Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Enough Already

More than 300,000 seals will be cruelly killed (clubbed to death) this year. 98% of the seals killed in the past 2 years were between 2 weeks and 3 months old.
Some seals are killed with a blow to the head using a wooden club or hakapik. The sealers stun as many baby seals as they can before going back to kill them. Some seals try to get away, but they are clumsy on the ice, heaving their fat little bodies with an uncoordinated flipper shuffle. Other seals are shot from a distance and then dragged from the ice onto boats using steel hooks.

The IFAW is trying to put an end to this insanity. They have led the fight to stop the cruel slaughter of seal pups since the 1960's, resulting in the import ban of newborn whitecoat seal pelts in 1985. Today, they have offices in 15 countries - they are the world's leading animal welfare organization fighting to save seals both on the ice and through vital scientific and market research.
If you go to the IFAW site, you can click the button that says Take Action and fill in a few fields of information to send a letter to Canada's prime minister, apparently the person who can make this nightmare go away. Why not do it now? Here's the link.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Favorite Recent Photos

The first photo is of an orchid tree in the park across from the Brickyard coffee house. The second one is of a vase of rununculus I had on the dining room table. I'm in love with my camera--a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7.

Baked Pasta w/Roasted Vegetables

One of J's favorite meals is baked pasta. I made this dish recently when our friends Doug and DeDe from Tallahassee came to dinner. I had not seen them in 14 years, and James actually was just meeting them for the first time. It was a really fun night. So, here's how you make it:
First roast the vegetables. I used portabello mushroom, red onion, red pepper, scallions, and asparagus. Just lay the veggies on a baking sheet and cover with a mixture of 3 tablespoons lemon juice,3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with sea salt, herbs de provence, lemon pepper, and a sprig of fresh thyme. Roast the concoction at about 300 degrees for an hour.
Next, mix it all up: once the veggies are roasted (and your house is smelling great!), mix them in with the cooked pasta (enough to serve however many folks are eating!). Add about 4 ounces of goat cheese broken up and mixed into the pasta. Cut up fresh mozzarella and mix half of it in with the pasta and reserve half to lay across the top once everything is combined. Mix in a can or good marinara sauce. Sorry I'm not providing quantities, but it really depends on how much you are making. Glad I don't write recipes for a living! To add some juiciness, add about a 1/2 cup of half and half. Mix everything together well, then lay the second half of your mozzarella across the top.
Last, it's time to bake: In it goes for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees or until you see that the top layer of mozzarella is nice and melted on top. That's it! I served this with a green olive foccacia bread and an arugula salad and it was a hit.