February 18, 2012

Some Good News

It's been an interesting couple of weeks.  You would think that not having a job means I have much more free time, and I do, but luckily I've had quite a few interviews that have been keeping me busy.  The short story is that I was presented with three very attractive job offers within a 24-hour period; the good news is that one of those offers was my top choice, so I am beyond thrilled!  I start work on Tuesday and couldn't be happier. 

That's me, celebrating my new job.
My birthday was on Tuesday (yep, Valentine's Day) and I had a pretty phenomenal birthday, all things considered.  Since my sister now lives in DC, and since we were born five days (and five years) apart, we had a joint birthday celebration last weekend.  It was tons of fun, and so great to see so many friends in one place!  We went to New Vegas Lounge, a DC favorite for live music and dancing.  Then, my sweet roommates treated me to dinner at Town Hall (our home away from home) on Monday night to celebrate turning another year older; my sister came by later that night with a delicious rainbow birthday cake, her specialty.  The night of my actual birthday, my sister, her boyfriend and I celebrated again at another favorite restaurant, Zaytinya.  Like I said, pretty phenomenal. 

rainbow birthday cake

I leave you with the recipe for Town Hall's Goat Cheese Macaroni, because it is amazing and I hope to recreate it myself one day.  I found the recipe via Pinterest, naturally.

Town Hall’s Goat-Cheese Macaroni
Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1½ cups half-and-half
¾ cup heavy cream
1½ tablespoons white wine
1¼ cup fresh goat cheese
½ cup garlic-herb Boursin cheese 
1½ teaspoons kosher salt (or more to taste)
1⁄8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Dash of Tabasco
½ box (½ pound) cavatappi pasta 

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour to make a roux and cook for 1 minute. 
Add half-and-half, heavy cream, white wine, salt, and white pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a high simmer, but make sure not to boil the milk. Cook the mixture on low for 10 minutes to thicken. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Put the cream mixture into a blender and add the goat and Boursin cheeses and Tabasco. Blend for 10 seconds on low speed until smooth. 

Strain the cheese sauce through a mesh strainer back into the saucepan and set aside to cool until the pasta is cooked, or store it covered overnight in the fridge. 

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cavatappi, and cook until al dente, about 8 or 9 minutes (the pasta will continue to cook in the sauce). Strain the pasta and add it to the cheese sauce. Turn the heat to medium-low and warm the macaroni and cheese until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with more salt if necessary.

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