Monday, May 2, 2011

Valentine's Day Pasta Making

Last year thanks to Groupon, Tim and I went to a pasta making class at a cooking school in Chicago (Cooking Fools). It was really fun and surprisingly easy to make pasta from scratch that you can then fill with all manner of tasty things.

We hadn't actually got round to making any since our class. So, Valentines Day, the perfect time for a low key night to try out our new pasta making skills. During the class we used proper hand winding pasta makers, which of course it seemed the whole of Chicago seemed to be sold out of the day we actually want one, so we had to resort to rolling the dough by hand. (I say we, to his credit Tim did most of the hard work of kneading the dough and making it into pasta.)

We have an Island in the middle of our kitchen with a marble top, so it was perfect! We decided on Ravioli filled with Walnuts  and Ricotta, with a pancetta, cream and pea sauce. It turned out pretty darn tasty. We have since acquired a proper pasta maker, so hopefully there is more fresh pasta to come.

Skiing in Breckenridge

In early February, Tim, I and a few of Tim's friends from work headed out to Breckenridge, CO for the first ski trip of the year. I was so excited to be back on skis again. This winter I really felt the pain of not being in Calgary where I was only a 2 hour drive from the ski hills. Getting on a plane for 3 hours and lugging all your stuff around does not have the same appeal that's for sure.

We stayed right at the base of the hill in a place called The Village Hotel which was great. Rolled out of bed and onto the slopes. One of the first noticeable things about Breck is how high it is. The base is 9,600ft so you certainly feel it. I'm not super fit at the moment and even walking across the car park was a little strenuous! I'm pretty sure that Breckenridge has the honour of the Highest Chairlift in North America. You really feel this when you are only there for the weekend, without too much time to acclimatise.

Breck has a gorgeous base village, a pretty Main St decorated with copious amounts of fairy lights and brightly painted shops.

The skiing is pretty darn nice (Even if we didn't see the sun the whole weekend). The mountain is split into 9 different peaks, so there is something for everyone. The group I was with had two snowboarders, one first time skier and then Tim and I. Kimmie (The first time skier) spent her first day in lessons and then was tearing around the mountain, complete natural. Proud to say that Tim spent for time on skis this weekend that we had previously and we even managed to adventure around the mountain and too the other peak one day. There's pretty good beginner terrain. I was just happy to have ski's on my feet!


Yes, It's true. I've disappeared off the edge of the blogosphere. I have much catching up to do.

Life has been pretty busy since Christmas (Holy Moly it's May already), and as I'm no longer on a project that I have to fly too I don't have as much time hanging about in airport and on planes that I get most of my blogging done. But - ah ha- I AM on a plane, back from Calgary where I was at my friends Sara and JJ's wedding so will attempt to catch up.

What am I up to at the moment?
Well currently I am on a project for a large machinery manufacturer in the lovely Peoria, Illinois, about a 3 hour drive south-west from Chicago. I left the client in New York in early February. The new project is pretty intense, I have more responsibility that I have been used to in the past and we are working long hours to make the project hopefully end in success. There is a lot more enablement on this gig too, so I am feeling useful again!

Although I don't have to fly every week anymore I feel like I have much less time on my hands now that instead I have to drive every week. I guess less idle time, and blogging and emailing while driving is pretty frowned upon I hear, even in the US.

Since my last blog I have done some skiing, my Dad and Bro came out to visit and we went skiing and then visited NYC on their way home, Tim and I went to Hawaii with his family and I am on my way home from a weekend in Calgary. It's no wonder I haven't had much time. Coming up is my birthday in a couple of weeks (Scary 26), Tim and I are off to Vegas for the weekend, Tim has qualified again for the WSOP in Vegas in July so hopefully there will be a bunch of us going to that, and unfortunately probably no UK trip this summer, but we'll be back for Christmas for sure!

So... let the blogging commence.....