it's a beautiful day (dun nuh nuh nun nuh nuh)

so i started to write the below sunday. 3/4 of the clafoutis is still in the fridge and will probably have to be thrown out. the day ended badly as we got some news that stressed me the eff out but ended up being a fake out. more on that later. anyway, despite having a full, stressful week, it was rather beautiful and my disposition rather sunny despite tending toward always being a "grumps" as the bear calls me. until today. more on that later, too.

slept just enough and jumped out of bed when i naturally awoke. cuddled with the bear. got a bunch of miscellaneous stuff done in the morning. got off my butt earlier than usual to grab groceries. mid-70s out, lovely beach breeze blowing, clear blue skies. nothing could ruin my mood.

until i came home, arms full of groceries, and dropped a bottle of bear's lair viognier right outside our door. luckily, it was only $3.99. unluckily, there was glass everywhere, it caused the bear and me to tiff, and it smelled so dang good (probably would have tasted good) while i was cleaning it up--very fruity and a hint floral, without being cloyingly so--despite the fact that i only really bought it for its name.

then i attempted a clafoutis (a "rustic" french custard/cake thing, traditionally made with cherries) since i had that big bag o' lovely cherries. i've been seen them all over the internets [sic] lately and had to try as i love cherries and most things custard-like. i started with this recipe but skipped the whole almond milk infusing process, subbed vanilla bean paste (so i could get the pretty black flecks and vanilla flavor) for the almond extract, and threw some slivered almonds in the dish with the cherries.

the verdict: the bear likes cherries unadulterated. this is not his thing.
i don't mind the sweet custard paired with the mellowed almost smoky flavor of the baked, unpitted, started-fresh cherries at all. yum. mine came out not quite golden enough, and the custard wasn't totally smooth and consistent as i didn't use a blender or electric mixer as almost all recipes suggest. i could have used another small handful of cherries, too.
[don't click! grainy and blurry! like, she's a total monet.]

i love la tartine gourmand's handiwork much better. maybe next time i'll attempt julia child's recipe. can't go wrong with julia. oh, and next time i'll make sure to make it when i have people to help me eat it. i've got a ton left and am a bit overwhelmed by the thought of having to eat it all by myself soon.

luckily, dinner was better. super quick to make, too. and now, for my first attempt at transcribing a recipe on the blog.

grown-up spaghetti-Os

the pasta ingredients:
1 bag (1 lb., i think) trader joe's anelletti pasta

the sauce ingredients:
1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion (i used red because that's what we had)
about 3/4 lb. or 3 spicy italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 lb. chopped cremini mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, chopped
28 oz. can of trader joe's marinara sauce

the finishing ingredient:
a few big handfuls of arugula
red chili flakes
freshly grated parmesan

  • pasta:
    • boil and prepare pasta per directions on package. use lots of water to prevent sticking, and i think 13-14 mins. got me to al dente.

  • sauce: this makes double the amount of sauce you need. i made it all and froze the half i didn't use for later.
    • put 1/2 T. olive oil in a big pot (i used nonstick, you may need more if you don't use a nonstick pan).
    • cook onions until clear.
    • add mushrooms and sausages(yes, i know the order i did it in is weird, but it worked). cook until mushrooms are starting to turn juicy and pork is cooked all the way through.
    • throw in garlic and don't let it burn. i'm great at burning garlic when i throw it in earlier, so i always wait. i know it doesn't infuse everything with its flavor as much. oh well.
    • pour in can of marinara sauce.
    • throw in some seasonings. i think i put in dried basil, trader joe's [sense a theme here yet?] italian pasta seasoning, and a little bit of red chili flakes.
    • bring to boil over medium heat, then let simmer while waiting for the pasta to finish cooking.
  • pasta + sauce + extras = yum
    • throw the pasta and half of the sauce into a large pan. toss together over medium heat.
    • throw in some arugula and stir around until it's just wilted. that shown below is too wilted.
    • grate some fresh parmesan on top and stir into pasta.
    • when serving add more parmesan and red chili flakes to taste. the potatobear household loves cheese and spicy, so we apply both liberally. too bad i forgot to take a photo after the application. here is the dish "naked."
hmm...lame. oh well, i did enjoy writing it, and more importantly, eating it.


  1. I love the grown up spaghetti Os - looks tasty. Glad the day turned out to be OK.

  2. Liar liar! That is totally spaghetti-O's!! But it still looks good. Also, I am not a fan of baked cherries but the pie looked good and FYI I clicked on the picture and it's not a monet, imo. =)

  3. my mom loves to make clafoutis...I am not so much a fan, I think it goes back to the custard texture that doesn't appeal to me. those spaghetti-O's look yum!

    oh, and I dropped an entire bottle of yellowtail in our garage not too long ago...we also got into a tiff. ha!

  4. First of all, I couldn't help it! I had to click on the picture.

    I only like cherries fresh . . . however, I'll have to give your spaghetti Os recipe a try. Someday.

  5. i made a clafouti recently, too and it was okay. i'm with you about trying julia's recipe next. :) if i get to it before you, i'll let you know how it goes.

    hope you are able to de-stress soon and start feeling more relaxed.

  6. The last clafouti I made the hubs declared his new favorite dessert - of course it was the week before cherries came out, so I had to make due with frozen

  7. I knew I recognized the spaghetti-Os! *Flashing back to the kid version*

  8. I could devour those grown-up spaghettios right now!!!!


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