Double Birthday

It is party city in my family this time of year. My twin sisters’ and brother’s birthdays are within a week and a half of each other (not to mention my uncle’s whose we celebrated last week), and Aurelia also decided to make her appearance at the tail-end ofwinter, just a week before her mother’s.

Thus, Emily and Moriah’s last birthday was mildly interrupted by the week-old Aurelia for whom everyone only had eyes. It’s hard to be the center of attention when you’re competing with a new baby; sorry, Em and Mo.

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Luckily, this year Aurelia is old news, so we were able to direct our attention to its rightful owners: the birthday girls. 😀

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Birthday 2011

Well, Aurelia did end up stealing some attention cause she’s so dang cute.

022For their 24th birthday, Emily and Moriah chose to have a low-key dinner at the restaurant Longhorn Steakhouse, but with my family, even a ‘low-key’ birthday out is every waitress’s nightmare. Luckily, we tip well to balance the multiple split checks, menu questions, and general chaos that ensues with every party over five.

I had never been to Longhorn Steakhouse before, mostly because I try to avoid chain restaurants and don’t eat that much meat. The atmosphere was pretty nice, though; the restaurant was spacious, yet cozy with an old Western theme. I can’t say I cared much for the music, however–new country music is not my favorite. I would totally be on board with Webb Pierce and Johnny Cash, though!

The menus at every seat were faux-leather bound, which was a nice change from colorful laminated paper.

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To start, I ordered a dirty Tanqueray martini.

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It was served in a tumbler with three olives, and though it was a bit too salty for my taste, it was pretty good. It’s hard to know just how ‘dirty’ customers like their martinis, and my taste has definitely changed over the last few years to prefer less olive juice.

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There were no vegetarian options on the menu, although I’m sure the restaurant would have obliged had I asked. I stuck with seafood, even after the waitress proudly told us the fish were all farm-raised when we asked. I think she thought that was a good thing…I guess most people don’t know the difference between farm-raised and wild caught.

Since I was eating farm-raised seafood (pondfood?), I figured I might as well go all out and ordered the Grilled Trout Topped with Shrimp and Lobster. The menu described it as: fresh grilled rainbow trout with shrimp, lobster, bacon, and corn. All entrees are served with a choice of side and salad, which I thought was nice given the relatively expensive prices. I got mine with seasonal vegetables and a garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

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Our waitress brought out waters for everyone as well as several loaves of warm bread for the table after she took our orders. The bottom of the loaves were a little crusty but being warm, chewy, and free (well, free-ish), they were a nice start to the meal. Since I had lunch at 11:00, I was pretty hungry and started with two end pieces of bread–the ends are my favorite part!

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The salad was nothing special; just regular iceberg lettuce with chopped veggies, cheese, and dressing. I didn’t ask for my dressing on the side as I usually do because there was such a large group of us (maybe 16?), so it was a bit too heavy for my taste, but still good enought to eat. 🙂

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Everyone’s meals smelled really good as they were delivered. My vegetables were a bit underdone and the shrimp and lobster mix under my trout was a little cold, but my brother, a kitchen manager and cook, told me that’s only to be expected when there’s a 16 top with 16 different entrees cooked to different degrees. Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m just picky about my food.

Fortunately, the flavor was quite good, so it didn’t spoil my meal too much–the shrimp lobster mix was delicious even cold (I suspect butter). The portions were pretty generous, and almost all of us ended taking some food home in boxes. I ate all my veggies and took half of my stuffed trout home.

The waitress knew it was Emily and Moriah’s birthday, and she brought out two hot fudge sundaes for them after our plates were cleared.

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Happy Birthday to you…and you!

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Mmm, delicious ice cream.

After we paid our bills (I had a gift certificate, which was very nice), we headed back to my Grandma’s for some birthday cheesecake.

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My mom makes the best no-bake cheesecake. This one had a peanut butter Oreo crust with a cream cheese, whipped topping, and peanut butter Oreo filling.

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Happy Birthday, Em!

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Happy Birthday, Moriah!

The girls wanted to go out after, which I would have loved to do had I not had work at 5:00am the next morning. Thus, I sent myself home at about quarter to ten. It was such a fun night with the birthday girls, though!

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Oscar Party

I don’t care if it was just me, my sister Moriah, Grandma, and Aunt Dina…it’s a party if I say it is!

The Drink: Red Carpet Cocktail

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  • 1 part V8 pomegranate blueberry juice
  • 2 parts champagne

Pour juice into a champagne or wine glass and top with champagne.

The Eats: Soft Wheat Pretzel Twists

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I used the same Alton Brown homemade soft pretzel recipe I always do, except I substituted honey for the sugar and used half whole wheat flour and half white flour. There was no discernible honey flavor (probably have to add more than 1 tbsp), but I really liked the wheat version!

Red Pepper Dip

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Another winner! I was planning on making a bean dip but decided to use ingredients on hand instead to create this tasty dip.

  • 2 red peppers
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup oven roasted almonds
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and chop red peppers. Transfer to a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and salt, and roast with garlic cloves for about 25 minutes. Let cool.

Add nuts to a food processor and finely chop. Add peppers, vinegar, garlic, yogurt, and olive oil. Season to taste.

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We had plenty of food to nosh on as the Oscars began.

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Cheese and sausage, veggies, hummus, crackers, and smoked salmon.

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I had at least three plates like this.

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And plenty of these. 🙂

I may not get to the movies very often, and I don’t particularly care for celebrity gossip, but I really enjoy watching the Oscars. It’s nice to see celebrities out of their natural element and dependent on their own personality to make themselves shine–and it’s a great way to see if the actors you love are actually cool in the real world!

It made me smile to see and hear some of my favorite actors tonight, including Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix, Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, and Meryl Streep. My spirits couldn’t help but brighten as Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a dance on stage with Seth MacFarlane.

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Ah. A tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.

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Too bad they seem to make men so bloody uncomfortable. Oh, well.

I can’t believe I devoted five hours to the Oscars tonight, but I had a great time hanging out with my family. The group of us in town called my mom and other sister Emily periodically to see how they were doing with their picks. My efforts definitely paid off–I got 12 out of the 24 picks right! Woohoo! That may not sound like a lot, but I generally average about 4 or 5 right, and I managed to beat out the rest of my family with most correct guesses.

All in all, a really fun time!

Best Picture Reviews

I did it! I watched all of the movies nominated for Best Picture this year so that when watching the Academy Awards, I can make my own guesses as to who the winners will or should be. Without further ado, here’s the lineup along with some brief thoughts on each of the nine movies.

Amour

Plot: A French film which focuses on an elderly couple, Anne and George, and their lives after Anne suffers a stroke.

Thoughts: Since first viewing Cache, I’ve had an interesting relationship with French films. I did not love or really even like Amour. It wasn’t the story I didn’t like, but the way it was told; long, and drawn-out, almost boring except for one rushed bit of excitement right at the very end of the film. Dying of old age is awful; this I know to be true. The director certainly told it exactly as it is, but that’s life incarnate and not what I want out of a movie.

My score: 5/10

Argo

Plot: A dramatization of the CIA and Canadian operation to rescue six escaped Americans during the Iran revolution.

Thoughts: I put off watching this film, because I’m generally not a fan of political movies, but I was pleasantly surprised. The plot was so much more interesting than I initially expected: the CIA attempted to extract the Americans by creating a cover story that Mendez, an exfiltration specialist, is actually a movie producer scouting for locations in Iran for a bogus sci-fi film and the fugitives are crew members. The surprise this movie generated in me, coupled with the team of good actors (Affleck, Cranston, Goodman) earned it a bit more respect in my book than I anticipated.

My score: 7.5/10

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Plot: A hovering storm threatens a Louisiana bayou community called “the Bathtub,” but five-year-old Hushpuppy and her hot-tempered and dying father Wink are determined to stand their ground.

Thoughts: Watching this movie was like reading a poem. A mix of fantasy, drama, heartbreaking reality, and childish magic, this movie was so much more than I expected it to be. I fell in love with Hushpuppy (played by Quvenzhane Wallis) and the way she interacted with the universe around her; that a child her age could exude so much intelligence and beauty is astounding. Yes, it was strange, but it worked.

My score: 8/10

Django Unchained

Plot: With the help of a German bounty hunter, Django, a freed slave, attempts to rescue his wife from a plantation owner in Mississippi.

Thoughts: You either love or hate Tarantino films. I happen to love them. This movie is raw, violent, and incredibly entertaining. The two main characters, Django and Dr. Schultz, play off each other famously, and if nothing else, this movie is ethically important in its untamed depiction of slavery.

My score: 8.5/10

Les Miserables

Plot: A musical drama in which an ex-convict, Jean Valjean, eludes capture from a persistent police inspector and raises the illegitimate daughter of a former prostitute after her death, set during the backdrop of the French Rebellion.

Thoughts: I have loved the story of Les Miserables since the music first touched my ears, and the pages my fingertips. Something is definitely lost in translation here, though, which is almost to be expected when a film comes out based on a musical which is based on a book. The pace of the movie was a little disjointed, and the transition from uttered words to belted out songs a little disconcerting at times. That being said, the actors passion and sincerity stirred so many emotions that despite its imperfections, it’s mesmerizing.

My score: 7/10

Life of Pi

Plot: A 16 year old boy survives a shipwreck and is stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Thoughts: If nothing else, this movie is worth seeing just for the beautiful imagery. The plot itself is interesting, even though the story loses some of its energy in the journey. I found the movie to be a bit too self-reflective and didn’t quite grasp the extended metaphor in its regard to God. Still, I was so impressed with visual journey this movie took me on that I wished I had seen it in 3-D, and normally, I do not care for 3-D movies.

My score: 7/10

Lincoln

Plot: This film covers the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life as he struggles with Civil War and his efforts to pass the 13th amendment.

Thoughts: No one could have played Lincoln better than Day-Lewis. Though I was a bit put-off by his voice at first (I expected Lincoln to have a deeper, sterner voice), his portrayal was everything I expected Lincoln to be: patient and humorous with a quiet self-confidence that stirred incredible respect. There’s not a lot of cinematic flair, but the movie was punctuated by many powerful moments that kept it from being too slow.

Score: 7.5/10

Silver Linings Playbook

Plot: After a short time in a mental institution, Pat, a former teacher, moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife while striking up a friendship with Tiffany, who shares many of his neuroses.

Thoughts: This movie seems to be the odd-man-out on the lineup for having a sense of humor that all the other movies lack. The chemistry between the two main characters is a bit contrived, but Cooper and Lawrence handle it beautifully. The movie is filled with a nervous energy and, despite being a little weird, is just plain fun to watch. Kudos to Cooper for a performance that actually made me like him.

My score: 7.5/10

Zero Dark Thirty

Plot: A chronicle of the hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden through the eyes of Maya, a CIA officer who has focused solely on this mission.

Thoughts: This was the film I was least looking forward to watching. It’s definitely a politically important film, and Chastain does a fabulous job playing the fire-and-ice Maya. It was refreshing to see a strong female lead (without it being an issue), and I appreciated the movie’s lack of commentary on the morally questionable tactics employed throughout the film. That being said, for me, it was another war movie airing America’s dirty laundry and the unspeakable actions of war.

My score: 6.5/10

Overall thoughts: One of my favorite movies of 2012 was Moonrise Kingdom, which is unfortunately not up for Best Picture. Though there were many very good films this year, I really wasn’t blown away by any of them, which left me a little sad. It seems that TV shows keep getting better (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire), but a truly fabulous movie hasn’t come out in awhile. That’s why there’s a differentiation between what/who I think will win and what/who I think should win this year.

Best Picture

What I think should win: Beasts of the Southern Wild

What I think will win: Lincoln

I know I gave Django Unchained a higher score, but though I think Tarantino has an excellent chance at winning Best Original Screenplay, I don’t think Django will win Best Picture.

Actor in a Leading Role

Who I think should and will win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Actress in a Leading Role

Who I think should win: Quvenzhane Wallis

Who I think will win: Jessica Chastain

Overall guesses: 24

Note: Some are simply guesses because I have not seen every movie up for an award, just the movies up for Best Picture.

Betcha Can’t Eat Just One

Have you tried kale chips yet? They are flippin’ delicious. After making them last night, Dave stood over the pan in the kitchen, popping them into his mouth, and said “They should serve these at movie theatres. Instead of popcorn. In addition to popcorn. Whichever.”

I completely agree. So easy. So crunchy. So delicious. It’s hard to believe they’re good for you.

008Maybe they were made more delicious by the fact that WE FINALLY HAVE A SALAD SPINNER!!! After years of hoping one would just magically appear in our kitchen cupboard, we scraped together a few dollars to purchase it at our local Goodwill. 😉

This baby sucked about 1/3-1/2 cup of water out of the rinsed kale, and I let it sit in the spinner until I was ready to make my chips. This way, I didn’t have to spread it out on paper towels and wait for my cat Artemis to jump on the counter-top  grab a piece, and trot off with the batch, piece by piece.

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Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • olive oil spray (or olive oil)
  • seasonings (I used garlic salt and pepper)

Rinse and dry kale. Spray with olive oil spray and toss with seasonings. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

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The bunch yielded just enough for Dave and I to chomp our way through half. I had mine with some Habanero ketchup. And an open face tuna melt on onion focaccia.

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Smells Like Meat!

Dave and I eat meat so rarely that it’s always a treat when we do. We splurged on some bison patties at Woodman’s last weekend, and I thought Dave deserved some real meat after all the vegetarian dishes I feed him.

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I am a novice when it comes to cooking meat. I always have to Google the correct internal temperature so I don’t overcook it anything that’s not a vegetable. Luckily, Dave is well-informed and told me to sear the patties on both sides on medium-high for about two minutes, then drop the heat to medium-low and cook for six minutes.

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Even I thought Man, that smells good!

The fixins’.

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Sundried tomato and basil cheese, roma tomatoes, herb blend, and pickles.

And the serving device: pretzel rolls!

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I’ve always wanted to try these, but I keep passing them up at the store for some reason. I think Well, I’ve made pretzels before, so I should be able to make those rolls. Then I remember that really, I can make almost anything if I want to, but unless I want to be tied to the kitchen from sunset to sunrise, we really do have to buy some food once in awhile.

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Now that’s what the doctor ordered.

My sister gave me a heap of leftover cucumbers from the party yesterday, so I put them to good use by making a Japanese inspired Sunomono Salad.

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  • 3 cucumbers, peeled, halved, and cut
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Place cut cucumbers in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for ten minutes, then squeeze out excess juices. Meanwhile, combine vinegar dressing. Toss with cucumbers to coat.

*****

Even after letting the cucumbers sit for ten minutes, they were still oozing out water. Next time, I might cut them into long strips like they do at Koko’s Sushi Bar. I also thought they could have used a bit more soy sauce; they were almost too sweet for me.

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I can’t wait until I can take pictures by natural light again! We also had some reduced-fat sour cream & onion Pringles with our burgers and cucumber salad. A truly satisfying meal.

Dave and I ate our dinner while we watched the rest of Django Unchained. I’ve been making my way through all the Best Picture nominations for the Academy Awards so I can watch the Oscars with my sister next weekend. I have four movies left to go, so I better get crackin’! I’m a big fan of Quentin Tarantino, and this movie did not disappoint. Though I didn’t think it was as good as Inglorious Basterds, the characters were all really intriguing, and I loved the choice of music during the movie.

At this point, I really have no idea what movie is going to win Best Picture. Maybe one of the others will be a real stand-out.

Into Wonderland

My family likes to celebrate things in a big way.

Holidays.

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Birthday parties.

100_1613Halloween.

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Festivals.

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Book releases…

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Themes are huge with my family, and we will pretty much dress up for anything. The crazier the better.

058Thus, Aurelia’s first birthday could not only go by unnoticed…it couldn’t go by without a theme.

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My sister Emily and my mom had been planning Aurelia’s Alice in Wonderland themed party for weeks. I really had no idea how grand their ideas were until I arrived a few hours early to help yesterday. The basement truly was a wonderland. I really have no reason to be surprised anymore, but even I was a little taken aback.

004We have long ago learned that when it comes to decorating, it’s all about the details.

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Everything from the decorations to the food was perfect.

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Emily, Mom, and Christopher (Aurelia’s dad) made Petit Fours.

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Meringue mushrooms.

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Chickpea salad stuffed carrot croissants.

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Tarts.

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Spring rolls with Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce.

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Macarons.

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And perhaps the most creative…sandwich cakes.

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There were several different kinds of cakes, all iced with dyed cream cheese frosting, chickpea paste, or pesto. Though a bit hard to cut, they were so ingenious and really tasty. The fanciest sandwich I’ve ever eaten!

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My least favorite thing about the party was that there were so many people to share the birthday girl with.

034I seriously could not love this kid more.

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Some people came dressed the part.

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Others chose to enjoy the party sans costume.

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And some people mixed and matched.

049Aurelia’s Mom and Dad knew their roles.

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And Mom and I never go to a costume party without the appropriate attire.

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Aurelia got plenty of nice toys and clothes to grow into, but a winner seemed to be a drum set filled with music-makers.

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It is so curious and wonderful how this girl has changed my family’s life.

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I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Here Comes the….

How much did I depress you all with that last post? Even rereading it, I feel kind of bad. When seasonal depression hits me, I tend to be overdramatic. But that’s because that’s how everything feels: like the end of the world. But I know that spring is in my future, so I will simply have to wait.

I just returned from the grocery store, where I unexpectedly ran into my Dad in the parking lot. I tried to sneak up on him while he sat in his car, but he’s too smart for me. We had a wonderful long chat, and I realized it’s been a really long time since I’ve last talked to him. I always feel better after I talk to my Dad.

Now I’ve got my baby home, a lovely European dinner in sight, and a martini in my hand.

I think I’ll make it.

Wine was my Date

For the first time in five years, Dave and I made Valentine’s Day plans. We generally don’t celebrate (he did make me a pan of brownies one year which he decorated with icing to say ‘I Love Chel’…that was pretty cool), but the chef at the restaurant where I work part-time does two special dinners a year, one on New Year’s Eve and one on Valentine’s Day. It’s a four course meal starting with an appetizer, followed by soup or salad, then one of five amazing entrees, and ending with some chocolatey delight or creme brulee, wine or champagne included. I signed us up.

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As I may have mentioned, Dave works at a place where he doesn’t find out if he works the next day and/or how long the day is expected to be until 4:30pm the night before. On Wednesday night, things weren’t looking good. He was scheduled for a long route, and his company didn’t expect him to be back to Appleton until past four. When it started snowing Thursday morning, I pretty much lost all hope. Since he travels all day, inclement weather always makes his days longer. I called to cancel our reservations at lunch time.

I decided to at least return the V-day favor and make a pan of brownies for Dave. Since we have very few groceries left in the house (definitely need to go shopping again), I also stopped to pick up a few things for dinner and a bottle of wine for myself.

After exercising to an episode of 30 Rock, I set to work on the brownies. These are one of the few boxed foods Dave says tastes better than homemade, and I’d have to agree. They are just so much chewier than any homemade ones I’ve made. (Although I did really like the no-pudge brownies I made from scratch with Greek yogurt).

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Dave doesn’t like when I “healthify” brownies by using applesauce instead of oil, because they make the brownies more cake-like than fudge-like. I compromised and used half oil, half applesauce, and substituted one of the eggs for three egg whites. I have to make it a little healthier! 😉

Halfway through the baking time, I realized I forgot to add water to the mix. How does one screw up boxed brownies?! Definitely not my day. I pulled the brownies at about 18 minutes and hoped for the best.

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I think I may be on to something here! I don’t know if it was the substitutions I made, the fact that I forgot to add water, that I underbaked them, or that I was seriously craving chocolate, but these were really good. Super soft and chewy. After eating a piece, I wrapped them up so I wouldn’t be tempted to ruin my dinner.

Since I didn’t want to pull out all the stops for dinner alone, I roasted some brussels sprouts with garlic and baked some Archer Farms crab cakes I’d been meaning to try. I generally have very good luck with Target brand food–my favorite chips are their blue corn with flax tortilla chips and their  gelato is out of this world.

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The Archer Farms appetizers were buy one, get one 50% off, so I got lobster bites too.

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Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the crab cakes or lobster bites. They were kind of bland and just tasted…processed. I guess only brownies from a box are best. At least my sprouts were delicious.

I wanted to watch some sort of happy love movie to suit the day and improve my food, but after a frustrating encounter with my computer, I gave up. I got really depressed about how we are rarely ever able to make plans because of Dave’s job. Not only Valentine’s Day, but my deepest hopes to plan our honeymoon to Ireland this year were shot by the fact that his company just won’t give him the time off. Throw in a lackluster dinner, my inability to watch a movie, and the seasonal depression that is hitting me hard this week…there was only one thing to do.

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Or drink, rather. I cried into my glass of Robert Mondavi Malbec briefly before pulling myself together. Just as I was contemplating bed, Dave came home with a treat for me.

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There’s only one reason to eat a doughnut: when you’ve given up.

Here’s to a better Friday!

Monday Funday

After working seven days in a row, which overlapped the weekend and my chance of seeing friends, I knew I had to get out of the house on Monday so as not to go crazy. Fortunately, I had the perfect excuse: costume shopping.

My niece Aurelia’s Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party is this upcoming weekend and all guests are encouraged to come in costume. I had an idea in mind, so I hit up the Dollar Tree, Goodwill, and Target to scrounge together some accessories. Unfortunately, I was done waaaay too soon and had no idea what to do with the rest of my day off until my Mom called and asked me to meet her, my sister Emily, and Aurelia for some party shopping.

We went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and another Goodwill before finishing and deciding to stop at Panera. It was a little late for lunch for me, so I decided to have a cup of Honey Ginseng tea and a Strawberries and Cream scone.

strawberry scone

Delicious! No one makes scones as well as my mom’s, but Panera’s are pretty good. I also picked up a Red Velvet Crinkle Cookie for Dave and I to share later.

001I’m not really a huge fan of red velvet, but this looked too good to pass up. After Mom dropped me back off at home (we carpooled), I made some dinner for Dave and myself.

I had been marinating some soy-maple salmon in the fridge all day, so it was ready to go when I got home. My marinade was about 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and 1 tbsp orange juice.

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I roasted some broccoli with garlic on the side as well as some sweet potatoes with cumin and cayenne.

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Habanero ketchup for dipping. Dave got me the Habanero ketchup from World Market, and I love it. It has just the right amount of kick.

I dug into my half of the Red Velvet Crinkle Cookie for dessert.007

Unfortunately, I wasn’t too impressed. It certainly looked pretty, but it just didn’t have as much flavor as I thought. I guess I’m just a chocolate girl.

My Monday ended by reading my newest issue of Food Network magazine–a cheese issue! I definitely know what my cake is going to be for my birthday this year: the gouda cake.

Archie’s Pub

My brother Tyler recently acquired a new job as kitchen manager of Archie’s Pub & Eatery in De Pere. The first time Dave and I visited, the kitchen had just closed, but we made it in time last night!

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Dave and I were both hungry by 6:00, so we went early, expecting it to be quiet. The place was packed! Luckily, we scored a two-top next to the window, a nice table except for the creepy manequin decked out in Packers gear behind me. I had my back to her, but Dave got to look at her face all night. 🙂

I ordered a Blue Moon to enjoy before my meal.

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Archie’s menu was pretty standard pub fare with cheap prices. I ordered a ‘Vegi Burger’ for $3.95 and added fries for an extra $1.50. Dave got the Fish & Chips, which was $8.95.

Our food took about 40 minutes, but it was pretty busy at that point, so I didn’t really mind. I finished my beer and smartly ordered a club soda with a lime while we waited.

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Since I had to work the next day, I definitely did not want a hangover. Look at me–I learned something from last time! 😀

veggy-burger

My veggie burger was surprisingly good. It came with mustard, ketchup, pickles, and raw onions. A lot of places tend to overcook veggie burgers, but this was perfectly soft. And it was definitely worth the calorie trade-off for fries–I haven’t had them in forever, and they were just as hot, crispy, and greasy as I remembered.

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Dave’s fish & chips were served in a brown paper bag with two containers of tartar sauce. There were four fish tenders in the bag along with a big ol’ heap of fries–probably twice the amount I got (thus the higher price tag). I thought the presentation was pretty cool. I had to help Dave out by eating some of his fries.

Soon after dinner, it was time to head home for bed. I knew if I stayed any longer to wait for my friends, I would have just been more sad that I had to leave. Another trade-off for working early hours. 😦

For delicious pub fare, I’d definitely recommend Archie’s Pub! (And not just because my brother works there. Well, maybe a little bit).

Note: I forgot my camera last night, so these are all recycled photos.