Wednesday, December 30, 2009

elvis & octopus

elvis & octopus, originally uploaded by achathampally.

baby dog playing with his octopus today.

pimento cheese potato gratin

Made this for a potluck for church on Sunday
saying it came out good is an understatement
recipe follows...
double the recipe to fill a 9x13 dish (that's what I did)

Pimento-cheese potato gratin

serves 6 • time: 10 minutes preparation, 35 minutes cooking

3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1⁄2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1⁄4-inch thick rounds
3⁄4 cup heavy cream
3 shallots, finely diced (scant 1⁄2 cup)
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 9-ounce jar roasted red peppers, diced, with their liquid
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)

1 Heat the oven to 375°F, with racks positioned in the middle and the top third of the oven.

2 In a 3- to 4-quart stockpot, bring 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Then drain, and set them aside.

3 Combine the cream, shallots, chile flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the jar of roasted peppers in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chile flakes have begun to stain the cream, about 2 minutes. Add half of the cheese and stir until it melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

4 Layer roughly a third of the potatoes in a 6-cup baking dish, overlapping them slightly so that they fit in an even layer. Scatter half of the roasted peppers on top of the potatoes (cut up any peppers that have remained whole so that they lie flat), and repeat layering potatoes and peppers until all the peppers and potatoes have been used. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and peppers, and agitate the dish to distribute the liquid throughout. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes.

5 Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and place the dish on the top oven rack. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and gently browned on top. Serve immediately.

Send Love Today

I am part of Send Love Today which is a non-profit org that supports people with brain tumors by sending cards and small gifts. If you love sending snail mail like I do, its a nice way to spread some cheer.

If you are interested, go here for more info:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009


snickerdoodles, originally uploaded by achathampally.

ran out of cookies
so whipped up a batch of snickerdoodles

Friday, December 25, 2009

christmas 2009

christmas2009, originally uploaded by achathampally.

Here's Elvis opening his presents.

I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a happy new year!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

postcard from Finland

postcard, originally uploaded by achathampally.

Justina sent me this wonderful Christmas-y postcard from Finland.

finnish stamp

This Finnish stamp is so cool. The flag goes outside the normal boundaries of a stamp. Love it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


mailart-japan, originally uploaded by achathampally.

received this wonderful etegami from Debbie
2010 is the year of the tiger
what a beautiful card
and the postage stamps are gorgeous too!
its hanging up in my kitchen :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

christmas card 2009

christmas card 2009, originally uploaded by achathampally.

Here's one of the variations
I'm sending out this year

Merry Christmas everyone!