Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To Crab or Crab not

There is a four year old birthday coming to our house soon.

After some discussion, I thought it might be fun to get a small pet, something easy to care for, but not a fish or a rodent. Definately not a snake.

Enter the hermit crab. I took my son to two pet stores and we looked at the various displays. We got two books about hermit crabs and I have done lots of research online. It seems, there is more to hermit crab care than I thought, but it's pretty much making sure your set-up is adequate. After that it's seems easy.

The first hurdle: you should have more than one. Easily leapt. ThYO gets two and I get one (hey, come on, who is really going to provide care?)

Second hurdle: The stuff--10 gallon tank, humidity guage, temp guage, heating device, marine salt, substrate, lid, toys, food, etc. We can leap this too.

So right now, we have a "Crabitat" set up in ThYO's room. I found temp and humidity guages that are color coded so I can teach him how to tell if the climate is okay (needles should be pointing to yellow, not red or blue. We have gone through all our meals with quizzes about what crabs can eat (surpisingly a lot, they're scavengers). He has even named them (though the names change each day). He looks through his books and seems very excited. I even started a journal for him.

In about a month, there should be three new additions to our family.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pasta, Pizza and Polenta

My foray to Italy has been quite fun. I'm getting better at making pasta. We are all enjoying polenta. And I have come across a recipe for manicotti that is sooo good!

I've made carbonara so well that it has been decided as a family to keep it on the permanent menu rotation (the same could not be said of my stuffed frittata). I'm not sure when the menu rotation will be back into our house. Farmers market season is coming and we might be traveling to South and Central America soon, sfter stopping in Greece of course.

One thing that surprises me is that I have been reading so many cookbooks these past weeks, yet none is so outstanding that I want to buy it. My favorite is Ciao Italia by Maryann Espozito (already owned).

The other weird thing is my husband (okay so maybe the fact that he is weird is actually normal). The standard at our house is that if dinner isn't at least prepped when he gets home, he can step in. Historically this is about once a week. What has shocked me is that those days he gets to choose the meal, he has been choosing...Pizza.

I have been making pizza--the dough from scratch. We've had margarita, pizza bianco, focaccia, and good ole pepperoni. The family has vetoed anchovies and I am the only one who will eat asparagus now (it made an awesome focaccia!). So it is very confusing why my husband wants pizza.

Come on honey! How about tacos, or stir-fry?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


We are living in Italy this month.

The inspiration:
Have you heard about the blogger that decided to make every recipe from Julia Child's French cookbook over the course of a year? This person now has a book deal (I'm not in the market for a book deal).
I was listening to my Splendid Table Podcast and a caller was talking about how he wanted to spend a year cooking one cuisine. He had several regions in a hat and he was preparing to pull a name and live with it for the next year.

What a fun idea!

So I told my husband we were going to Italy.

Why Italy? The kids like pasta. I already have most of the ingredients. I have Ciao Italia by Maryann Esposito. And above all, I would love to really eat my way through Italy.

So, I have reserved every Italian cookbook at my library, stocked up on various Italian ingredients and we are underway. Rissoto, pasta, polenta, fish, eggplant, zucchini, here we come.

Did you know that Italians eat biscotti for breakfast? Cookies...for breakfast.

I'm brilliant.
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