spicy thai noodles with beef & basil

When we “planned” our cuisine/provisions for the big snow in this past weekend, we decided we wanted comfort foods. We stocked up on hummus, pita chips, macaroni and cheese, stuff to make panini sandwiches, hot chocolate, and the ingredients for one of our favorit meals: Spicy Thai Noodles with Beef & Basil.  There really isn’t anything better on a cold snowy night than a hot spicy meal to warm up your belly.  And, this meal is not only hot and spicy, it is also SO easy to make.

Prepare rice noodles as instructed on package, strain, and place back in the pot with two tablespoons of oil and two tablespoons of soy sauce.  In a pan, sauté 3 garlic cloves, 10-12 chopped basil leaves, olive oil, and three diced serrano peppers.  When fragrant, about a minute or two, add 3/4 pounds of sliced beef that has been seasoned with pepper and salt. Once the beef is cooked through toss in two tablespoons of brown sugar and two tablespoons of fish sauce.  Let this coat the mixture and caramelize a little, about two to three minutes. Add the beef mixture to the pot of noodles, mix together thoroughly, squeeze a lime over the meal, top with chopped green onions, and serve.  There won’t be any left overs!

boston blizzard part III {cardboard box sledding}

What do you do when you are snowed in and have a little hill in your backyard?

You go sledding of course!

We did not have a sled, so we had to improvise.  Our sled for the day was our television’s cardboard box. David went first and blazed the path and I was soon to follow.  We ran and jumped down the hill dozens of time.  It was a hilarious work-out.  At one point, our neighbor opened the window, and leaned out laughing hysterically at the two of us “sledding” in the yard. My legs hurt from climbing up the hill in the 30 inches of snow and my sides hurt from laughing by the time we finally made it indoors, shed our layers, and warmed up over hot cocoa.

boston blizzard part II

After shoveling a path for the puppies yesterday, we cozied up on the couch with hot beverages and watched the news networks report on the end of the blizzard. Sitting under a blanket together we strategized on how to dig ourselves out of the 30.5 inches of snow that fell on our town. We had two questions: Where do we begin and where do we put all the snow? It wasn’t until the very last snowflake fell at 11:30AM that we decided it was time to face the task at hand…shoveling ourselves out!  I have to admit though that if we had enough food, I would have voted to avoid the shoveling and to just wait for the Spring thaw.  How nice would hibernating be?  Alas, the chances of having work on Monday were incredibly high so we layered our clothes and headed into the powdery white snow for the next two hours. We played, we shoveled, and we laughed with our neighbors who were also out in their yards. It was a ridiculous sight.  We ran through the street, threw snow balls at each other and helped one another shovel out. We decided that later we should all get together over mulled, spiced wine and board games.  From 7:30PM to almost midnight we drank warmed wine together, laughed until tears streamed down our faces and played the ridiculous game of “Cards Against Humanity” all night.  It was seriously an awesome end to our second day of being “snowed in.”  We did not realize this when we bought our home, but we have some really incredible neighbors. Sitting around the fireplace last night, I could envision many future nights like this with them and many future laughs to come…

boston blizzard part I

Thursday was madness. The news networks were projecting white out conditions and a blizzard that would rival the blizzard of ’78. I checked the weather channel obsessively at work.  Could a snowstorm this big really be heading for Boston? The focus in the classroom was nonexistent. What was scientific management and how did it revolutionize how stuff is made? The question hung in the air as the sixteen students turned meteorologists whispered predictions to one another about the “inevitability” of a snow day tomorrow. In that moment, I did not want to be the adult in the room.  I wanted to come around the table and join in the speculations about the inches of snow and when schooled would be called.  Of course, I did not give in to these temptations and played it off as though a blizzard was no big deal. I reminded the students that while a snow day may occur, that we were currently in school now and they had a test next week. This even sounded ridiculous coming out of my mouth!  They knew, and I knew, that while we did work, we were all still thinking about the snow.

The end of the day came and it felt like the day before Christmas or perhaps the day before summer vacation. We said good-bye as though we were not going to see each other for a long time and headed as fast as we could home. I stopped on the way home for groceries.  Whole Foods was wild!  People were snatching everything they could off the shelves. I went in with a set list of snacks, comfort foods, and dinner ingredients we would need for a long weekend snowed in.  But, in the madness of the aisles, I felt my rational, list-centered mind go rogue as I too started knocking items into my basket as though the end of the world were approaching and this would be the last loaf of bread I would ever get my hands on. Avoiding accidents in the parking lot, I got David at the T stop and we raced home…for the next three days.

Friday morning the snow fell slowly and lightly to the ground. We shoveled once and mostly relaxed.  Reading, writing, a little bit of work, and a whole lot of snuggling with hot beverages occupied our day. We were delighted to be snowed in together. It was not until this morning when we woke that the full magnitude of the snow struck. Twenty four inches and counting lay on the ground. Part of us wanted to stay in all morning, let the snow fall and pile and pile up.  But, our little puppies needed to go out.  Gosh, I wish they were potty trained, haha!  So this is what the morning looked like for us….

 

not a snow day

This morning I woke with great anticipation of a snow day from school.  As you have heard before, I love my job and I know it is a super special place to call my home away from home….but there is something that is magical about waking up to a snow day!  Giddy, I peeked out the window this morning on the way to the shower, but it was obvious that the accumulation would not warrant one of these magical days home to cozy up on the couch next to David (let’s be real, if I got a snow day he would SO “work from home” too). Braving the slick, snowy streets, we headed out…