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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy 2008!

First let me start by saying Happy New Year everybody! I haven't posted for a couple of days and we have some items to catch up on. It was an exciting time in Chicago during the New Year plus we had friends visiting. Lots of laughs, great food and probably too many drinks. The holidays are meant for complete indulgence and that is exactly what we did. The photos is us and our friends in front of the Bean (the most fabulous piece of public artwork ever) in Chicago.

Our friends just left this morning, at 5 am. (Needless to say, they took a taxi to the airport.) But our last meal together was such fun it was like a cooking class. Aaron had never made pasta before and had always wanted too. So we made homemade pasta with three sauces. He rolled like a champ. First we created a thicker heartier shape for a mac-n-cheese pasta. This particular cheese sauce is a heavy coater, so you need the heartier pasta to stand up to it. Then we did a very thin light spaghetti which we tossed with a classic homemade basil pesto topped with toasted pine nuts. The final pasta was a linguine tossed with sauteed onions, garlic and bacon ('cuz I can't get enough bacon, ever) in a lemon olive oil. This lemon olive oil came from our last trip to Italy, in the Cinque Terra region. Truly one of the most picturesque regions in Italy. We stayed at this gorgeous little hotel which sat next to lemon groves. I can still remember the smell of the lemons as we would wake up in the morning and throw open the windows. The lemon grove sat just below the hill, in front of our rugged terraced view of the sea. It's is quite amazing how much farming is done on these hillsides. Quite a laborious task, but part of daily life to those who farm there. Our adorable inn keepers made their special limoncello from the fruits of the grove and only shared this with friends. We were touched to learn of the two shots they left for us on the staircase on our last night there.

There is truly nothing more enjoyable than friends, except maybe cooking with them!
Here's to another great year of friendships!

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