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Six Sentences

February 2, 2010

Today was a fresh start, a new day, a new chance to get it right. But with so many fresh-starts-gone-wrong, why would this time be any different? The air was cool and crisp, but lacked any feeling of refreshment. A once-fresh snowfall was crushed and dirty and all the signs pointed back to bed. But the promise of a better today, tomorrow and next week was stronger than the will to give up because really, if you give up, what happens next? Maybe that’s the real surprise.

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Into 2010

January 3, 2010

This year, I resolve to read more books. I read all the time – blogs, news, magazines – but over the years have strayed away from books. 2009 finished out as a record year of late because I read 3 actual books. So this year, I intend to read many more and rediscover the pleasures of books.

I already read one! Muriel Barbery’s Gourmet Rhapsody, which came recommended by a friend of mine. The book (translated from French) chronicles the last 48 hours in the life of one famed literary critic in Paris, searching through his memories to find that one taste he longs for but just cannot place. It was an enjoyable read with plenty of foodie details!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

December 28, 2009

We enjoyed Christmas in Winston-Salem, with a brief trip to Roanoke, Va. Christmas is a complicated holiday already that has only gotten busier now that we are married and trying to juggle all families involved, but we were able to spend time with everyone which was great. With our little niece around, things were a lot more exciting.

And I would be remiss if I forgot to mention a certain curious pooch!

We are back in Charlotte but looking forward to traveling to Athens on Wednesday for New Year’s celebrations!

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa

December 20, 2009

Tonight we were looking for something healthy, yet still exciting for dinner and settled on Martha’s Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa. I served this with Thai rice and a simple green salad. We slightly modified the salsa – sauteing the onion with five cloves of garlic and mashing the avocado, adding salt – really we turned it into guacamole. This meal was a resounding success! It was such a wonderful combination of flavors and we will definitely look forward to this again.

Yum!

We also caught Avatar this weekend at Regal Phillips Place, definitely a movie to check out in the theater. James Cameron lived up to the hype – loads of action, decent story, plenty of eye-candy. It was exactly the entertainment we were looking for.

Discovering the Social Media Classroom

December 18, 2009

I get inspired when I find new resources. Last night, while reading B.L. Ochman’s blog, I followed a link to Howard Rheingold and am so excited by the ideas generated because of that one simple action.

Rheingold is credited with coining the term “virtual communities” and is a prominent communications scholar. A 2008 winner in the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning competition, Rheingold worked with a team of developers, led by Sam Rose, to create and launch the Social Media Classroom. The SMC was created to be a “public resource of knowledge and relationships among all who are interested in the use of social media in learning” – it’s an incredible wealth of information, resources and great minds that is hard to sum up in a short post. I am just sitting down to explore and each nugget of information is like opening a present. I want to share here and plan to post as I learn more. For now, I am just starting to explore and trying to digest some information down to a cohesive idea or set of ideas.  

Another thought leader I’d like to explore further, that I was pointed to from Rheingold’s Twitter stream: Phillip Agre. I read his thoughts on finding your public voice. It really motivated me to commit to regularly posting on this blog and finding my own voice. Check out the article when you have a chance, it is well worth the time spent.

Italian Thanksgiving

November 19, 2009

Since this year we will be will be eating turkey at the Manna house,  we invited my mom, brother and grandparents down for pre-Thanksgiving this Sunday. I cannot get excited about eating the full-blown meal twice in one week (well actually, yes I can, but I’m not feeling it this time around) so we are going Italian. It’s only right as a newly-minted Manna.

The menu? Still in flux…but with days slipping away I need to get it together. Tentatively speaking:

Meat and Cheese plate – Three traditional Italian artisan salamis (Wild boar, piccante and soppresata) and cheeses (brie, mezzo secco and basque) plus a crash course in all of the above from the knowledgeable staff at Earth Fare.

One thing we learned is that salami, when prepared in the traditional Italian style, is allowed to develop a certain mold on the casing which helps develop the flavor. According to Wikipedia, it is  an edible mold (Penicillium) culture – we will not be eating it. I’m glad we were forewarned as this probably would have thrown me off a bit when I got home.

Sopressata sausage pre-edible mold removal

Homemade Caesar dressing and salad

French bread (not Italian, but I am getting pretty good at this if I do say so myself)

Melodie Manna’s Lasagna (MIL is a chef in her own right!)

Giada’s Chicken Saltimbocca

Easy Ricotta Gnocchi from The Kitchn

And the oh-so Italian Apple Pie from Ms. Paula Deen with crumble topping from Martha Stewart.

But then today I watched a video from Mark Bittman on proscuitto-wrapped sweet potatoes which really got me thinking…so if I just feel like I want to cook forever they may get thrown in too.

Can’t wait to share how it turns out!

Long distance

November 8, 2009


Long distance

Originally uploaded by ~ Ana ♥ {busy again}

Just dropped off hubs at the airport for a week-long trip for training. Saying goodbye brings back familiar feelings. Glad that we aren’t always feeling this way anymore!