February 28, 2008


There is a disaster baking in my oven right now. I'm again reminded why I don't bake cookies, pies, cakes, brownies, muffins, bread and anything else requiring the common sense dictated by the mind of a baker. First off, today was a madhouse at work. I led a few meetings, and did alright, by my standards, pointing out the obvious in cases where it hadn't yet been pointed out, resulting in good things. My attendance of said meetings left me little time to do what I typically do on my lunch hour, if I'm allotted one, which is to surf Cooking Light's site for dinner ideas. I did have in mind that I wanted to cook vegetarian tonight, because frankly, I've gained 2 lbs. again this week, which doesn't put me in danger of my 2006 weight but which does raise a red flag to remind me that we've been eating out and not paying attention too often lately again. Thus, I hastily, in between meetings, found a "tart" recipe. In my dessert mind, a "tart" is a cake. This particular "tart" recipe calls for leek, potato and pepper poured into refrigerated bread dough spread into a 9" pie Pyrex and topped with egg substitute, Gruyere, Parmesan and milk pureed. Where do I begin with the mistakes I've made?? I count the first mistake, to start, as paying nearly ten dollars for a chunk of Gruyere. Gruyere is a fancy Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese wedges might run like four bucks, on a bad economy day. Instead, I felt the drive to pay six dollars more for something named fancier which I cannot even accurately spell. I came home, unloaded the groceries, and went to town chopping potato and leek (chopping both at which I'm well seasoned, as I use both often). I grated some fancy cheese, dumped it into my food processor (next mistake: not owning a blender/food processor combo, and instead relying on a food processor alone, which is not equipped to handle liquids as much as chopping and grinding solids...more to come) and launched into the refrigerated bread dough management. Refrigerated bread dough. Pillsbury. User-friendly. The recipe instructed me to break into strips; let rest 5 minutes. Then there was something about forming a spiral beginning with one strip and continuing in spiral formation with each strip, pressing ends together to secure. Insert biggest mistake of all: the recipe informed me I should, after letting the spiralled dough rest again, roll into a 13" circle. Where I could, I reached back into early youth, before video games, before MySpace and before anything else that causes early onset attention deficit problems evolving from our fast-paced society, back to where roll into a circle meant, in Playdoh terms, roll under palm into ball. Ball, not circle. And boy, did I have problems after rolling that rested dough into a ball and then trying to flatten it into a circle with my fingers. I kneaded, pushed, held it up to let it sag at its perimeter - I did everything I could to get the 13" diameter out of it. The whole thing failed miserably. So I started smashing it into the pie pan, pushing, pulling, kneading and feeling increasingly mad. Meanwhile, three of my four burners are not working - pilot light problems. That had me frustrated also. So I "browned" the leek and potato mixture on the fourth burner which worked but which I rarely use, browning which I was not supposed to do, and then when I attempted to puree the gourmet cheese and egg and milk and Parm, the fact that my food processor can't handle too much liquid yielded a flooded counter, to boot. Insert: I definitely sound like a culinary student wannabe in this entry. That isn't far from the truth, although, I'm not looking forward to disappointing my audience (Craig) with weird "tart" that has more of an egg crust than a nicely browned bread crust since I couldn't manage dough too well. And what did I realize after the whole mess was shoved into the oven to bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes? When they wanted me to roll that dough into a circle, they meant with a pin. Rolling pin. KB, a rolling pin...hello? Do you spend any time in the kitchen whatsover, ever?? So I could have salvaged the dish if the above "spiralled" dough had been rolling pinned into a 13" circle and spread across a 9" Pyrex pie pan, with lovely "fluted" edges and all. Jeez, do I have a lot to learn, as evidenced by my day-to-day blunders! The timer just chimed, so it's time to go witness the horror that might in fact yield delivery in lieu of my "baked" goods.

February 27, 2008


It's Wednesday, February 27th and I'm ecstatic to announce that I am the proud Aunt-by-Association to the new Baby Lew, named Alexander and born yesterday at the wee hours of the morning! My collection of nieces and nephews is ever-growing (through Craig's sisters, from my own family, and also through friends!) so I just keep swelling with pride at all the beautiful happy little ones being brought into the world by those that I love! I sent the Lews a stack of musical CDs I saw a couple of weeks back on Rachel Ray while I was home sick...lullaby renditions of popular rock/alternative rock bands. The Lews are music fanatics like me, so I knew they'd dig the gift. I sent them The Cure, Radiohead and The Rolling Stones - the songs are so delightful, like little lullabies with the tinkling pianos and xylophones only to the tune of such artists as I mentioned as well as U2, AC/DC, Led Zepplin, Bjork, No Doubt, and more and more! It's a radical idea and I was so happy Rachel Ray introduced me to it! Anyway, welcome Baby Lew...I was so happy to hear the news yesterday. I can't say anything to the effect of, "I couldn't think of cooler parents..." because I know a ton of super cool parents, but Roger and Mary will definitely have a hoot with this - they are so smart, inventive and amazing. I'm so happy for them! Meanwhile, my best friend from college is due this spring, and she is also blessing me with yet another nephew. This is the kind of thing that just makes me long to grab all of my friends and family and tuck us into one city so that we can all be together while these moments of grace take place. There are a lot of little ones that I'd give anything to know better. Someday we will be getting to know some little ones of our own...!*Craig is sick with whatever the rest of America has had over the past few months, and I feel awful for him, like I can't do a thing to help! He stayed home Monday and Tuesday but battled his way in this morning. He was pale much of the day - he tried to go to work too soon. Tonight, we're going to stay warm and order our favorite Authentic Sichuan Cuisine and watch America's Guilty Pleasure American Idol. He's giving me the "night off" so that I don't have to slave in the kitchen, but in actuality, it's hardly a night off at all, considering I still have to do last night's dishes, change the sheets, and gather up laundry. Thankfully we're closer to Friday than two days ago, and tomorrow is extremely busy for me, and Friday is worse, so the weekend will be here before I know it. Next vacation can't come too soon: Vermont in April...

February 24, 2008


I'm seeing a trend in that I only post entries on Sundays. I intend to get back to more regular posting, but for now, our weeks are pretty dull outside of work based on how busy we are there and the fact that our extracurricular lives revolve exclusively around food, and I've noticed I do post almost annoyingly often about food and my love for it so during the week if I were to post, it'd consist of, "Today we ate..." which can be a bit much, indeed. Ha! That said, allow me to recap a week of food. Seriously, we did eat out three times this past week - once at Genesis to watch the Indiana University versus Purdue U. college basketball game. Craig wore his Purdue gear, but all I could sport (so to speak) was a red sweater (I plan to order IU stuff prior to the start of March Madness though). IU won. It wasn't as blissful a victory as I hoped, mainly because Purdue didn't look great throughout so there wasn't a moment where it was a questionable game, really. And now the IU coach has stepped down, after scandal. Poor crew - their coaching position is somewhat of a revolving door seemingly. Anyway, Tuesday we celebrated a KB work victory with sushi at Ooki on 3rd, despite Craig's reluctance to go there. He enjoyed himself, though - we ordered in a different manner than usual and we also ate this dynamic "chocolate hockey puck", as Craig termed it, which was described exuberantly on the dessert menu as being "chocolate madness" when in actuality, it arrived in a tidy chocolate puck-shaped formation, nothing mad about it. But it tasted fantastic. I cooked Wednesday and Thursday and Friday brought glorious, gorgeous abundant amounts of snow to New York City! Snow storms mean so much less to public transportation users in terms of affecting the commute. It's not that there aren't the occasional precipitation floods in subway tunnels or what have you, but primarily getting from point A to B is not grandly affected by a storm of any kind. So instead of dreading scraping car windows, sitting in the cold seat rubbing my hands together waiting for the car to warm up, toppled by worrying about slick conditions and roughneck drivers, I trotted outside in my warm-wear and boots and kicked around in the beauty of the white haze of New York! Unfortunately, our office has no windows, so I missed a majority of the storm, but I did enjoy the 25 minutes or so I got to have while in it on our walk from apartment to train and train to office. Friday we left work early (instructed to do so by our boss because of weather) and traveled to 96th Street to drop off rented movies and to have a couple of beers before eating Indian at Tamarind. Tamarind is across the street from the high rise apartment building where we lived when we first moved to New York, the month prior to obtaining our apartment. At that time, in June 2006, we were not seasoned Indian food eaters so we never tried Tamarind. It isn't that we're pros now, by any means, but I know what I like, now, anyway. So it was our first try at Tamarind. We ordered naan bread and chicken tikka as appetizers, and when it came time for entrees to be ordered, Craig decided on a special whereas I wanted to try their vindaloo. Vindaloo is already hot - no need to crank up the heat. But for whatever reason, probably a combination of a couple of beers, some naan and some wine, I instructed our friendly waiter to kick up my vindaloo. What a mistake. Oh boy oh was it heated through! Indian spices are a very fragile and thin line to walk. Even someone of my high heat favor can find kicked up vindaloo to be inedible! Craig tried it and couldn't believe I had suggested the kitchen to work that magic on me. Meanwhile, he loved his dish. But I didn't walk away from Tamarind hungry. And I liked it alright. It isn't the best Indian I've had in town, but for a quick walk home afterwards, it's deserving of a return trip.*Yesterday we jumped on the Long Island Rail Road at Penn Station and headed to Huntington to meet up with Brian and Aubree. They were celebrating a combined weight loss via Weight Watchers by eating out at a steakhouse called Mac's, very near the Huntington train station. The above pictured is our seafood appetizer. The presentation wasn't the prettiest, but the seafood itself was delicious, including the oysters, which I gobbled up. They tasted very fishy, though. I didn't recall them tasting so fishy last time I ate them. Brian's friend Jim and his girfriend joined us, also, so it was a lot of fun. After a gigantic and steeply-priced dinner (which we all knew going into it anyway), we hit a nearby bar and Aubree and I took a million pictures. Many of them are not as flattering as I'd have hoped - it's like, in all of them someone looks triple-chinned or grossly blurry or slit-eyed or whatever, but several turned out quite cute. I tried to explain to Craig that that's why I take so many! And wait until my sophisticated camera purchase...oh, just wait.*We crashed at their place in Northport last night, and this morning Aubree made coffee and we chatted a bit and then they drove us to the Huntington Station, which boasts more frequent trains than the Northport Station. Their neighborhood is divine. I've never seen it in the light of day before, not on the drive Aubree drove, anyway. Each house is unique and gorgeous - there are harbors, and boats, and with the recent snow covering, and the winding of the roads, I felt like I was in this cozy little universe where nothing matters but being home with a cup of coffee and the Sunday paper and maybe some fresh fruit. A neighborhood like that is something I could see myself settling into one day. Immediately, I need the pulse of Manhattan. But long term, if Craig were to decide that he'd like to stick around and start a family here, perhaps an intimate little neighborhood on Long Island like Northport is what we'd target. It's too soon to say.*Tonight: the Oscars. I'm simmering some Cooking Light Texas Chili sans beans and vegetables - only cubed eye of round, jalapenos, onions, garlic, beef broth, red cooking wine, Boddington beer, chili powder, oregano and white vinegar, and it smells like a chili cook-off in here! The chili has another half hour to simmer covered followed by an hour of uncovered simmering while the Oscars begin. Then we find out if it tastes okay. Alison and Scott invited us over tonight for spaghetti and meatballs, Alison's first meatballs attempt, but Craig's got a rough cough and I don't want him to get full-blown sick. Therefore, as much as I'd like to be with friends tonight celebrating what hopefully is a big night for films we liked, we opted to stay here, and warm.*Unfortunately, here comes another Monday. More Mondays, more Tuesdays...just promise eventual delivery of another Friday and I can suffer through!

February 17, 2008


Another Valentine's Day has passed, not without dinner, flowers from Craig, and an untimely and uninvited head cold for me. The thing is, over half of our office staff has contracted this thick ugly virus, and half of said half chose to come into the office anyway, bringing along said germs. That said, I fell victim to it. I've been so incredibly and happily healthy for so long now that my body didn't remember the sensation of helplessness and weak limbs and head. Therefore, I stayed burrowed in the couch Thursday and Friday of last week. Now I won't lie: being away from work is nice, every chance one has to have time away. However, circumstances that found me away from work included a mountain of crumpled Kleenex on the floor, infested water and juice glasses piling in the sink, an unmade bed (rare occurrence for me) and a steady stream of mindless daytime talk television with a few movies thrown in, all totaling to time away from work not being that great after all. Thursday, Valentine's Day itself, I wrapped up in layers of clothing and headed to Blockbuster for a stack of flicks. The second my foot hit the pavement outside I became a shivering mess, freezing cold and aching from head to toe. I battled to Blockbuster anyway, because exercise is regular for me now, even if it's a simple walk to the movie store at 96th. I spent half an hour wandering the movie aisles, sniffling into a clutched ball of Kleenex with blurred eyesight. Sounds delightful. Nothing struck my fancy plus, Craig had our movie card so I instead purchased Gone Baby Gone, the Affleck-directed/other Affleck-starred film about a Boston child abduction. Then I wandered into the Gristedes beneath Blockbuster and below ground level. I've never been in there before - in fact, my only Gristedes experience ever thus far in New York was once I think at a Lexington location and I didn't walk away mesmerized. Before I go on, let me clarify the grocery store experience here in New York, for those less aware of the challenges New Yorkers face when selecting a preferred grocer. We have options, as I've mentioned before. I have a Key Food located at 92nd and 2nd which typically suits my needs* (*see later note on this). I've also mentioned C-Town around the corner on 1st Ave. Other groceries available include Food Emporium, Gristedes, the option of Fresh Direct (ordering groceries online and having them delivered at your very own convenience, which translates to me as someone being paid less money than they should to grab any green pepper, any tomato, any bouquet of asparagus, any apple, any anything produce-related, bruised, unbruised, who cares, they're not paid enough to, right?? therefore I opt out of that resource...), a Whole Foods Market rumored to be located somewhere in NYC, a Trader Joe's also rumored to be located in Manhattan, and finally, for those raking in the funds to be able to afford it on a regular basis, D'Agostino's, or simply D'Ag's. I'm just jealous, truthfully - I'd shop at D'Ag's in a heartbeat of there were one closer to us than 84th and Lex. I can barely drag myself home from 86th and Lex each day, much less two armloads of groceries once a week from 84th and Lex! To sum it up, New Yorkers are definitely faced with an array of stores at which to purchase their sustenance needs, but the stores range in quality. So, back at Gristedes at 96th Street, I was faced, in my thick fog, with a lot more decisions than with which I'm faced at my Key Food. Instead of 5 flavors of Progresso canned soups, I stood facing 55 different flavors - a whole wall of Progresso soups on shelves, ranging in percentages of reduced amounts of fat. The juice opportunities were endless, the Kleenex boxes choices ranging from regular sandpaper varieties to scented lotion-filled slips of heaven under the Kleenex logo (the latter, of course, is what I chose!) While I didn't have the lucid experience I'd liked to have had at our neighborhood Gristedes, enjoying the simple pleasures of their meat and deli section (this Gristedes must cover real estate of at least half a city block! It's huge!) I did note to go back sometime for a prolonged visit.*Meanwhile, Thursday night Craig and I did go through with our reservations across the street at Zebu Grill. I felt hazy but happy to be with Craig for our 8th Valentine's Day. Zebu served a 3-course meal, the finale which for me consisted of white chocolate cake and a small scoop of delicious ice cream doused in a shot of espresso - Craig chose guava cheesecake, which he loved - and we came home and went to bed early! Friday was still sore and uncomfortable for me. By Saturday, I suppose I had somewhat regained earthly awares, so Craig and I headed across the Park on the bus to meet up with Alison and Scott. We had two drinks on the West Side traveling north, then jumped in a cab and headed to Dinosaur BBQ near Columbia University. We were there by like 6-something but the wait was 2 hours. They weren't cushioning it, either! It was every bit of a 2-hour wait! We had a couple of beers at the bar and ate appetizers to tide us over. After a fun dinner with them, we headed back down to lower Manhattan to do some pub-crawling. I know it wasn't the best medicine for my recovery, but we had a fantastic time with Alison and Scott. They're a lot of fun. We're glad they're around!*Today has been too speedy. I hurried to Key Food to fetch some items for a pork tenderloin with mushroom ragout in the slow cooker, which I threw together and got started in time for it to cook 8 hours. I mentioned my love of slicing mushrooms...after preparing the ragout, I felt fairly mushroom-cutted out! The ragout is supposed to be served overtop slices of the tenderloin ontop of egg noodles, but I don't really think there is any nutritional value whatsoever in an egg noodle, so I'm making roasted garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus as sides, instead. This marks my first time roasting a head of garlic - I just popped it in the oven and can't wait to begin to smell the fragrance of it. Following the preparation of that, Craig and I ordered unhealthy burritos for delivery for lunch, and then I headed back to Key Food, armed this time with an actual grocery list for the week. I spent time constructing a fine list in between other odds and ends today: ingredients for a vegetable lasagna one night, ingredients for a lightened version of Penne a la Vodka for one night, and finally, ingredients for an intriguing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup for another night, which will provide KB with yet another challenge she's yet not faced: cooking with chicken on the bone. Once, long long ago in the recesses of the KB-cooking chronicles, possibly pre-blogging, I did slow cook a whole chicken. I can't recall how we ate that chicken but that was once so long ago and now, in our refrigerator lurk two chicken breasts, with skin and bone (the recipe instructs there to be no skin, which yields me skinning it!) and these breasts will be dunked into the seasoned soup broth with carrots, celery and onion and lots of other Asian-flavored pleasures and will simmer for an hour, then to be removed from the broth, the meat to be stripped from the bone and placed back in the soup. It doesn't seem too daunting, now, does it? I can't believe moms everywhere, mine and Craig's included, ever had the time or the discipline to master these things. I barely have the time now, and there are not yet kids running circles around me. I will have to make a note sometime to ask both of our moms about their cooking-learning experiences. Anyway, so my problems with Key Food and the inconsistencies that lie within its crowded walls include the following, as of this morning: 1. no Bok Choy. Why? WHY? You always carry Bok Choy, Key Food. Why not today, the one day KB most needs it for her Asian Chicken Noodle Soup?? 2. People milling about lazily only in the sections I need most to be. Okay, that's a consistent occurrence, Key Food. 3. Why does your produce suck on Sundays?? Don't you realize a giant fraction of your clientele arrives Sundays to shop for the week and yet your red peppers were all faded to pink in color, your green peppers were squatty and less-than-green, your asparagus selection looked like it had all been hit by a bus and your white onions were growing unidentifiable tumors? These things could probably be cured for me if I were to take Craig's weekly advice and go to C-Town, instead. If I were to explain this to a Midwesterner, one from Indiana, to be specific, I'd say the following: Key Food is to Kroger as C-Town is to Marsh. Take that for what it's worth - I always preferred Marsh, myself.*I know I've blogged at length but I've been away for a while and it's good to be back, feeling so much better than 3 short days ago. The apartment is indeed beginning to swell with a roasted garlic scent. One thing I've saved for the end is that I'm embarking on a new journey, one that's been meaning to begin for quite some time but which has had little funding to support its cause. That is, I am planning to buy a camera. As a much younger girl I did take photography classes and I wasn't the worst photographer you've met. Well, actually, better than behind the lens, I was a pretty fair darkroom artist. Now, as a near 31-year old (woe is me), I don't anticipate finding enough money lying around to generate an amateur darkroom, but we are in the age of digital photography, and plus, my background's Graphic Design, so why am I not being more deliberate in my photos, creating works of art? Why am I not manipulating f-stop settings and creating blurred backgrounds and jumping on the computer to better enhance my photos? Why is that picture of my gorgeous flowers from my wonderful boyfriend not more interesting?? Well then, I've determined it's because I don't own a current, exciting and manually-operative camera. And so the hunt begins. The amount of money I save coupled with the option of requesting Best Buy gift cards for my 31st birthday will determine just how much I plan to invest in this. I just hope it yields ripe fruit.*

February 10, 2008


Kristi Day has come and gone and today is what we called "half and half" day - part mine, part Craig's. After a few colorful cocktails yesterday and Craig's delicious version of my turkey chili, we both settled into the living room to watch a movie and I drifted off halfway through, near 10.30. We went to bed by midnight-thirty but still managed to sleep in this morning until after 9. Craig went for bagels again and I jotted down what groceries I'd need for the week. It went so well: I ate my bagel, drank my coffee and headed to Key Food before noon. I love grocery shopping considering it's part of the natural high of cooking (selecting produce, picking out milk, choosing which Jasmine rice brand, etc.!) but today did find me somewhat irritated considering Sunday morning is the Universal Grocery Shopping Day (with Monday night being a close runner-up) and shoppers on Sundays shop like Sunday drivers drive: leisurely, as if they sense no purpose in hurrying home, ever. I love to shop but I love to do it efficiently without shoppers dawdling in front of the rows of tomato sauce, for instance, contemplating which brand. It's only sauce, people! (I use that as an example because I struggle in front of the tomato-related cans, also, so I'm more forgiving of that, I guess...diced?? plum? whole? stewed? The varieties are endless and each contributes its own qualities to a recipe). Anyway, in the frozen food aisle (bear in mind, aisles of groceries in New York City just barely fit one individual with a purse and oversized overflowing plastic shopping basket), there was this guy with a hundred loose components to his push cart, including but not limited to this wire extension at the back that extended across like 4 freezer doors. I just needed chopped frozen spinach. Enter irritation. He was busy scrutinizing which 6-pack of bottled water he wanted 2 feet away. So I fumbled with the wire extension (I don't even know what it was there for) to move it out of my reach of chopped frozen spinach and the guy turned to me in ever-slow motion and said, "Oh. I see that I am in your way. So sorry." By this point I had pushed past him with a solid block of spinach in hand and my plastic basket lifted overhead to avoid any additional collision with him and I sped off to the Asian food aisle. I know, it's unlike me, because I'm typically sweet, patient and kind, right? This quality evaporates at Key Food on a Sunday morning, trust me. I also encountered one of those situations no one likes at a store of any kind, the one where the person in front of you with only 8 items swears such-and-such (in this case, Cracker Barrel Cheddar Cheese) was Buy-One-Get-One, and the manager of the place affirms the poor cashier's no, so the patron insists on pushing backwards through the line (past me), heading back to the cheese aisle mid-checkout, finding out which exact cheese was Buy-One-Get-One, and returns with the right cheese, the whole ordeal consuming a full five more minutes of my Sunday. Time is precious, let me just point it out. Without more of it, when dawdlers or absent-mindedness or dumb delays consume any of that precious time, irritation is inevitable.*I made it home in one piece, cleaned out our refrigerator of its excess, made room for the new, then trimmed a boneless porkloin which is now in its third hour of low slow-cooking with hot pepper strips, julienned red pepper, some onion, teriyaki sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic and crushed red pepper (peanut butter to be added later) to yield a spicy Thai pork which I will serve over Jasmine rice with steamed broccoli on the side. Later this week we are eating mushroom lasagna, and Thai Chicken with Sriracha another night, and Thai Style Ground Beef another night. That totals to three nights of Thai again this week. Thank goodness Craig and I agree on my Thai dishes. Today, just for the sheer pleasure of it, I sniffed my open jar of red curry paste that's in the fridge. I love the scent of Thai.*I've decided that there are a handful of things that I can identify as favorites in the kitchen. That is, things I either love to sniff or love to chop or love to saute. I love leek, first of all. Slicing into a leek is so organic, somehow. And mushrooms - slicing one in half is also quite earthy. I am a huge fan of jarred minced garlic toasting in a pool of extravirgin olive oil in a pan, but another thing I noted recently while celebrating Super Bowl Sunday with our friends Alison and Scott is that I love whole cloves of garlic sliced thinly (provided I do not have to peel the paper shell). They keep whole garlic cloves marinating in olive oil and seasonings in their fridge, and I sliced up a few cloves for various recipes while we were preparing for their party. The fragrance of fresh garlic cloves beats jarred minced garlic any day. Red bell peppers are fun to slice, especially when they are full deep red in color. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable to steam, because it smells fantastic and becomes this gorgeous heady green color that I can't wait to douse in olive oil. I adore seasonings of most varieties, although I steer clear of rosemary and only use thyme sparingly. And in addition to all of that, I really love a brilliant white head of cauliflower. I guess vegetables inspire me in a lot of ways, and that's a great thing. Once not long ago, I don't remember if I mentioned it, but Craig and I ate vegetarian about four nights in a row and we both lost several pounds that week. I of course believed our weight loss to be direct results. But, alas, tonight we eat pork and through the week we eat chicken and ground sirloin.*Thursday is Valentine's Day (our 8th Valentine's Day!!) We've got reservations across the street at the intimate Brazilian place that we've grown to love. It's a pre-fixed three-course dinner, but after some debate, we determined that eating across the street (this place is ranked very high for Brazilian in the City and it's literally across the street!) will save us cab fare and that cab fare will afford us a second round of Sangria, instead. And we might even make it home in time to see Lost!*I can't believe it's mid-February. We've got so much time and yet it goes by so quickly. Here's to a very calm, very warm weekend in.

February 09, 2008


It's nearing 5.30 on My Day and it's been pretty decent. I woke up fairly early this morning, in the 8 range, and loaded recently shot pics into the computer, padded around the apartment in socked-feet and waited for Craig to wake up. When he did (finally! nearer 10!), he headed out for bagels and coffee and returned and I started marathoning sitcoms on DVD (How I Met Your Mother and Friends) and I wrote out about 5 new recipes to slip into my cool recipe book. Then I popped in some Grey's Anatomy, which is currently on in the other room as I type this and as Craig naps (of course!) Craig made us a couple of blue cocktails and mid-blue cocktail is when he became sleepy, while we were half-watching Flight of the Conchords (jury's still out on whether it's worth my time at all) so now he's down for a bit and I'm partially listening to Grey's and wanting to recap some stuff from last week at the same time.*There are a lot more hours left of My Day, including Craig putting together one of my turkey chili recipes and two chick flicks I have yet to watch.*Last week, we went to a Knicks game and the following night went to Hell's Kitchen for dinner and a performance. We ate dinner at an Ikea-adorned joint called Thai Select (not only is the name of the place unfortunate, but also are the Ikea interior decorations) but we loved the food (see above photo of my Red Curry Beef). I mean, we loved the food - Craig loved the Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce and I adored my Red Curry Beef (his entree of shrimp was just okay). Then we headed around the corner to Lauren's performance at the Zipper Factory Theater at West 37th. Lauren...she leaves the room breathless. I've admired her unmeasurably since we were just young ones nearing 12 years ago now, but she's become nothing but more talented and her ability to command the presence of a room is magical. A few weeks ago when we went to meet my friend Jen's baby in a hotel room in Battery Park City, I reunited (sort of - I did not know her that well back then) with a girl named Ann who once knew Lauren, also. I invited her to Lauren's show and she came with her fiance and they enjoyed it and there were seas of people who admire Lauren at the show, including her mother and grandmother (both of which I haven't seen since college) and all around, Lauren can command a group of people to come together and swell with emotion. And she does it so unwittingly.*Now I'm sitting here happy to have had a nice week but more than comfortable and happy to sit at our desk in my comfortable Rolling Stones NYC tee and hideous bright orange Mets hoodie and soft olive green GAP pants knowing I don't have to lift a finger in an hour, or in two, or in ten. Craig's got me covered (um, once he wakes up, that is!) I told him it would be no problem if he napped. He deserves it. He's been so sweet to me and to my day and in distributing royal treatment to me.*

February 04, 2008


Another weekend has come and gone yet so has another Monday. We had a nice Friday which began with homemade Korean (my first attempt at Korean, ever) which was ultimately pretty good but a bit too salty because I didn't use Low-Sodium Soy Sauce as recommended (Key Food's range is only so diverse). Then Saturday morning we woke up pretty early and headed to 82nd Street to pay our rent, swinging by Tal Bagels at 86th Street on our way back home. Tal Bagels is hailed as one of the best bagels in New York City, a claim that is pretty serious to stake no matter how many votes get tallied, so we thought we'd give it a shot. The place is clean - immaculately scrubbed from top to bottom, and it's huge (there are more than just the one Tal Bagels in town so it survives on local chain status) but to be perfectly honest, Bagel Express closer to home far and away has Tal Bagels beat, and by a long shot, if I must be honest. The Everything Bagel is our Bagel of Choice anywhere we go, but Bagel Express has the right recipe. And they don't overbake their bagels to attempt that crusty golden exterior, which ultimately makes a bagel inedible to me. Sure, its presentation is nice, but give me Bagel Express' perfectly baked yet still doughy bagel any day of the week over any other bagel I've had in the City so far.*Saturday afternoon we went to Lynn's dance recital. Lynn is the talented wife of my friend Eric from IU. She's got a dance company with a friend of hers from college and they perform a few times a year in and around the area. So Craig sweetly and willingly accompanied me to their performance, a piece called Dig which is based on the Exodus story and was set to excerpts of Handel's Israel in Egypt and was really quite good. Note: I don't speak dance speak well. It is by all means its own language, which I'd call body language but that's downright dumb. It's its own language in a sense that it speaks through motion and fluidity set to sound, but aside from that, I am a bumbling idiot when I try to speak about dance, specifically modern dance, so afterward I gushed stupidly to Eric and Lynn both and felt like a royal ass for what I couldn't put into words. But it was good! And Craig enjoyed himself, as well.*Following the recital, we headed to a wine bar for drinks, and Amanda met us for a while (she was ushering at the recital) and we had a nice time with her, eating amazing appetizers such as prosciutto-wrapped asparagus grilled and doused in fresh shredded parmesan and white truffle oil (mmm) and following that, Craig and I headed to Brooklyn to cash in a gift card he received for a dinner at Giando on the Water overlooking Manhattan. I'm not going to describe our dinner because I'm a nice girl who doesn't say mean things (normally) but let's just say, for the record, we won't be recommending or heading back to Giando on the Water. Their claim that their view is "better than from a boat" is false. But, as Craig and I are very good at doing, we had a blast anyway. Then we returned to Manhattan to check out the weekend scene at the Grape and Grain/Against the Grain in the East Village. Love that place! Oh, we love that place. We ordered some peculiar Italian beer (which in my other blog I call Belgian but who cares/knows the difference??) and the place was packed (Against the Grain is the bar adjacent to Grape and Grain - owned by same ownership) and after that, we cruised to Satsko for a sake bomb (as seen on Three Sheets NYC World Pub Crawl). And then, back home to crash, of course. Sunday we headed to Alison and Scott's for their Super Bowl party. Giants - Patriots...what does one who isn't into East Coast football do? Well, considering the Pats were attempting an unblemished record for the season, part of me wanted to root in their favor, yet New York is my town, through and through, so why not also feel particularly spirited for them?? In the end, the Giants scored a weird final touchdown for a victory. Go New York! Alison and Scott threw a lovely party - Scott made killer wings, I helped Alison with some things, and we all made dents in the beer in the fridge. And today was Monday.*I have had a lot of revelations since I last posted (as usual) but it's late, and after heavily garlicked dinner of stuffed shells, asparagus and garlic bread, I need to find my pillow and gear up for a week of work blended with a Knicks game Wednesday and Lauren's first 2008 concert Thursday. Saturday is Kristi Day (!!!) which will find me with a stack of chick flicks, all access to the 50" tellie to watch said chick flicks, and Craig performing perfunctory duties that I perform on a daily basis, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning, catering to his favorite person (me!) and overall sweet to the fact that I nurture his every need/whim day in and out. Kristi Day will be so relaxing for Kristi. Oh, I can't wait!*