Tuesday, June 18, 2013
On Saturday, Ryan and I spent a rainy afternoon huddled inside the Victoria and Albert, one of my favorite spots in London. I sat him in front of The Ardabil Carpet to wait for the lights to come on, followed him through rooms and displays that I've been through before but loved getting to see with him, and then made him follow me around through the museum's Fashion Collection.
It was a good day, if I say so myself. I'm juggling a few hiccups with work and trying to make it out the door in time for dinner with friends from home, so that's it for today!
Monday, June 17, 2013
Hey, guys! Ryan is stepping in to do Music Monday today! See you tomorrow!
Today, I’m Ryan.
Everybody knows Daft Punk.
At least, everybody will know something created by Daft Punk, consciously or otherwise.
But, despite being an internationally renowned dance act, I’ve never owned an album of theirs until now.
At the beginning of the summer, when I heard 'Get Lucky', the first thing I did was have a look to see when the album would be released. 'Get Lucky' is undoubtedly going to be the hit of the summer, and the album, Random Access Memories, was coming within a matter of weeks, so I was very, very excited for this one.
The words I would use to describe my feelings after the first listen would be "severely" and "disappointed".
There are three tracks on this album that stand out alot more than the rest. 'Get Lucky, is the obvious one, given that it has been on repeat in stores and clubs for the last three months. 'Give Yourself To Dance' is also a winner, which is no surprise as this one also features Pharrell Williams. The third is a nine minute track, 'Giorgio by Morodor', which features the voice of producer Giovanni Giorgio Morodor speaking about when he started to produce music in the 70s.
That said, the album itself is a bit of a mismatch, and feels like the Daft Punk duo were just sampling random beats and putting them together in the hope of success.
It’s not a bad album to have on as something secondary – a BBQ with the music on in the background – but ultimately if you plan on getting Random Access Memories for something to listen intently to, I’d see whether there are other options available first.
But alas, everyone has a different taste in music, and I’d like to know what you think. Below are the three tracks I’ve mentioned as being the better ones, and I would advise avoiding the rest of the album if you don’t think much of them.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Monday was...a no good, very bad day. I couldn't access the files I needed for work (drawback of working for yourself: no IT guys to save your skin), National Express was continuing to be a giant pain in the rear, PayPal was being evil as usual. I was about ready to give up before the clock hit 11 am.
I promised the guys the night before that I'd make them fried rice for dinner, but I very quickly realized that the night's meal called for something that would provide a bit more comfort.
Naturally, I did what any grown ass woman would do: I ran to my mom. Rather, I pulled up a recipe she sent me in 2010 for her (delicious) baked macaroni and cheese. Since I can remember, she has whipped this baby out for Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas, Sundays, basically any day that warranted lots of food and family time. It's so easy to make and I was so grateful when I went searching for it that I never, ever delete emails.
Here are her directions, lightly edited by me:
What you'll need:
3 cups elbow macaroni
4 cups shredded cheddar
4 eggs – beaten
4 cups milk
2 tsp finely chopped onions
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
2 1/2 tsp salt (Please oh please god don't do what I did here. Misread 'tsp' as 'tbsp' and, well, things were salty.)
How to do it:
Boil water – with salt – add macaroni and cook until almost tender – about 6 minutes – drain.
Preheat oven to 350F. (175C)
Grease 3 qt. casserole dish.
Cover bottom of casserole dish with ½ the macaroni.
Sprinkle 1/2 of cheese over macaroni in casserole. Repeat layers.
Combine milk, eggs, onion, salt and pepper.
Pour over macaroni and cheese.
Sprinkle top with cornflake crumbs. Set casserole in pan of hot water. (I didn't do this bit. Unlike my mother, I don't have a treasure trove of casserole dishes at my disposal.)
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour until browned and almost set in center. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
That's it! I'd say this serves about 6, probably 8 if your portions are smaller than they are around these parts. Note from my mom: if you reduce the recipe, keep the cheese ratio high. It makes things yummier.
This lifted my spirits right up (salt and all) and the boys really enjoyed it. I think Ryan is going to try it out on his own later this week (and I've begged him to not repeat my measurement mistake in the interest of his long-term health) and any time I can inspire him to venture into the realm of meals that require more than three ingredients, I consider it a win!