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The Day from Hell

17 Jan

Ok, so the title of the post is a little bit dramatic.

But seriously, I think it’s fair to call a day that include both a trip to the dentist and to get my eyebrows waxed a Hell Day. If having my (very sensitive) gums grated with a mechanical scraper wasn’t bad enough, the sadist dentil hygienist ¬†informed me that I am oral care challenged. Yes. Apparently the excruciating pain that filled my mouth is¬†my fault because I do not brush at the appropriate 45 degree angle.

The waxing, on the other hand, hurt a lot less compared with my tooth-cleaning. I thought my brows were barely irritated at all afterwards, although the esthetician seemed horrified by the redness. She insisted on powdering my face before I went out in public.

I also went to the gym today and worked through my strength-training regimen. It was fine – fun, actually. I like to think of myself as buff. Then I remember that my maximum on free weights is 6 lbs. and that I have the scrawniest arms in the place. Oh well.


Fresh, homemade fettucine

16 Jan

Yeah, I did it.

It was a lot of work. But let me just say, the flavor and texture were so much better than dried pasta. It was way worth it.

After consulting a few different recipes, I decided to combine techniques and flavors to make fresh herbed spelt egg fettucine. I’ve had homemade spelt pasta before in restaurants and loved it, so that is why I decided to mix up the flour in that way. Also, I think that egg just adds something special to pasta in general (and protein!). I couldn’t resist using some of my homegrown basil in the dough, either.

By the way, sorry my photographs aren’t the best. Perhaps a future project will involve the art of food photography? Might be a good idea.

Ingredients. Isn’t that fresh basil gorgeous?

The spelt and all-purpose flour mixture.

Chopping (mincing, actually) the basil to stir into the dough.

I used 3 eggs in my dough. Here is are the eggs (whisked by fork) in the dough’s well.

The ball of dough and then rolled out onto a board. You can see the flecks of green basil in the dough.

I cut the dough into long strips with a knife and then hung the little individual fettucini on a large bowl to dry.

The finished product. Yeah, I know, it’s difficult to see. I cooked the fresh fettucini and then sauteed it in a pan with oil, garlic and cubed zucchini. I garnished the dish with white beans. The meal also included a beautiful, fresh salad.

I love eating by the fire.

Spaghetti arms

14 Jan

Pasta making commences tomorrow, I promise.
But first I want to fill you in on another project of mine: to get stronger. Basically, I’ve been a runner for years but due to an injury almost a year ago, I had to stop all physical activity. Now that I am allowed to start exercising again, I want to focus less on running and more on trying new activities! On my list for the future are hiking, biking, pilates and yoga. In the mean time, I’m working on developing a weight training regimen, which I haven’t had since I was involved in varsity athletics.

I have the worst upper body strength. I am barely strong enough to knead dough (which isn’t good, considering I plan to make my own pasta tomorrow). So, I’ve been meeting Karla, a personal trainer at my gym, to learn about some great arm and core exercises to add into my weekly routine (or I may decide that I preferred my sedentary lifestyle and give up altogether on ever being buff).

I’m going to see Karla this afternoon. I’m a little nervous because, although the weight lifting isn’t too difficult, I suck at breathing correctly while I’m lifting. And my form SUCKS. Jeez.

It really is embarrassing, though. I’ll get confused in the middle of an exercise about how I’m supposed to be breathing and I’ll try to inhale instead of exhaling or vice versa. I usually end up belching. Typical.

Project Tolstoy

13 Jan

Later I’m making pasta.

But before I sink my hands into a pile of dough, I want to tell you about an ongoing project of mine: to read both great works of Leo Tolstoy: War & Peace and Anna Karenina.

I am currently on page 576 of War & Peace, and I’m pleased to report that it is actually VERY interesting. It’s a page-turner. Whowuddahthought?

I admit that I started War & Peace as a project. I thought: wouldn’t it be SO COOL to be able to say I’d read War & Peace? Wouldn’t others just be SO IMPRESSED by me?

I don’t care if people are impressed anymore (although they should be – it’s a freaking long-ass book) because I’m genuinely enjoying myself. Of course, I’m still less than halfway through, so I guess that could change.

It begins

13 Jan


You can read about my return to running and racing here.

My next project? Fresh pasta. Because I’ve never made homemade pasta.

And it’s my favorite food.