The Tree

On Sunday, five of us housemates went to Piper Mountain Christmas Trees in Newburgh to find a tree (and get out of the house). It was a perfect tree hunting day — the air was crisp and the sky was clear.

Our Christmas Tree for 2011The tree was picked in short order and stuffed neatly into the bed of the pickup. The trip home, via backgrounds in Newburgh, was more interesting than the Christmas tree hunt. Newburgh, at least where we were, had fantastic, well paved roads. The evidence of mixed money and poverty was abundant. Perhaps it’s naive, but it seemed like only in Maine could there be such a clear contrast between living situations within a thousand feet.

When we returned home, the tree was ready for its new home in the foyer.

Chickpea Curry

Chickpea Curry/Channa Masala

Ingredients

  • 2 Onions (Diced)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
  • 2 cans Chickpeas (Drained)
  • 1 tsp Chili Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 or 2 Thai Peppers (minced)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric

Cooking Directions

  1. Sauté garlic and onion until soft (nearly translucent).
  2. Add coriander and turmeric and cook one minute.
  3. Add all spices (save the Garam Masala), tomato, and chickpeas.
  4. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
  5. Add Garam Masala.
  6. Simmer 10 minutes.

Serve with Basmati rice. Also, a strong cheese could be mixed in at the end of cooking.

Courtesy Tristan Fisher.

Chicken and Mushroom Marsala

Chicken & Mushroom Marsala

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 4 oz Button Mushrooms (Sliced)
  • 1 Shallot (Minced)
  • 1 C Marsala Wine
  • 4 tbsp Heavy Cream

Cooking Directions

  1. If chicken breasts are really thick, cut in half lengthwise.
  2. Brine breasts in 4 C water and 4 tbsp salt for an hour.
  3. Season breasts with salt and pepper.
  4. Pan fry breasts in 2 tbsp oil on medium-high for a few minutes and flip when half cooked.
  5. Remove breasts from pan.
  6. Brown mushrooms in pan until soft (a couple minutes).
  7. When the mushrooms are near done, add minced shallots.
  8. Add marsala and scrape the fond off the bottom of the pan.
  9. Reduce marsala a couple of minutes.
  10. Add heavy cream, stir well.
  11. Reduce mixture until it can coat the back of a spoon.
  12. Re-incorporate chicken breasts to coat.

Originally found at Cooking for Engineers.

New Job

As of December 16th, 2011, I’ll be working for Lincolnville Telephone/Tidewater Telecom. In terms of timing, the move will be almost exactly four years since I started with Cornerstone Communications. Choosing to move to LT/TT was incredibly hard, but I think the decision is the right one for my long term strategy.

Looking back at the past four years, it’s amazing how much I’ve been able to learn and do at Cornerstone. Working in such a dynamic environment with a great group of people was really eye opening after my years at Points South. The task of growing a business with little to no resources was challenging, to say the least! We were able to keep it fun, most of the time, and always rewarding.