Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Adventures with my Brother Spaghetti with Brown Butter

Larry and I did something we haven't done in awhile this Thanksgiving - 

We Went Away.  

On a plane.  

To Las Vegas!!

We went to visit my baby brother Bryan and his wife Sarah and their kids Travis (14) and Beth (11) And their dogs Jack, Belle and Tattoo. And oh my goodness, we had such a great time!!

It started out with Bryan and Sarah buying our tickets as a graduation present for Larry AND then using their points to bump us up to first class on the long Charlotte to Las Vegas leg of the trip.
After being in first class, I don't know how I've ever flown before.  or will ever fly again.  Sigh. It was SOOOOO sweet....  they treat you like humans and serve you food and drink and smile at you.  We sat down and they offered us ice water before the plane even left!  Then the steward came around and asked us what we'd like to drink. Larry said Bourbon.  All they had was Jack Daniels, and Larry said that's fine.  The steward asked if he wanted it with ice or water and Larry said no, I'll take it neat.  " are hardcore!!" the steward said. "I'll have to keep my eye on youuuu!!!

On Weds Larry went along on a dog walk.

Bryan, Sarah and Travis

I had to ask Sarah what it was like - living in an area where the sun shines and the sky is relentlessly blue!!!

On Thanksgiving Day we had wonderful dinner with my dad and Sarah's parents Mary and Walt.

Family Portrait!
Our dad.

Then on Friday morning we got up at 3:30 in the AM and took off for Universal Studios in Los Angeles.  
(My dad stayed behind to catch up on his sleep, watch the dogs and try to figure out Bryan's TV.)

Universal Studios was a blast!!  We had VIP tickets - Just like first class!!!

8am. Just before our VIP Tour started.

The gas station from Back to the Future!

the bates home from Psycho!!

Tom Cruise's War of the Worlds

The whole lot of us!!!

After we left universal Studios, we went to the Old Spaghetti Factory and met with Susan, Sarah's twin for dinner.  Yummo!!!  

Here is one of the dishes that we had there and which I made for dinner tonight.  Simple and tasty!!

I'll write more later about the Strip and Bingo and more cool stuff we did!!

So try out this spaghetti!!  Easy and SOOOO good!!!

Old Spaghetti Factory's Spaghetti with Brown Butter
Serves/Makes: 4    |   Difficulty Level: 3    |   Ready In: < 30 minutes

1 cup butter
1 cup Mizithra cheese
pasta of choice

Browned Butter Procedure: Cut butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and place in a 2-quart sauce pan. Place the pan of butter on a burner on medium heat. Bring butter to a slow boil (about 5 minutes).

Once the butter begins to boil, stir constantly to prevent residue from sticking to the bottom of the pan. As the butter cooks, it will start to foam and rise. Continue stirring, otherwise the butter foam could overflow (about 5 minutes) and catch fire.

Once the butter stops foaming and rising, cook until amber in color (about 1 to 2 minutes). It will have a pleasant caramel aroma.

Turn off the heat and remove pan from burner. Let the sediment settle to the bottom of the pan for a few minutes.

Pour the brown butter through a strainer into a small bowl. Do not disturb the residue at the bottom of the pan.

The brown butter can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a microwave as needed.

Boil the pasta of choice until Al Dente. Drain pasta and divide into four servings. Spread 1/4 cup of Mizithra over each pasta serving. Top with 1/4 cup of hot brown butter.

Cook's Notes: There is a terrific dish served by The Old Spaghetti Factory chain, called Spaghetti with Browned Butter,. It is served topped with shredded Mizithra cheese (a Greek hard cheese). If mizithra is not available (I am able to easily locate it St. Louis at cheese shops and some supermarkets), a blend of ricotta salata and romano is suggested.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pity Party Expanded

I woke up this morning sad and depressed from a bad dream. 

And I had a pounding headache.

And it was pouring rain outside.

And it was Tuesday.  The day I get up around 5 to take Larry to the metro.  I did promise, after all.

Then I got to work and it was just one crisis after another.

So after I left work and crawled into my car I decided that a little pity party was in order.

And what's a pity party without retail therapy??  So I went to The Very Thing, a local consignment store.  

And I felt MUCH better when I left!

Look at my cool stuff!!!!

A Rocking Horse Santa. So Sweet!!
This is a beautiful double handled depression glass bowl.  I've had my eye on it for awhile now...

Debbie Mumm Snowman mugs!! I bought a set of these years ago when I worked  at the quilt store and fell in love with Debbie Mumm fabrics.  And we literally used them up!!  I couldn't believe that they were there...Way high above my head.  The saleslady had to use a reacher thingy to get one down to see what the price was.  She said 4 mugs for $5.00.  I said ooooh, and she said I'll just get the rest down for you....

My new holiday Sangria pitcher.  When I first showed it to Audrey I slipped and said "Sangria MUG"  She raised her eyebrow and I thought to myself..add a squiggly straw and I would be in business...

What I didn't  buy....but probably

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Electronic Family - Masters of the Obvious

My friend Sue and I had a quick phone conversation today.  

Quick because I was on my way to work, and quick because even though Sue is officially retired  (I am not at ALL jealous...) she was busy packing and getting ready to go visit young Charlie.  Oh and Matt and Mandy and Charlie's furry brother Mitch.

Sue:  So are you working from home today?

Me:  Not anymore, but Audrey will be there.

Sue: Oh, good!  Then I can run over and bring your plates back.

Me:  It's ok, Sue.  You can wait until you get back...I have a couple of other dishes that I can use until then....

Me  Oh that reminds me, i need to bring back 3 more of your tablecloths!

Sue:  That's ok.  Take your time!  I only have one table!!

That must be why we are such good friends...

We have back-ups!!!