There’s No Place Like Home…

Saturday night I went home for the first time in a while. It was completely spontaneous and gosh, it was good to be back. I was a homebody on Saturday night and hung out with my mom, stepdad and step-aunt and uncle while they played cards. Don’t let their titles fool you- these four are a laugh and half. A really raunchy laugh. I can’t even repeat some of the stuff these people say.

I also got to see a certain someone who I missed very much and now, making her Colorhungry debut, I give you the doggy love of my life, Tilly!!!

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She just likes to lay all over me. Here she is sitting on my legs!

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This is her "I'm going to look super cute and innocent now so that when I do something really super naughty later, you can't stay mad at me" look.

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At this point, I could've sworn she was posing for me...

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Getting TLC from Colorhungry mama. She's kind of got a cow print...

She was so excited to see me she wouldn’t stop jumping on me and giving me slobbery kisses- she’s still a puppy and her enthusiasm is boundless! And just a little Public Service Announcement- those sweatpants I am wearing are Lucky Brand and they are the MOST comfortable sweatpants I have EVER worn, hands down. They’re pricey, but if you wait until the end of the season sales, you can usually get them for half off! They’re completely worth it. I have turned several people on to these and not one of them has been disappointed.

I finally watched the last 6 tivo’ed episodes of Top Chef… I’m on overload! Anyone else watch this? I’m finally all caught up and soooo happy they finally booted Robin. Ugh. She was just not a very good chef.

I surprised my little bro (ok, he’s nearly 6’8, so not so little) when he came in at around 2 in the morning- I was super happy to see him! We started watching a movie together and both passed out in the living room.

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The "little bro" with Tilly!

I woke up to the scent of these puppies:

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Blueberry pancakes made from scratch- no Bisquick at Colorhungry Mama's house!

And of course, you HAVE to have real maple syrup. It’s New England- anything else is a travesty 😉 I opted to forego the sausage and did apple slices on the side. That’s another awesome thing about New England- perfect apples. This one was a macintosh, which generally get really mushy once they’re picked- this one was firm and delicious. I’m a total apple connoisseur, if I haven’t mentioned that already. Some of my best childhood memories are of my dad taking us all apple picking and urging us to eat all the apples we possibly could while in the orchards. I so rarely eat apples because for me, NOTHING can ever measure up to the taste of a freshly picked apple. I so look forward to apple picking all year round.

My mom and stepdad are awesome cooks. They rarely eat anything that isn’t from scratch- they make their own pasta, sauces, etc. Cooking, for them, is very much a labor of love and one of the ways in which they enjoy their time together- it’s how they bond in a way. So, needless to say, going home is always a culinary treat! This weeked was no exception.

Breakfast was perfect and I was really full until about 2:00. I am trying to go meatless as much as possible, so I rooted around in the fridge and came out with some leftover brown rice, parmesan reggiano from Venda Ravioli on Federal Hill, and peas. The rest was easy! I decided to try a quick Brown Rice Risotto and threw in some fresh garlic and cranberries for added kick. Quick. Easy. Heavenly.

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Sweet and Savory 10 Minute Brown Rice Risotto with cucumbers on the side

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I'm really trying to work on this photography thing...

The rest of the day was pretty lazy, but I watched my mom cook as the house filled with mouthwatering scents. I hung around and snapped pictures as she worked and she was the perfect model (actually, I think she was a little excited at being in the ole blog). Here’s her lasagna with homemade pasta, bechamel, and bolognese (Did I mention we’re Italian?):

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Getting all the ingredients ready for the pasta...

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Mixing it all up...

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Ready for kneading- the dough is grainy and needs ten minutes! of kneading...

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So she kneads it...

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And kneads it some more...

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And when it's rested for 20 minutes...it's ready to be rolled into lasagna sheets!

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I asked her if she could toss it in the air and spin it. She wasn't amused.

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Then she starts her layering...bolognese, bechamel, parmesan, lasagna sheet and so on and so forth.

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She made sure I got a picture before I left! Here it is, ready to go in the oven. Mmmm.

I headed back to Boston at around 5, and the bf picked me up. I had a recipe in my mind that I just had to try.  I made portobello mushrooms stuffed with sweet potatoes, apples, chicken sausage and gruyere. I had never tried these flavors together and it was my first time even tasting Gruyere, so I was really pleased with how it turned out! Next time, I’ll probably do the stuffing in some acorn squash or even butternut. Overall, a delicious dinner and definitely something I’m looking forward to eating for leftovers tomorrow!

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Stuffed portobello floating in a sea of cucumber, tomato and avocado salad. Delicious. The lightness of the salad complemented the hearty flavors of the mushroom.

I’m watching the Patriots game now. I’m really hoping I get to see Peyton Manning’s sore loser pout tonight- he’s not a good loser. We shall see! Don’t want to jinx it- still half a game to go!

Update: Way to blow it, Patriots. And Tom…what the HECK happened to you in the second half?!?!?

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About annenglish

I often think my the right side of my brain dominates- I live to create things. Color is one of the things that brings me great joy and in everything that I do, it is a theme that takes on great aesthetic importance. I am a jewelry designer, metal artist and writer (wanna-be.) During the day I work in an office, and while I like it, I spend my days dreaming about the next thing I want to make. As a result, I am the post-it queen- design ideas are always strewn about my desk, waiting for me to gather them up and take them home at the end of the day. Oh, yeah. I'm also a tremendous slob, which is unfortunate because I love to cook and washing dirty dishes is my least favorite chore to tackle. I'm a healthy food enthusiast and amateur chef. Cooking is a tremendous creative outlet for me- experimentation is my hallmark...whether it's surprising color combinations or flavor combinations.
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6 Responses to There’s No Place Like Home…

  1. debby says:

    Awwww, doggie pictures. I love my doggies. And yours looks like a real sweetie.

    I am totally amazed by the pictures of your mom making her own lasagna sheets!

    And I am going to Apple Hill this week–totally psyched to get some really great tasting apples!

  2. I can never stay away from home for long. As in – I’m there 2 or 3 times a week.

  3. Lele says:

    Oh. My. God. I am in absolute awe of that lasagna.

    To answer your question, I went hiking at Middlesex Fells! You can find out about it (including how to get there by MBTA) here:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/strenuous2.html

  4. MizFit says:

    wahhh

    even us old(er) women need a good dose of home every now and then. I need to get to Pennsylvania.

  5. Kat says:

    Your dog is so cute! And I’m partial to her name – my dog was named Tilly for a couple of days when I first got her! They look kind of similar (though Madigan’s black and white) – what breed(s) is she? The best I can figure is mine is mostly English Pointer.

    • annenglish says:

      I’d love to see pics of Madigan (love the name, btw)! Tilly is a Rhodesian ridgeback and pharaoh hound. We think she may have some pittbull in her, too, but that hasn’t been confirmed. She is an absolute HAM! So much fun 🙂

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