Creamy Lemon Asparagus Pasta

SPARGELZEIT!!1!

It’s that time of year again. While the locals are losing it over the white stuff, I’m partial to green asparagus (more flavor). This will definitely make another appearance before the fleeting season ends. Here’s the original, my version is below.

500 g/1 lb pasta (whole wheat pasta would be great here)
500 g/1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (you could easily double this)
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk or cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small shallots, minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Cook pasta in well salted water. For last 3-4 minutes of cooking time, add asparagus pieces. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Whisk together mustard, flour, milk or cream, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned. Whisk in mustard mixture and bring to a simmer, cooking until thickened. Stir in lemon zest and juice and half of the cheese. If sauce gets too thick, loosen it by stirring in a little pasta water or more milk.

Combine pasta, asparagus and sauce, tossing until well coated. Serve and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Austro-Slovene-Italian Triangle

After the rest of Germany came back from Easter, we hit the road for a trip through the mountains from Regensburg to Graz, Austria to Lake Bled, Slovenia on the way to Verona, Italy. We had great weather most of the time. This was our second try on a few days in Verona, and we’re glad we gave it another shot. Continue reading Austro-Slovene-Italian Triangle

Moving on from WEBMU

The Whiny Expat Bloggers Meet-Up has been an annual treat for us, through which we’ve met fantastic people and explored areas (sometimes new, sometimes familiar) through a local’s eyes. In the last few years, we’ve taken on an organizational role, helping the hosts execute the event, lending guidance and fomenting discussion. However, this feels like the right time for us to step back.

We’re open to attending future meetups, but WEBMU needs a new driver if it is to continue. We’d be happy to hand over the existing resources (blog, FB and forums) to anyone who wants to carry on. Or maybe WEBMU will continue under someone else’s auspices, but in a different form. If you’d like to try giving WEBMU a facelift, go for it. Contact either of us via any of the methods listed here. And if there’s no interest, we’ll eventually shut down the meetup’s online presence.

It’s been a good run, and lots of fun, and we still have and value friends we made through WEBMU. Thanks to everyone who has participated and made it so special!

Available disk space shrinking on Mac OS X? Check your log files.

I have a Mac Book Air with 120 GB of storage built-in. I accumulate a fair amount of useless files through my normal usage, and I try to get rid of it periodically, storing the files I want to retain for the long-term elsewhere. Today I did my usual purge of videos, pictures, screenshots, documents and other assorted crap and found that my available disk space was still much less than I expected, and it was not immediately clear why. Turns out the culprits were some huge log files from the Apple Mail.app. Continue reading Available disk space shrinking on Mac OS X? Check your log files.