgeek at work today. There are no words for how very much I love this:

delphipsmith: (cheesy goodness)
We've been getting a bit bored with the same old meals (except for the homemade linguine with clam sauce, we still luuuuuuuurv that) so we've been trying to find some new recipes to try out in the Psmith Test Kitchen. This week we had two solid hits, one vegan and both vegetarian. I am sad to say I took no photos, but I can still share the recipes.

The first was
Crispy Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries
. This came from a co-worker of mine who says it's the only way they get their son to eat vegetables and they are indeed finger-lickin' good. Instead of parm we used Manchego, which is a Spanish sheep cheese that we've become ferociously addicted to, and we baked them for 20 minutes instead of the 10-15. We followed the suggestion of finishing them off with 2 min under the broiler. I have to say that they never did really get crispy, but the flavor was fabulous. I think you'd have to bake them for about 30 min to actually get them crispy/crunchy. Next time I would toss them with a tiny bit of olive oil so that the cheese and seasoning mix sticks to the beans better (that might also make them crisp up). Best part: those little crispy bits of cheese "lace" on the tinfoil after all the beans were gone :)

The second was a recipe Mr Psmith found: Sweet potato quinoa cakes with avocado-lime dressing. He doesn't often suggest recipes so I was determined to make them to encourage more such activity :) And WOW were they a knockout! I baked the sweet potatoes the night before (because AN HOUR IN THE OVEN OMG), but everything else was pretty quick to put together. The mixture is kind of like falafel, very soft when you pat them into shape and they don't change much when you bake them. I baked them 25 minutes because 10-15 really only warmed them through, then I finished them off with 2 min under the broiler. Even with the extra baking time they were still fairly soft when done, but soooooo yummy!! Next time I might try broiling for 2 min, then flipping them and broiling another 2 so the other side gets a bit more toasted; you could probably also fry them in a little olive oil as you can with falafel patties. Maybe if I'd made the quinoa the night before so it had a chance to cool/dry a bit they might have been firmer? The avocado-lime dressing was fantastic -- I didn't bother using a blender since the avocado was really ripe, just minced the cilantro really tiny and then mushed everything up together with a fork. Also I didn't have any tahini, so intead of 1 T olive oil I used 1 T toasted sesame oil.

Oh, and a note on quinoa: you've probably been cooking it wrong. You get much better results with a 1:1 quinoa/liquid ratio instead of the 2:1 that most packages tell you. Bring it to a boil, put a tight lid on it, turn it down to low, and let it sit for 20 min then fluff with a fork.

Also, why do they sell cilantro in such ENORMOUS bundles? What am I to do with all the rest of it?

And tomorrow our favorite restaurant is doing a vegetarian dinner with wine pairings, so instead of the usual Friday pizza we will have major foodie goodness!!
delphipsmith: (grinchmas)
Mr. Psmith has mentioned several times wanting a Gryffindor scarf, so a couple of weeks ago I commissioned [livejournal.com profile] irishredlass to make one (she is so talented!!) for his birthday. It arrived a couple of days ago, and although his birthday isn't until the 27th, today's forecast (18" of snow, low tonight of 8, below zero wind chill) inspired me to give it to him early. I'm glad I did so -- not only is he ridiculously happy with it/proud of it, but we have a foot of snow already and it's still coming down like nobody's business! Here he is in our back yard, resplendent in his House colors :)

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