We had a fun weekend visit from Dad and my step-mother, Ellen. The kids adore Dad because he brings them gifts (this time it was light up rings), he tells jokes that they find funny (notice that they might not be objectively funny, but the kids like them), and he plays games and colors with them. One of Dad's favorite activities with the kids (especially the Boy) is drawing flags. Don't ask me how this activity got started, but Dad and the Boy will spend hours creating flags of fictitious countries or improving on the flags of actual countries. This visit Dad got the Baby in on the activity by showing her all the U.S. state flags. The Baby and the Boy thought that the New Mexico flag could use some improvement. In case you were wondering, the flag looks like this:
I think the New Mexico flag has an understated elegance, but it's not very flashy or interesting like say, the Isle of Man flag:
Honestly, I'm not sure what's going on there. Parasitic twin? Also, did you know that Andy Garcia had a parasitic twin? That link is to a list of ten celebrities with "strange physical flaws." I feel certain that many, many men have looked at Megan Fox and thought, "I'd hit that, but for her stubby thumbs."
Back to the flags. So, they designed some new flags that were more colorful than the original New Mexico flag and Dad promptly packaged them up in envelopes and sent them to to the Governor of New Mexico, who will, I am sure, put them someplace safe:
My major accomplishment of the weekend was finally learning how to properly cook salmon. For Christmas, Mom gave me a copy of the new Barefoot Contessa's aptly-named cookbook, "Foolproof." So, here's the deal with cooking and me. It's not that I'm a bad cook, I just don't like spending a really long time cooking something that only 2/5th of the family will eat and then cook several auxiliary meals to feed everyone else. It dawned on me recently that there are people who enjoy the actual process of cooking. To me this is like enjoying the process of getting dressed. Yes, I like to have something to eat and I want to get dressed, but I don't relish the steps it takes to achieve those ends.
All that being said, I really love all the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. Does this make sense given my self-proclaimed dislike of cooking? Yes. Her recipes are fairly quick, with easy to follow directions and the resulting food will be really good. So, I made salmon and melting cherry tomatoes and it.was.so.delicious.
The good news for you all is that I happen to be too lazy to return the copy of "Foolproof" that I ordered for myself before receiving my gift copy for Christmas. The reason that this is good news is because I am giving away my extra copy!
So, I've never done a contest before, so here are my guidelines (such as they are):
1. Leave a comment with your favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe from any of her other cookbooks.
2. If you don't have a favorite recipe, make something up, i.e., "I really like her smoked turtle fritters with creme fraiche and shaved chocolate."
3. That's it.
I will announce a winner (picked via random number selection) next Monday, January 14. May the odds be ever in your favor. (Note: Despite the "Hunger Games" reference, the winner will not be required to battle to the death with other OWTL readers.)