October 26, 2008

Quickies...

Summing up my week...

Shoulder therapy
Hairy man leg =/= me. My machine is a bit larger, and has suction cups to keep it attached to the skin instead of tape. Must be an Aussie thing. Or just a hick town thing. The first time the therapist wheeled this in, I asked him if we were reenacting the Death Machine scene from The Princess Bride. Luckily, he has a sense of humor. (Side note: do NOT search for images with the phrase "suction stimulation." I really should have known better.) The shoulder = me. It doesn't hurt - those marks are just from the suction cups, like big hickeys, and aren't really that red or scary - I increased the contrast due to bad lighting.

Electrical stimulation has been one of the weirdest parts of my physical therapy. For starters, I am extremely ticklish, so having this very light prickling sensation near my left armpit is pretty hard to take! On the upside, my shoulder is finally starting to feel better. On the downside, I still have another two weeks of inactivity to go. *le sigh*

The Private Life of a Masterpiece
See that bottom left piece, Piero della Francesca's Resurrection? The only reason it still exists is because a young British soldier called off the shelling of its hometown of Sansepolcro during WWII - simply because he'd heard it was the greatest painting of all time. Incredible.

This is an incredible series - even if you're not an art lover, this is absolutely enthralling. Each episode focuses on a single piece of art - painting, sculpture, print - and details the impetus behind the work and the influence it has had throughout the years. It might sounds a bit dry, but trust me - it's fascinating. Even Ben was on the edge of his seat when, during war times, the Dutch were desperately trying to protect one of their most precious national treasures.

Low GI Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni - freaking DELICIOUS
Photo appropriated from taste.com. Mine were gone too quickly for photos.

10.5oz frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess liquid
14oz reduced fat ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (do NOT omit this - they seriously make the dish)
1oz Parmesan cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, crushed (my addition, because I'm incapable of cooking without a lot of garlic)
10.5oz pasta sauce
4 fresh lasagna sheets (I used 8 and made skinnier cannelloni - you could also use the ready made cannelloni tubes, but I think those are a PITA to stuff and don't taste as good)

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Combine ricotta, spinach, nutmeg, pine nuts, pepper, garlic and half the cheese in a bowl - mix well to combine. Lay one sheet of lasagna on a flat surgace and spoon a quarter (or an eighth, if you use extra like me) of the mixture along the long edge of the sheet. Roll to make a long sausage shape and place in a baking pan. Repeat until done, then pour sauce over the cannelloni and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 min. Try not to eat the entire tray in one sitting, or to bite your husband's hand when he reaches toward your plate.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
"Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside."

This is a wonderfully readable story, although I think all the reviews heralding it as a hilarious novel are inaccurate; although it IS funny and extremely entertaining, it's also at times painful, and at its heart is about family, emotional heritage and the delicacy of relationships.

New couches
Yeeeeeah. No photos. I don't know where the camera is and I'm feeling too lazy to go look for it. I'll take pictures eventually, I promise. In the meantime, here's the manufacturer's photo. Ours are more of a pale coffee color.

They are the most freaking comfortable thing my ass has ever felt. Like a big squishy marshmallow for your butt. I may spend the rest of my life sitting here. Heavenly.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go convince my husband that we should have pizza instead of sandwiches for dinner tonight. I recently discovered that our favorite pizzeria makes a pie with artichoke hearts, sun dried tomato, olive, salami and chunks of cream cheese (give it a chance!), and I fear it may be severely habit forming.

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