That being said, I keep thinking of about ten thousand things to talk about on here, from the stray dog we found a couple days ago to my current composition project(s). Because I can't seem to make up my mind, you'll just have to bear with me as I barrel through several topics today. Woot!
1. We found a stray dog a couple of days ago! I had seen her last week, two doors down from us (an empty house right now), just sitting in the front yard. When I went over to see if she had a collar on, she took off. My husband saw her again a few days ago and was able to corner her against the house. We took her to the vet to see if she had a microchip (no such luck) and to get her some flea medication, since she was absolutely covered with fleas. She did have a collar on, but it was a cat collar that was way too small for her and didn't have any ID tags on it. We've been trying to find out if she has a home somewhere, but in the meantime, we've decided to call her Bailey. She's made herself at home and fits in quite nicely with our other three dogs. Plus, she's cute.
2. Yesterday was my husband's birthday -- the big 23! I decorated the house with Phineas and Ferb decor, complete with a "Happy Birthday!" banner, table cover, and all sorts of plates and napkins and such. (By the way, if you've never watched the show, do it. It's awesome.) I also made some homemade pizza and a Banana Whipped Cream Cake -- his favorite! He loved his presents, which consisted of a few books on dog agility and tricks, Eragon by Christopher Paolini (he had lost his copy years ago), and "Lego Star Wars" for the Wii. We also went and saw Cowboys and Aliens with a few of his buddies from the band. It was pretty good!
3. Back in February, I was hired by the Open Dream Ensemble, a performing arts group run by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC, to rewrite the songs for the first and last scenes in their 2011-12 show, as well as orchestrating the rest of the songs for the available instrumentation. The group combines math and science elements with acting, singing, and dancing, performing for schools all over North Carolina. It has definitely been an adventure working with the show's writers, and with so many limitations (available instruments, vocal ranges, pre-written lyrics), to create something new that seamlessly fits into the rest of the show. I've been reminded once again that collaboration is priceless! It's such a different beast than working on a project by yourself -- you have to be able to compromise and adapt to the different circumstances in each situation. So far, it's been a wonderful learning experience. I can't wait to see the finished product!
4. The Army Band my husband's in had what they call an "Organizational Day" last Friday. It's also commonly referred to as "mandatory fun," which is exactly what it is -- a recreational get-together with lots of food that everyone is required to attend, with or without family members. Because I like to think dessert is kind of my "thing," I signed up to bring Mini Cupcakes! I made AllRecipes' Red Velvet Cupcakes with Bakerella's Cream Cheese Frosting, Joy the Baker's Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, as well as Joy's Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with my own take on Bakerella's Easy Buttercream Frosting (with Vanilla Bean seeds)! Mmm, they were so good, and a huge hit.
5. Finally, the whole reason I wanted to write a new post was because I wanted to share my experience with a new recipe I decided to try the other day: Brown Butter Pasta from Leite's Culinaria. I made a few changes here and there, mostly due to lack of ingredients, but the finished product was super tasty! I think I'll definitely try it again.
Here's the recipe:
Brown Butter Pasta
adapted from Leite's Culinaria
4 oz. fettuccine pasta
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan, to taste
Grated nutmeg, to taste
1. Cook the pasta in a large, salted pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4 C of pasta water. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and cook, spooning butter over the top, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Remove eggs from skillet and set aside.
3. Add pasta to the skillet and toss until hot, adding a little pasta water to keep it saucy. Season with salt and pepper.
4. To serve, top the pasta with the fried eggs and sprinkle with Parmesan and nutmeg. Enjoy!