Saturday, June 30, 2007

my summer reading list

Matt makes his high school students create their own reading lists based on research they do using books they already like. For my birthday (in Jan) I asked Matt to make me a reading list (as I have very little time and hate doing the legwork). I didn't get the list until last month, so I thought I would post it. I have already started in on the first two books. If any of you have an opinion about any of these, please post them and we can compare notes. Or if you have something to add you think I would like, my list is eternally growing.

Travels in West Africa by Mary Henrietta Kingsley

One Last Look by Susanna Moore

King Solomon's Mines by Tahir Shah

Empress by Shan Sa

The Botany of Desire by Micheal Pollan

Why is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality by Jared Diamond

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteeth-Century England by Daniel Pool

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

West with the Night by Beryl Markham

Howard's End by E.M. Forster

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls

Letters to a Spiritual Seeker by H.D. Thoreau

A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes

Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys

Carried Away: A Selection of Stories by Alice Munro

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Sunday, June 24, 2007

la belle et la bete

Since I'm on the subject of films, I want to share a clip of "La Belle et La Bete" (Beauty and the Beast). This 1946 Jean Cocteau classic was restored and re-released this month. Matt and I saw it a few weeks ago in the theater and I found it mesmerizing. You can read more about Jean Cocteau here. The scene I've posted below takes my breath away.


Matt and I went to a matinee of "Once" yesterday, and I loved it. Now I need the soundtrack.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

favorite salad

I promised my co-workers that I would post the recipe for my favorite salad that I brought last week to a goodbye party for one of the midwives I work with. I also made it last Thanksgiving (for those of you lucky enough to have partaken of Matt's smoked turkey extraordinaire at our traditional Barlow feast). Here it is:

1/2 sliced red onion
2 avocados sliced
strawberries sliced
gorgonzola cheese
mixed greens

(you can also use pears, craisins, peaches, etc)

Top with sugared almonds:
1/2 c. sliced almonds
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp butter

(Cook almonds in frying pan until golden and carmelized--be careful not to burn)


3/4 Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
1/3 c. white vinegar
3/4 c. canola oil
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. grated onion
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp mustard

Sunday, June 17, 2007

moab family reunion

Matt and I just got back from the Thomas family reunion in Moab, UT. I had never been to Arches National Park (a traditional Thomas family destination growing up). The colors of the desert were so beautiful: sage green, dark green, beige and the deep pinks and reds of the earth. We had some great hiking in Arches, as well a great hike to the Morning Glory Arch---not in Arches but in nearby Negro Bill Canyon (Matt prefers to call it African American William Canyon). Here are some pictures.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

reunion t-shirt

I'm on vacation of sorts this week. The Thomases are having a family reunion for the latter half of the week, so I decided to use up some vacation days and take the entire week off. In the meantime, I've been helping Matt brainstorm ideas for a family reunion t-shirt. Check out some of these inspirations (ours will have to incorporate Thomas in it of course):

Friday, June 1, 2007

tandoori bbq

Matt and I had friends over for our first BBQ of the summer. Everything was delicious, from the tandoori chicken and veggie kabobs, to the curry and walnut/blue cheese salad. Thanks all you who came bearing food! For those of you who don't have a good tandoori marinade recipe, here is mine:

1 c. plain yogurt

2-3 Tbsp canola oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

2 tsp ginger, minced

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp yellow food coloring

1 1/2 tsp red food coloring

Marinate chicken in the above mixture for 4 hours. I use organic chicken thighs, legs or both because I think they taste the best. Then grill to perfection. I also use some of this marinade to baste on veggie kabobs. My favorite veggie kabobs include: onions, cherry tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, zuchinni, and bell peppers. Enjoy!

dr. teeth

I finally got up the gumption and went to the the dentist this morning. I know it's gross and a little embarrassing, but I haven't been to the dentist since 1999, the year I got married. Now I am a good brusher and flosser, but I still was dreading the visit and expecting dire news about gum disease, tooth decay and cavities on every tooth. For the first few years of our marriage I didn't go because we didn't have any dental insurance and we were poor. For our years in NYC, I didn't go because we never really got around to finding a dentist and we were still pretty poor, although we did have some dental insurance at the time. Then for our first year and a half in Utah we had no insurance again. For our last two years in Utah, my only excuse for not going to the dentist has been dread of dire consequences and expensive procedures. Weak, I know. So I went to a new dentist this morning and it wasn't so bad. He and his staff were all great; they told me I had excellent dental hygiene, good mouth health, and they gave me free dental products. To top it all off, I only have ONE CAVITY!!! Stock it up to good genetics, good habits, good luck--I don't know--but I am pleased (we'll see how well Matt fares when he has his visit).