aquariums and professional photos

these photos are from the 2nd day of gail photo time, since the first was just for fun and these were more for professional use, hence the fancy jacket 🙂

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waiting for matt to come home so we can go run some errands and pick up the last ingredients for his b-day supper tomorrow night. he wanted bbq. therefore, i am making pulled-pork sandwiches  with cole slaw, corn bread, and bacon macaroni. our friends are bringing potato salad and a cherry crisp. we are going to be eating in style. hopefully, matt gets his bbq fill for the month.

we also bought tickets for the georgia aquarium, which is supposed to be the best. thanks group-on for the discount!! woot! woot! in addition to all this excitement,  we’ll be trying out the MARTA system (metropolitan atlanta rapid transit authority)–that is fun to say. hopefully, 10-5 gives matt enough time to see all the fishies and the WHALE SHARK. super stoked. bringing my camcam.

well, matt just arrived home from the loud banging and “hellos” ringing from downstairs. also, i think he just found his Nebraska birthday present pile in the living room 🙂 better go.


let’s talk indian food

pencil wall at SCAD

pencil wall at SCAD

for a while now, my mom and i have been cooking the best naan in town. and i know all of you who have tried it have felt the same. so without further ado, i now present you with the magical naan key to unlock your wildest longings for butter and carbs.

indian-style flatbread “naan” from the best international recipes:

(makes 8, 6-7 in. breads)

2 3/4 cups bread flour, plus extra as needed

2 1/4 t. instant or rapid rise yeast

2 t. sugar


1 cup water, room temperature

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 T. olive oil, plus extra for bowl

combine dry ingredients in stand up mixer. mix until blended. add water, yogurt and olive oil on low speed until shaggy dough forms (30 seconds- make sure you have your dough hook on). turn mixer to medium speed. knead for about 8 minutes until dough is smooth and glossy. add addition 1 T. increments of flour while kneading until bowl sides are clear.

transfer dough to clean surface and knead for a minute. shape into ball and place in oiled bowl for 45 minutes to an hour. at this time you can punch the dough down and wrap in plastic wrap for up to two days (sometimes we like to do this, so with each meal you are eating fresh naan). or…

cut dough into 8 equal portions. roll into balls. cover and let sit 10 minutes. for each ball, roll flat with a pin into a 6 inch circle, dusting with flour if sticky. set aside. heat skillet to medium to high heat. work with one piece of dough at a time. stretch dough slightly and lay onto skillet. cook until small bubbles appear (30 seconds) and flip. cook until bottom is speckled and deep golden brown in spots. brush with butter (and i like garlic salt too!). finish cooking the rest and eat. eat. eat.

-my mom uses her huge pancake/sandwich electric griddle for this, so that you can cook 4-5 naan at the same time.

-also, these reheat on the stove really well. furthermore, making a double batch is always a huge plus: carb and butter heaven.


saag paneer (my ultimate favorite) from

1 t. turmeric
1/2 t. cayenne
3 T. plus 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces paneer, cut into 1 in. squares
1 (16-ounce package) frozen chopped spinach
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 (1-inch thumb) ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green serrano chile, finely chopped (seeds removed if you don’t like it spicy!)
1/2 t. garam masala
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 cup plain yogurt
whisk together the turmeric, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons oil. drop in the cubes of paneer and gently toss, taking care not to break the cubes. let marinade while prep everything else. thaw spinach. puree in a food processor until smooth or chop up finely. heat pan to medium heat, and add the paneer as the pan warms. after a few minutes, give the pan a toss; each piece of paneer should be browned on one side. fry a little longer and then move paneer to plate.
add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the pan to fry the onions, ginger, garlic and chile. saute the mixture until it’s evenly toffee-coloured (15 minutes). if you feel like the mixture is drying out, add a couple of tablespoons of water. add the garam masala, coriander and cumin. sprinkle a little water to keep the spices from burning, if you haven’t already. Cook, stirring often (3 to 5 minutes). add the spinach and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach. Add a little salt and 1/2 cup of water, stir, and cook about 5 minutes with the lid off.turn the heat off. add the yogurt, a little at a time to keep it from curdling and then add the paneer. turn the heat back on, cover and cook until everything is warmed through (5 minutes).

the brassiered chagal and the calm queen

the valentine's day box from nebraska.

the valentine’s day box from nebraska (the brassiered chagal is on the top left).

this post deserves an explanation. it is frequented every week. it is now the 7th of june 2013 and this post is getting an update.

several years ago, my mama created a new valentine day tradition in our family. we would all sit down to a formal dinner (on the friday nearest st. v. day) and each of our plates would have a bag at it. everyone’s bag would have a loving/appreciating/personal note from each member of the family, their favorite candy and a small gift from mom and dad. it is a great tradition. and even though matt and i are not there to celebrate, we still send our messages via post to one another. (my ma usually sends a few goodies).

the deal with the brassiered chagal? back when we were young, my mama bought a book of western art. there were lots of nude paintings and so as to discourage my siblings from looking at the nudity (or me just being a crazy, controlling older sister), i took a sharpie to them and gave them “swimsuits”. looking back, it was a horrid idea on my mother and i’s part, but we still look back through the 3 inch book of art and laugh at their destruction.

therefore, when my mother sends me postcards with art on them, she makes sure to “cover up” the naked parts with a sharpie.

the queen!! my mommy's the best!

the queen!! my mommy’s the best!