Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Years Cards

Since I didn't quite get all of my Christmas cards out this year, I've decided to send out New Years cards for the rest of the list. I even made them myself.

Big News

We're moving. It's finally official where we're moving. There were times when it seemed like we were moving to NYC. Chicago was even on the radar. But, after all that talk, we're moving to Richmond, VA. Just one hour and forty five minutes south of where we are now. A place that we actually already know fairly well. We've already started looking for a house (online that is). We're planning on going to look at houses next weekend. Of course, I'll already have been in Richmond for work on Wednesday. The one definite upside is no more commuting to Richmond since I'll already live there.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Upcoming 2nd Annual H's Christmas Party

This Saturday night we're going to have our 2nd Annual Christmas Party. It will be a night of food, fun and friends. I'm definitely looking forward to it. I have so much vacation left at the end of this year, that I'm taking Friday off to get ready for it. I'm looking forward to baking lots of cookies and other goodies. I'm planning on giving each guest a goody bag of cookies before they leave. The menu will probably include dark chocolate fondue with orange sugar cookies, homemade marshmallows, pecan brittle and fruit as dippers. There will also be lit'l smokies in bbq sauce, interesting cheeses and olives. I'm still thinking about whether or not to make a few other things like meatballs, some type of bacon wrapped hors d'ouevres and other types of cookies. I'll let you know after the party what ends up at the buffet.

Christmas Decorations Update

As I mentioned in my previous post, we bought a couple more nativity scenes to add to the collection. Here they are:

Since we were at a Christmas store, MTH decided we needed a couple more ornaments. Here they are as well. They're both inspired by The Nutcracker.

Also, here's an update on the how the paperwhites are doing! They're really growing. I have no idea when they'll bloom though. I wish it would be before Christmas but I have a feeling it won't be.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas Decorations

I love this time of year just for the decorations. Here's what we've done in the house.

Paper Whites
MAK gave the container, the river stones and the paper white bulbs to me for my birthday. They are growing nicely. Hopefully I will not kill them any time soon! This table is just by the front door.

Our Official Christmas Tree and Manger Scene Collection
Here's our official Christmas tree. We put it on the highest shelf on our "entertainment system" in the living room. The pieces below the tree are our manger scene collection. We actually bought 2 more tonight but I took these pictures yesterday. I may update later but am too lazy right now.

Tinsel Tree
MTH "won" this tree last year at the annual H Yankee grab bag. It's on the cookbook bookshelf in the space between the living room and dining room.

Rosemary Christmas Tree
I found this tree at the Whole Foods near our house. I couldn't resist. I put it on the wine rack beside the back door. MTH bought the garland last year and now we've found a use for it.

Santa Display
I have a few different Santa Claus items so I decided to display them together on the plate rack in the kitchen. Before our party next Saturday, I'm going to add some fresh greenery above the Santas.

The Best Dessert EVER

MTH and I went to Eamonn's, A Dublin Chipper for dinner tonight. It's definitely a place that you don't want to eat at too often. Along with the traditional fish and chips and Guinness, we decided to have dessert too. The choices for dessert are: fried Snickers, fried Milky Way, fried dough and fried bananas. MTH decided he wanted to try the fried Milky Way. It comes out in the brown paper bag just like the fish and chips. The candy bar has been coated in similar batter as the other food. Then, when it's hot out of the oil, it's sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. When I first smelled the cinnamon, I was disappointed. I wasn't sure how the cinnamon would mix with the flavor of a Milky Way. I was wrong. It was the perfect complement to the gooey melted candy bar inside the crispy outer shell! I highly recommend this dessert at least once your in lifetime.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Grammar Question

Do you see something wrong with the following sentence?

This marks the beginning of ...

I thought that I remembered learning that there should be an object after the word "this". But it seems that is not the case anymore. I know that I don't always write or speak correct English but for some reason this issue annoys me. By the way, that piece of a sentence above is from a letter from the CEO of my company.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's amazing what some people eat!

This morning there was a guy on the elevator in my building at work. He was carrying a plate of bacon (at least 6 pieces) and a bottle of chocolate milk. I can't even imagine that as my breakfast!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

food for my life

That's the name of my new cooking blog. I'll still keep up with this one and will definitely still talk about food here. As the name implies, it will be food that I eat everyday which can include simple but tasty dishes but could also include fancy, hard to make ones. Hopefully you'll enjoy both types and might even get an idea or two for your own meals. Feel free to leave comments!

food for my life .


Seen in SoBe

Guess who was there at the same time as us?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Easter 2005

I know that was a while ago but I was just cleaning off my cookbook bookshelf (which I know that I cleaned since Easter 2005) and I found the recipe of one of the items that I cooked that day. I had decided to do an Eastern Orthodox menu instead of the normal American one. The certainty is that we would have lamb of some type. I decided to do a little research online and found this wonderful recipe for fresh cheese and honey tarts from Santorini.

2 - 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup beer
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, drained overnight in a cheesecloth lined colander
1/3 cup honey, preferably thyme honey
About 1/2 teaspoon (2 pieces) ground mastic (I didn't have this in my pantry)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Make the Pastry
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with the baking powder. Add the oils and the beer and mix briefly with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until soft, oily dough forms. If it is too soft, mix in a little more flour. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flatten the dough with your hands. Place it in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press it evenly over the bottom and up the sides. Line with aluminum foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the foil, prick the dough with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until set but not colored. Let cool.
Make the Filling
In a food processor (or using an electric mixer), combine the ricotta, honey, mastic (if using) and cinnamon. Process (or mix) for 30 seconds to combine. With the motor running, add the eggs one at a time, processing (or mixing) until smooth.
Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is golden brown and set. Sprinkle with cinnamon and let cool before serving.

Instead of one large tart, you can make 30 individual tartlets. Divide the dough into 3 pieces and shape each into 10 1/2 inch long log about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each log into 10 pieces. Work with 1 piece of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap.

On a lightly floured surface, pat each piece into a 4 1/2 inch round. Put 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each round and pinch the rim to make a star-shaped crown around the filling. Bake on baking sheets in batches for about 25 minutes, or until light golden.

As I said before, I was planning to cook lamb to go along with the pastries. Therefore, I bought some fresh rosemary since that's the perfect spice for lamb. I even went to a gourmet grocery store to get fresh meat. When I got home, I read the label of the package that I had been given after pointing to the meat counter. It was veal! Well, unfortunately, that's not the first time I've chosen the wrong meat but I'll tell that story another time. The issue at hand was what to do with this veal. The rosemary would overpower it. I didn't know anything about wiener schnitzel. I don't remember exactly what spices we used but I do know that we put the meat on the grill and it turned out quite nicely. And, those pastries were wonderful for the rest of the week (30 pastries is a lot for 2 people!).

Once in a lifetime...

MTH and I just returned from a week long vacation to Florida. We were in South Beach the first few days for MTH's brother's wedding. We then headed to Key West for the last 3 days to enjoy some fun in the sun. Well, instead, we experienced two nights of record lows! There was a cold front that hit the East Coast and there were a few flakes of snow even down into northern Florida.

Of, we still had a good time together although probably not in the top 5 of our vacation trips. MTH had gotten a cold after the wedding so that made it even less fun (especially since I got it from him soon after). But, as I said, we did enjoy a few things while we were in Key West. Here's a sampling of a few:

- The Hemingway Home: MTH has decided that when we build our house one day, we will use it as the inspiration for our design. I have to say that I really liked the house so it wouldn't bother me to have the outside look similar to the Hemingway House but the inside would need to change quite a bit.

- The Shipwreck Historeum: An interesting small museum that told the story of how Key West used to make money. The main job in the mid-1800's was to be a "wrecker". A wrecker was someone who salvaged goods from a ship that wrecked on the reefs near Key West. There were huge warehouses built in the harbor area to hold the goods until they were auctioned.

- The Truman Little White House: Who knew that Harry S Truman spent almost 180 days in Key West during his presidency? This tour was actually quite interesting and has inspired us to want to read the David McCullough biography of him. I've read McCullough's bio of John Adams and thoroughly enjoyed it.

- The Lighthouse Museum and Keeper's Quarters Museum: MTH made it to the top of the lighthouse! I was very happy that we both got to see the view together. It's very interesting to be in such a flat place where you can see so far out to sea.

- The Original Ghost Tour of Key West: There were some interesting stories told on the tour but it wasn't worth 2 hours of our time!! Because it got out after 10pm, we ended up eating at the Hard Rock Cafe since no other places we knew were serving normal dinner food!!!

I don't really have any interesting stories about restaurants visited. None were terrible by any means but none were that memorable either. We were disappointed by that since one of the things that we enjoy most about our trips is discovering new foods and new places.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our First Anniversary in Toronto

We had a great time in Toronto for our first anniversary. Here's what happened. We arrived around 1pm and headed to the hotel to check in and get lunch. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Toronto which is in the Yorkville neighborhood. We ate lunch at the Rooftop Lounge. Definitely a great view. We then talked to the concierge to get his recommendations for dinner that night. We told him we wanted seafood so he recommended a place called Joso's. The decor is very interesting (if you check out their website, you'll understand what I mean) but the food was awesome. Their specialty is fresh fish grilled whole. We started with a buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad. For our entree, we shared a rainbow trout, tiger prawns, a sardine (the most gigantic sardine I've ever seen) and some fried calamari. The wine was called Cockfighter's Ghost. It's from Australia. It was very good even if MTH did choose it because of its name. Since we had made our reservations at Joso that afternoon, they weren't until 9pm. So, we headed to the Gardiner Museum, a museum entirely devoted to ceramics. It is open until 9pm on Friday nights and is free. If we had been there during the day and needed a snack, they had a cute little cafe on the top floor who's chef is Jamie Kennedy.

On Saturday morning, we had massages at the spa in the hotel. It was a very nice spa and the massage was great. Then, we headed out to downtown Toronto to check out the city. We came back to take a nap so that we could stay awake that night for the theater. We had to eat at 6pm which is very early for us. The concierge again recommended a good place called Opus Restaurant. I had caribou for the first time. It was very lean and interesting but I wouldn't want very much of it. We then headed to the theater to see Wicked. MTH was funny. He bought the tickets before he knew that it was a musical. But, he still liked it although I agreed with him that music was not that memorable. The dancing and the story are lots of fun. I would still recommend this one to people who like musicals.

On Sunday, we had planned to go the Bata Shoe Museum but they didn't open until noon. So, we just walked around Yorkville is 30 degree weather with 30 mph winds trying to pass the time. Finally, it was noon so we headed to the museum but we only had an hour because we had to get to the airport to catch our flight.

It's been a while...

since I posted here. For some reason, I just wasn't in the mood for posting to my blog. Here's what happened since the last time I posted.

1. MTH and I went to Toronto for our anniversary - it was wonderful
2. I worked
3. MTH worked
4. MTH worked out a lot
5. I worked out a little
6. My birthday happened (I took a vacation day!)
7. My mom and sister were here for my birthday weekend

Right now, Phoebe (the cat) and I are sitting on the couch downstairs by ourselves. It's raining outside so it seems earlier than it really is because it's so dark outside. Mom, SM and MTH are still in bed.

I'll try to post more details about some of the things that have happened since my last post.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I had to get my bridesmaids' dress altered. Of course, before I could do that, I had to buy shoes. The dress is espresso but I didn't want brown dress shoes. So, I got some burnished gold shoes by Betsey Johnson. Here's a picture:

And another:

Of course, while I was there, I saw some everyday shoes that I decided that I needed as well:

And, to show you the great thing about Cole Haan shoes, here's the soles:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Eamonn's, A Dublin Chipper

In a previous post, I mentioned that I'd be checking out Eamonn's in Alexandria a couple of weeks ago. Well, I did make it there but was out of town right after. I didn't have time to get a post onto the blog. Here's my review:

First, of all, the name is not 'ee-mahns'. I was corrected by my English friend, HS. It is 'ay-mahns'. Of course, when ordering, you never have to say the name of the establishment so there's no worry of embarrassing yourself. As a reminder, the specialty of the house is fish and chips with special sauces. But, according to HS, the only way to eat fish and chips is with homemade tartar sauce and malt vinegar. It turns out they're good together which I had never tried before. I got the small fish which was plenty for a meal. Both the fish and the fries were fried perfectly. This meal is definitely one you shouldn't have very often but is fun when you do. The other thing not to miss at Eamonn's is the candy. They have a wide selection of English ones. HS was ecstatic when we walked into the place because she hadn't seen these candies since she had arrived in the US over 3 months earlier. We bought a chocolate orange and another one I can't remember the name. I was much too full that night to eat them so we ate them another day. After dinner, we decided we weren't ready to head back home so we went to Restaurant Eve. That's the place that is owned by the same guy that just opened Eamonn's. They have the best sour apple martini I've ever tasted! So, that's what we had. We just sat there and talked and had fun. Then, we headed home and had to go to sleep since the next day was a day of work.

Our Anniversary

Our anniversary is coming up. In honor of the one year milestone, I'll post a few pictures over the next few days. Here's the first one that I think is a fun one because you can't really recognize anyone unless you know them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Food Bank

I volunteered this past weekend at the Capital Area Food Bank through the Junior League. We first saw a video that explained what the food bank does and who it serves. It's definitely amazing. They have a farm out in Maryland where they grow organic produce and bring it to a market in SE DC to sell. There is only one grocery store in that area of DC. It allows those residents access to foods that they normally wouldn't be able to get. The food bank also does the more expected type of work like taking in donations from food drives and cash donations for buying foods. The other great thing that they do is they work with the grocery stores to salvage food. There is a lot of food that doesn't make it to the grocery store shelves because it's not "pretty" but it's still very edible. In the not so distant past, that food was thrown out!! But, now, the food bank is able to pick up that food from at least a few of the grocery store chains in the area. My particular job for the morning was to help create bags of foods that would be taken to Maryland for people to take home and cook. It was an assembly line. I put in two cans of vegetables and then sent the bag down the line. We put together over 600 bags in about 1 1/2 hours!! It was a great way to start the day.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another Week Has Passed

It's hard to believe that it's almost October. Life just goes by faster and faster. Although I do a lot of things, I still wish that I could do more. There's so many places I haven't seen, so many foods I haven't tasted, so many books I haven't read. I could go on and on. But, I won't.

This weekend will hopefully be a little relaxed. I may actually go shopping tomorrow. I have a facial appt at 4pm and MTH wants to go to the DC United soccer game in the evening. Sunday will be grocery and "cook in day". Then, the week starts again. I do have some excitement for next week. On Wednesday, at work, we're having a "fun" day. We're heading to Boar's Head in Charlottesville where we'll take a cooking class and then eat what we've prepared. We get to have 2 glasses of wine with our meal. Then we head to the Jefferson Winery for a tour and tasting. When I get back to Richmond, I'll pick up HS (girlfriend of BL). We'll be heading to a place called Eamonn's, a Dublin Chipper. As the name implies, we'll be partaking of fried foods! Fish and chips to be exact. They also have fried Mars bars on the menu. I'll definitely post an update after that meal. The guy who opened this place also runs Restaurant Eve. I've told some of you about this place. It's the one with the tasting room and the bistro and is quite expensive but awesome. Two very different places! He's Irish so that explains the second place. The food at the first place definitely has some Irish influence here and there. The interesting part is that Eve is the name of his daughter and Eamonn is the name of his son.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay

I actually got a lot done this weekend even though I went crabbing yesterday afternoon. MTH got up at 6:45am yesterday to go for a 31 mile bike ride! I got up around 7:30am and straightened the first floor, washed all of my clothes, ran 3 miles, showered and packed for our trip to go crabbing. We left around noon to head for Annapolis. SM (MTH's friend) and JR (SM's girlfriend), called us and told us to meet them at Sandy Point State Park. We first tried crabbing from a pier but we had no bites. The reason we started on the pier is that the marina wouldn't rent us a boat because it was too windy. It didn't really seem that windy to us so we were confused. After 30 minutes of no bites, SM decided to go ask again about renting a boat. For some reason, they changed their mind. We headed out into the bay in our little dinghy. At our first stop, we brought in 3 crabs (none for me but 1 for MTH). At our second stop, we got several more of which 1 was by me. In the end, we had 10 crabs with only 1 coming from me. For some reason, I just wasn't very good at crabbing. Then, we headed back to SM and JR's place near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Since we only had 10 crabs, we decided they would be our appetizer and then we'd go out to a seafood restaurant in Fells Point called John Steven Ltd. It was interesting cooking those things. JR and MTH just put them straight into boiling beer and Old Bay seasoning and covered them with a lid. They came out perfect. Then, the fun part - opening them up and finding the meat. We read on the internet that only about 15% of their weight is actual meat! Overall, it was a successful trip as we had a great starter of crab meat and then went to the restaurant for steamed shrimp, steamed scallops, steamed mussels, garlic bread and seafood quesadillas.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Girls' Weekends

I had a great time in Chicago last weekend. In the past, I stayed in the downtown area with the high rises. It's a great place to be and hang out but is definitely different from Lincoln Park where I stayed this time. My friend, AS, just moved there in early August. She finished business school in the spring. She's loving it so far. I met all the people who came to the weekend at some point during my career at my current job. 4 out of 5 of them I met in 1999. 4 out of 6 (including myself) are statisticians. It's amazing that we're all still friends and all still get together. We've been having these gatherings for 3 years now. There have been 4 in total. Two were at my place. The first one when we lived in the 625 square foot condo. The second one in our house so we had a little more room. The third one was in Boston. The only thing missing at this last one was MAK. She couldn't make it since she now lives in SF and travel is much more expensive. Usually the main items we focus on are: food, shopping and spa treatments. This time was no different. We had Chicago style pizza on Friday night. We went to the Urban Oasis on Saturday morning. And we hit the Magnificent Mile on Saturday afternoon. Saturday night we did something different. We went to the show put on by Second City. It was awesome. I definitely recommend that any time you're in Chicago, check it out! It's like being on the set of Saturday Night Live but much smaller with beer available throughout the show.

At the end of the weekend, we discussed where we'll meet next. We had two diametrically opposed ideas: Las Vegas or a yoga retreat. Hopefully, a year from now, I'll be updating you on that trip.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Things I Learned in Iceland

- Hot dogs (or pylsur as they are called in Icelandic) are not as ubiquitous as the guide books imply.

- Even the bathrooms in the national parks are clean!

- Buy beer and wine at the duty free.

- Renting an apartment instead of reserving a hotel is key.

- Just because an Icelandic word sounds like an English word doesn't the food it's describing is the same thing - beikon is not bacon (although it does taste good)

- Definitely rent a car to see the countryside.

- Put conditioner and a swimming cap over hair before going into the Blue Lagoon

- Definitely check out the black sand beach in Vik.

- Need to go back in order to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Chicago Follow Up

MKN finally got up at 10:45am. We went together to get coffee and a bagel at the Einstein's conveniently located near the AS's apartment. When we got back, the rest of the girls were getting out of bed. Not sure how they could sleep that long but to each his own. I definitely was missing MAK at the moment as she usually beats me out of bed.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday Morning in Chicago - 10:20am Central Time

There's a cute cat named Chelsea who has decided to get up with me. Of course, her real reason for coming in the kitchen was to eat. She's actually quite hungry it seems. But, she did say hi to me before she started eating. A very polite cat :)

Ok, so I still haven't figured out how to get back in if I leave the apartment. I've decided I'm going to leave here by 10:45am Central time at the last because if I had gone to yoga, I would have been back here by 11:15am at the latest.

Probably will update again soon.

Sunday Morning in Chicago - 10:05am Central Time

There were no dish towels to be found so I used paper towels. It was a first in my life but it worked just fine and now I'm clean so I feel much better. On to my second task of the morning - figuring out how to get back into the apartment once I leave without waking anyone up. I'll check in again soon.

Sunday Morning in Chicago - 9:40am Central Time

I'm in Chicago right now for Girls' Weekend. Everyone else is asleep. I have no idea where the towels are so I can't even take a shower. I was supposed to go to yoga at 9am but when I got up at 8:30, it was raining. I've tried looking for the towels and am now thinking of using a dish towel as all I need to do is dry off - I'm not washing my hair since I washed it yesterday. So, if I'm able to figure that out, my next thing to figure out will be how to go get coffee and then get back into the apartment since I don't have a key. I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More Cheesy Stories

Here's some more interesting cheese tidbits.

Did you know:

Gorgonzola, one of the world's most famous blue cheeses, is reputedly the oldest cheese name in history, dating back to 879 AD. Gorgonzola is named for the Italian town near Milan where the cheese was first made and sold. Normally the mold is more green than blue. In fact, the London Stock Exchange is nicknamed "Gorgonzola Hall" due to the greenish marble used in its interior.

The word yogurt derives from the Turkish word meaning "dense" or "thick".

Maybe I'll write more later or maybe you'll have to wait until the next cheese tasting.

All info in this post and the previous one can be attributed to the cheese tasting class at Cheesetique.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ancient and Historical Cheeses

I went to another cheese tasting tonight. This time the theme was ancient and historical cheeses. It was very interesting. Jill, the cheese store owner and class instructor, talked about the history of old cheeses. The oldest cheese still in production is feta. The original feta cheeses were made with sheep's milk but if you buy your feta at the regular grocery store, chances are that it's made with cow's milk. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's worth the extra money to buy the sheep's milk version. It doesn't just taste like salt like the cow's milk version. The origin of mozzarella is also quite interesting. It was not created in Italy as you may have thought but was actually invented by the Egyptians. They used the water buffalo for doing a lot of hard labor but they also collected their milk. From that, they made the first mozzarella. The story is that when Mark Anthony went to Egypt, he and Cleopatra ate a lot of mozzarella (thus causing their passion for one another - side note: the Egyptian wealthy started eating mozzarella as an aphrodisiac after this event. Mark Anthony then loved the cheese so much that he sent water buffalo back to Caesar along with the recipe for the cheese. That's how it made its way to Italy.

Also, if you like Brie and have only eaten it in the States then you haven't eaten real Brie it turns out. That is because the real Brie is made of unpasteurized milk that is less than 60 days old. In the US, it is illegal to sell such cheeses. Therefore the Bries that we have here are all pasteurized. The same is true of Camembert. So, it seems that the next time I'm in France, I must try a Camembert!

There were many other interesting stories that maybe I'll write later.


This week has been interesting for yoga. On Thursday, I was going to my normal ashtanga class that's held in my work gym. But, it seems that the teacher is on vacation for 2 weeks. So, there was a plyometrics class instead. Unless you're MTH, you're probably asking "What is plyometrics?" as I was. Well, it's this workout that involves a lot of jumping. Here's the definition from Wikipedia:

Plyometrics is a type of exercise that uses explosive movements to develop muscular power. It may be used, for example, to improve the effectiveness of a boxer's punch, or to quicken the vertical jumping ability of a volleyball player.

It was very hard while doing it and then on Friday and Saturday, I was very sore!! It was hard to sit down and then get back up.

My next try at yoga was this morning. The interesting part is that MTH went with me. It was an open class which means that the instructor works on what the class wants. So, there wasn't a "flow" like there is in ashtanga but I did learn some new moves. I really enjoyed it and I think that MTH did as well.

Bocce Ball

MTH is a huge fan of this game. I don't remember the first time he played but it was at a party somewhere. After that he was hooked. He happened to mention it to his parents. They decided to then send him a set of bocce balls for his birthday. In between them giving him this present and him telling his parents he wanted them, he bought himself a set. So, we had two sets then. Every time we have a cookout, MTH brings out the bocce balls. Half the people stay down in the yard for most of the cookout playing. It seems that they have a lot of fun. I don't usually join in since someone has to cook the food.

At our last cookout, MTH decided he wanted to try out a new game. He bought croquet. It turns out he doesn't like the game very much. So, they ended up playing bocce ball most of the time. Here's a picture in motion of MTH playing.

Look at them bowl

Here's MTH and me bowling in Denver the night before we drove to Aspen.



Look at that form! We should be on the pro circuit.

Here's the picture for ETK

Original Starbuck's in Pike Place Market

The line was too long inside so I can't say that I've had a coffee from the original.

Two of a Kind

Who knew that MTH and Phoebe have so much in common!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

What have I been doing?

This past weekend was full. On Friday night, I went straight from work to an engagement party. It was a great time. I hadn't seen the bride to be in a while. We used to work together but she's moved on to another company. Her husband to be still works at my company and we actually have worked together a lot lately. MTH wasn't able to make the party due to work. Although he had to work a lot last week, he has still kept up with his working out. I'm very impressed! On Saturday, I got up to go for a run and then headed to the Corcoran to get ready for my 2:30 tour on Sunday. The exhibitions keep changing so even if you have your tour together from a month ago, you have to change it. I "stole" the theme of my tour from fellow docent, Tee. The exhibit is of modern and contemporary art from the Corcoran's permanent collection. As you might imagine, this type of art is harder to give a tour on in some ways. It can be abstract and hard to understand. On the other hand, you can do visual analysis on the textures and colors and materials of the piece and actually get a lot more out of it than you might expect. That's definitely one of the things that I've learned through this experience. After finishing up getting ready for the tour, I headed home and then MTH and I headed to NJ for a surprise birthday party. Due to leaving a little later than we should have and massive traffic, we were not a part of the surprise! We had a good time. I played my first game of tippy cup ever. We also played the cards drinking game that is named after the part of the anatomy that you sit on. It's the one where you get different titles like President, Vice President and so on. (I know, I could just come and say the name but decided that my blog is rated G :) Well, it was funny because we played with some early 20 somethings who it seems have changed the rules. I won't go into details but they basically have made the game easier. You may ask, wasn't it already an easy game? And the answer is yes but as they say "kids these days".

We ended up going to bed after 1am. We then had to get up and leave around 7:45am because MTH's Fantasy Football draft was at 11am. Since I had to give my tour at 2:30, we couldn't stay in NJ for his draft and then leave. Once we got home, I had to finish getting the tour together and then go give it. It turned out really nicely. I hope that I get to give the same tour again before the exhibition changes again! Then, the weekend turned mundane. I had to go the grocery store and then I had to work.

So, at the end of it, I felt like I didn't really have a weekend. I'm already ready for the next one!!

I think it will definitely be more low key. Plus, we're going to take Phoebe to the vet!


Not sure what's going on but this week I'm having issues with remembering things. I realized around 11am today that I hadn't made my rental car reservation. I emailed the guy downstairs in order to have a car waiting for me at the end of the day. We have so many people that drive to Richmond, the rental car place is onsite. He then sent me a confirmation number around 2pm. He leaves for the day at 6pm. I remembered at 5pm that I needed to make sure I go downstairs to get the keys but then I promptly forgot until I started to leave the office at 7pm. I was so mad at myself. I now have to drive my car down and put miles on it. That's not really what makes me mad though. How could I forget what I need to do so easily. I was so into getting the last few things done for the day, I guess.

At least I didn't forget to give my tour at the Corcoran yesterday!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Rosy and Grey is Back

MTH has decided to start up his blog again. It had been so long since he updated it that he forgot his user name and password. So, the blog is actually a new one with a different address but you can click on the link on the right and it will take you to the new one. I'll have him put a link on that one that will link back to the old one.

Seattle and Aspen

I've been off working on the other side of the country and then vacationing in Aspen. It was quite a nice week. The weather in Seattle was awesome. Barely any rain - almost all blue skies and sunshine. I bought flowers at the Pike Place Market the first day for my hotel room and they were beautiful the entire time. I also took a picture of the original Starbuck's just for ETK. I'll upload it eventually. Aspen was nice, as usual. Since I had already been on the West Coast for 6 days, I didn't really have to adjust to the new time. That part was nice but it seems that the high altitude still made me tired. We went to the top of Aspen mountain for the first time. It's quite a view although there were clouds so it wasn't as good as on a clear day. We played disc golf which turned out to be much harder than I expected. We also played horse shoes. It was interesting that they had all of these games up there.

As I said, I'll post some pictures later.

Monday, July 31, 2006

MTH is committed

MTH has signed up for the Lake Placid Ironman Triathlon that will take place next July. We bought him a road bike yesterday. We still need to get the biking clothes and the wetsuit. I'm sure there are many other things that he'll need. For now, he has to get used to riding this bike. It doesn't have real pedals. Instead it has clips on the bike and he wears special shoes that clip in. The story goes that the first few (or maybe many) times he tries to start riding, he'll fall over. Here's more info. It's very light. It's made out of both aluminum and carbon composite. Based on our research, it seems that we got a fairly good deal out of it. Oh well, it still wasn't cheap :)

I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this Triathlon training in the year to come. MTH is already doing well. He ran 4 miles today in 90 degree weather!

We tried it ourselves

If you'll recall, in my post about Rustico, I talked about this awesome grilled Romaine salad. MTH and I decided to see if we could do it too. Well, we can. Here's the recipe:

"Fake" Caesar Dressing
(It's fake because it doesn't have raw egg or real anchovies in it - instead it has Worcestershire for the anchovies and parmesan and garlic for the egg - it was still a little runny but tasted great - recipe found on

1 finely chopped clove garlic
1 juice of lemon
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco)
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
coarse black pepper
4 servings
Mix everything in blender. I added more mustard than it called for to get more that flavor. You can flavor it however you want. Or even use a different dressing.

Grilled Romaine Hearts
2 Romaine hearts
olive oil
fresh ground pepper
Wash the Romaine hearts. Cut in half lengthwise. Brush or pour lightly with olive oil on both sides. Pepper with the fresh pepper. Grill on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Enjoy with aged goat cheese and Caesar salad.

For the entree, we had mustard marinated pork tenderloin. You mix together dijon mustard, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a mini-food processor. Once it's like a paste, spread it on the tenderloin and allow to marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Then, sear the meat on each side for about 3 minutes (the searing didn't work as well as I had hoped but the meat was still very good - we may need to let our grill heat up more). After searing, turn it down to medium high heat, cover and cook for 12 minutes (internal temperature at 145 degrees - an instant thermometer is a great tool to have). I'm thinking you could make this in the oven by broiling it first to "sear" and then turning down the oven to finish roasting. Or you could sear it on the stovetop in an ovenproof pan and then put it in the oven to finish it. The meat was tender. And, the great thing about pork tenderloin is that it's relatively inexpensive compared to other meats of its quality.

Let me know if you try out the recipe or recipes and what you think of them!

Saturday, July 29, 2006


MTH and I went to a restaurant called Rustico last night. We have been there before The beer list would be impressive to most as it's about 5 pages long (not quite as extensive as Brickskellar but it's much closer to our house). Although it's walkable, due to the high temperatures yesterday, we took a bus. Of course, that included walking a half mile to the metro to catch the bus. The bus ride itself was only about 4 minutes. They don't reservations so you just put your name in when you get there. We had about a 20-30 minute wait. While we waited, we had a beer. I tried one called Allagash Tripel. It's a Belgian style beer from Portland, Maine. MTH had some type of IPA (I don't remember the particular name). Once we were seated, he had another type of beer but I don't remember it either. He had yesterday off because his office is moving to a new building. So, he spent the day playing golf but for some reason didn't have lunch. So, he was especially hungry. We started with a Bavarian Board. As the name implies, it was an assortment of German sausages, sauerkrat, cheese, rye bread and mustard. It was actually quite good. For dinner, I had a grilled Romaine salad. That was the best salad I've ever had. It's exactly what you're thinking - the Romaine salad is grilled so that it's slightly wilted and has a smoky flavor. The menu said that the dressing is a Caesar dressing. It was a little different than most Caesar dressings that I've had. There was a noticeable mustard flavor and no noticeable anchovy flavor. The ingredient that brought it all together was an aged goat cheese that was grated over the salad. Aged goat cheese is different from the normal fresh goat cheese you usually get in a salad. It looks more like parmesan but has that distinctive goat cheese flavor. Overall, it was an outstanding meal. I'm now going to try to make that salad at home. I think that MTH even liked it! He had the mushroom and goat cheese pizza like last time. Since I didn't eat any, we have a nice amount of leftovers for lunch today.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Book I'm Reading

Yes, I'm still reading that book, Against the Gods: The Story of Risk. The reason is because I haven't actually looked at it in about a month. There's been no time. But, I still really would recommend this book to others. The story is interesting about how statistics and probability were created/discovered. I will one day soon finish it and there will be a new book to the right. I leave for Seattle in a few weeks so maybe I'll finish it on that trip.

A New Car

We are now a 2 car family again. MTH's office is moving to Chevy Chase so our nice little commute together is no longer viable. He'll go northeast to Maryland and I'll go northwest to McLean. So, buying a car was not as bad as I thought it would be. MTH really wanted us to get a used Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series. I wanted the Acura TSX. I've wanted that car since it came out. So, on Friday, we went to the Audi dealership near our house. We took a 2005 A4 out for a spin. It was fine except for the stench of cigarette smoke. That one was definitely out. We looked at another one and it seemed like a possibility. Then, on Saturday morning, we were the first people at the pre-owned BMW warehouse in Pentagon City. We took one of their only manual transmission 3 Series' out. It was a 2 door and had not been kept very clean inside. I wasn't too impressed. Then, we head to the Acura dealership. We take a new 2006 TSX out for a drive. I love it. It's got a navigation system that talks to you. My phone has bluetooth and so does the car. So, now I can call people by talking to my car. Just like Knight Rider!! Of course, I still have to drive the car myself. The color is Glacier Blue. We finished buying the car by 4pm on Saturday. Not bad. That night, I went to the soccer game with MTH. All for love. I'm not really a big fan of soccer but the one good thing is that you know almost exactly when the game will end. Each half is 45 minutes. The halftime is 15 minutes. There's usually a few minutes of stoppage time added at the end but no more than 3-4 minutes. Plus, soccer's not nearly as popular as football or baseball so the crowds when you leave are not enormous. On Sunday, we went to Bistrot du Coin just north of Dupont Circle in the District. We hadn't been there since November! I love that place. They have the best country pate in the US (in my opinion). I also love their spaetzle. They were still decorated for their Bastille Day celebration.

MTH and I are still trying to figure out our fall vacation. We're trying to decide between England, France or Ireland or some combination. We also would like to go to Iceland over Labor Day weekend but since we haven't made any plans yet, I think that one's probably out now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Almost Paradise

Here's how I started each day when I walked out the door!

The wedding was on the second day I was there. Here's the view to the right of my seat.

Since MTH couldn't be with us, we figured the next best thing to a real lobster dinner was a picture of the tail and his placecard.

There were iguanas everywhere. So, of course, we took a lot of pictures. I picked this one for the hibiscus in the background - an iguana's favorite food.

Monday, July 10, 2006

An Update

I've been away for a while. I know that I promised an update about our cheese tasting. All in good time. I'll give an update of other events. Nothing interesting that following week or weekend except that I had gotten tickets to the Orioles versus Nats baseball game in Baltimore. According to the weather, it was supposed to rain so we decided not to drive to Balto. That was Saturday. Sunday was an ok day. Not much going on. Then, that night, it started raining and it wouldn't stop. MTH and I were watching TV when the dryer buzzer started buzzing but didn't stop when it should. We ran down to the basement to find out what was wrong. But, we didn't make it down the stairs before we saw the problem - water. Our basement had flooded. We figured out later the drain had gotten clogged and thus backed up. Once the rain stopped, the pump got the water out there in no time at all. Then, Monday was spent cleaning and driving to the dump. We felt pretty good and lucky since we had not "brown" water down there. Well, Monday night came and it started raining again. Guess what? It flooded again! So, we spent Tuesday cleaning again. This time, we built a debris catcher just in case it rained Tuesday night. Of course, now that we were prepared, it didn't rain. I'm not really complaining.

As you may remember, we were supposed to leave for St. Thomas on Friday. MTH decided that he was worried about mold. There's a few pieces of dry wall down there. He pulled it out while I was lazing around on the beach. Yes, I went without him. Only because it was my friend's wedding and other friends were going to be there. Otherwise, we would have just postponed the trip. The trip was great (although would have been more fun with MTH there). We went snorkeling, swimming, drinking, dancing. Plus, I flew business class back. The upgrade wasn't that expensive so I decided to take it. These are old planes so they can't really charge too much.

I got back late on Monday, 7/3. MTH's parents' were in town so we met them for breakfast the next morning. Then, later that day, we had a few people over - just a laid back 4th of July. When they first got there, it was over 90 degrees outside. Then, it decided to start raining. So, we ended up staying inside for most of the time. Then, we headed out for the fireworks. We watched the fireworks that are on the Mall from an overpass near our house. Much easier to get home afterwards!

Then, it was only a 3 day work week. Should be easy, right? Well, it seems that everything was compressed into those 3 days. I worked more than normal but nothing too bad.

The weekend was great. I'll post a more in depth update of that later. It was MTH's birthday this past weekend and we celebrated it with a cookout on Saturday. I even went to a movie with him on Sunday night!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Noah's Ark

It seemed last weekend that we needed Noah's Ark after all the rain that came to Northern VA. I'll give a much longer update in the next few days. Today's the 4th of July and we're having people over to celebrate Independence Day. I'll also give an update on my trip to St. Thomas. I had a great time. Unfortunately, MTH did not make but with good reason. He held down the fort here and cleaned up the basement. He's a wonderful husband.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


We're about to leave for a French cow's milk cheese tasting at my favorite cheese shop, Cheesetique. Will give an update later.

Back from Richmond

We didn't end up going to see Carbon Leaf. We got to Richmond around 2:45pm. MTH wanted to see the USA versus Italy soccer match. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings in the Bottom. Of course, we had a few beers and wings. Then, we went to BL's places and had more to drink (although I did switch to water). Then we went to the Hard Shell for dinner around 8pm. We had a cocktail each and shared a bottle of wine. We took our time and enjoyed dinner. By the time we finished, it was well after 10pm. So, we didn't make it to the concert in time. I was disappointed and I'm sure that MTH was even more disappointed. We did get up this morning and have brunch at the Hill Cafe with BL and Brit Girl. I definitely have a great time hanging out with them. Hopefully they'll be able to make it up for our cookout on 7/8.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Getting Excited

We leave for our trip to St. Thomas is less than 2 weeks. It's going to be such a good time.

Can you believe it?

1. We're going to Richmond today and not for me to work. We're going to visit some friends and see Carbon Leaf, a band that MTH has liked since he lived in Richmond. I also really like hearing them live.

2. We just finished watering and weeding the plants on the deck and in the backyard. The only ones not looking too good are the hanging plants. The issue is that they dry out very easily and I don't always remember (or am not able) to water them everyday. I almost think that they need to be watered more than once a day! If these get to the point of being basically dead, we'll throw them out. Then, I'm not sure what we'll put there.

3. We re-decorated the living room last week finally. We have some nice new shelves and we now even have DVR. MTH is especially excited about the latter. We also cleaned up the basement quite a bit. MTH could have a poker game down there now!

That's all for the amazing things that are "unbelievable" in our lives right now. We finally got up off the couch and got something done.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

In case you're interested, here's what we did over the Memorial Day weekend.

Friday - The Lazy Day:
My long weekend start early as I took Friday off. I had lunch with a friend in our neighborhood and met a new neighbor. She's very cool. I invited her and her husband to our cookout on Monday and she invited us to theirs on Sunday. That evening, MTH and I headed to Wintergreen. We had a wonderful meal of Wendy's on the road. We arrived at Wintergreen around 10:15pm. Then the fun began. We got our key to the room and headed over there. I walk in the door and flip the switch to the light. Nothing. Sometimes, those switches are attached to lamps which can be turned off locally. So, I walked into the room and found another switch and flipped it. Again, nothing. We walked around the entire room trying all of the light switches and none worked. We used the glow from MTH's Blackberry to see the phone so that we could call the front desk. They sent a repairman right away. He walked around trying to find the breaker box. Finally, he found it. All the breakers were in the "on" position. At that point, he said "the owners didn't pay their power bill". Aside: Wintergreen is a condo community where people buy condos but then use them kind of like timeshares. The hotel can rent out the rooms when the owners aren't there. But, apparently, the owners still have responsibility for power and other "amenities". End of Aside. The repairman called the front desk and told them that we needed a new room. He then proceeded to tell them that we should get comped for a night because we were very angry. In reality, MTH and I weren't angry. We knew it wasn't the front desk guy's fault but hey, if they wanted to comp us, that would have been just fine. But, we did get moved to a 3 bedroom 2 level condo that faced the mountains. Definitely a much nicer pad.

Saturday - The Day of Wine Tasting:
We were picked up at our mansion condo. We went to 5 wineries! Needless to say, when we returned to the room, we took a 2 hour nap and then woke up hungry. That night we went to the nice restaurant and had a nice meal and fell asleep again by 11pm or so.

Sunday - The Day of Games:
MTH and I left Wintergreen around 11am. We met up with some friends in C-ville for lunch at a Mexican place. I was so happy as I'd been craving some cheap Mexican food for a while. We then headed back home. Since we made it back before 5pm, we were able to go our new friend's cookout in the neighborhood. It's not far but for some reason MTH and I decided that we didn't want to walk. Instead, I rode my bike and he rollerbladed. We had a great time there. We ended up playing a game called Apples to Apples. It was a lot of fun. There's no board or dice, just cards. But it's not a normal card game either. I definitely recommend this game to others. We go so into playing the game that we didn't pay attention to the fact that it was dark. We then had to bike/rollerblade home in the dark. It wasn't too bad but really is not a great idea.

Monday - The Day of the Cook Out:
The cookout turned out great. People really got into playing bocce ball. The specialty food items were a hit. These included grilled Halloumi cheese, grilled doughnuts and fresh made bratwurst from Whole Foods. We'll be having another cookout around 4th of July so I need to start thinking about what new specialties I'll be offering.

Miami was fun

We had a great time in Miami. All we did was lay by the pool, shop, eat and drink. The hotel was an awesome location and the weather over all was all that we could have asked for.

Friday, May 26, 2006

An Homage to ETK

So, I didn't buy any crazy high heels this week. Instead, I went for comfort. But, of course, they must also be cute and cool. Here's my answer to that:

Again, it was taken with my camera phone so I don't know how to get it right side up. You'll just have to turn your head to see it correctly.

Can you see it?

I had a training at the Corcoran last night. When that was done, I just walked over to the Brickskellar from there. I walked down Pennsylvania Ave from 17th to 22nd. In between, I saw the following:

Can you see what doesn't belong?

Caveat: Taken with my camera phone. It would probably be a better picture if I had been able to take a wider angle view. But, you can't complain with a camera phone.

He's Off to Boston

Last night was one of many "last hoorahs" for AG. He and I were on the same team a few years back. He was always a fun guy to work with and hang out with. Even MTH liked him :) Here's a great picture from my camera phone showing AG after his 3rd or 4th shot last night.

We started at the Brickskellar near Dupont Circle. We all just drank beer. Then, we headed to Buffalo Billiards. That's where the shots began. Unfortunately for you dear readers (and fortunately for me), I have no drunken stories of my own. I've had too many in the past and have learned my lesson :)

The reason for the last hoorah is that AG is headed to business school in Boston at Harvard. He'll be making a 3 month trip home to India this summer and then 2 years of fun.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's going around...

ETK posted this on her blog and I think she expects at least some of us to do the same. So, here are my answers.

Put your name in the subject box.
The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about your friends.
It is fun and has 50 easy questions to answer. Try it; this can be fun and interesting.

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My father - his middle name is the masculine version of M
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I'm sure it hasn't been too long ago but I can't remember exactly when
6. KIDS? Phoebe
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I've had several but never kept up with it for more than a month at the time.
9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I think so.
14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Depends on what you mean by strong. I'm not physically strong but otherwise, yes.
16. SHOE SIZE? 8 or 8.5 for regular shoes; 9.5 for running shoes
17. RED OR PINK? Red
18. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Slightly crooked top front teeth
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandma
20. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Of course but no one will.
21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? Khaki cropped pants, blue and green t-shirt and black hoodie
22. WHAT DID YOU EAT LAST? Brown rice cake with peanut butter and glass of milk (afternoon snack)
30. FAVORITE SPORT? Football (American)
31. HAIR COLOR? Brownish, reddish, blondish
32. EYE COLOR? blue-green
36. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Not sure - I don't see very many movies
38. SUMMER OR WINTER? Definitely Summer!!
40. FAVORITE DESSERT? Hot chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream (sharing it with MTH at Evening Star)
43. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Against the Gods
44. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Laptop when I'm at home and in Richmond; Black with wrist support in my cube
46. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SOUNDS? Never thought about it
49. HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? It seems like I should but not sure.
50.WHERE WERE YOU BORN? North Carolina

Monday, May 22, 2006


MTH and I discovered another cheese. This time it's not from France or California. It's from Cyprus. It's called Halloumi. I first read about it in my biweekly Whole Foods newsletter. There was an interesting recipe included in the email. When we were in Cheesetique and MTH remembered to ask about it. She had it. (ETK should note that we did NOT buy it from evil Whole Foods - of course, we bought the rest of the food we cooked at Whole Foods). If you clicked on the recipe link above, you'll have seen that it says to grill the cheese. Somehow it's magical cheese. It doesn't melt! Then, you get to eat it. It's awesome cheese. Maybe on the salty side but definitely a nice change. For our first foray into it, we ate it by itself but I think I'll try it with some veggies next time. We also read that in Cyprus, they eat it for breakfast after sauteing it in a pan. I'm thinking we'll try that soon too. I also read that it's good on kebabs. So many possibilities!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pictures of our Deck

In case you're interested, here are some pictures from our gardening work!

Purple ones are verbena and pink ones are non-stop blooming begonias

Rosemary, Chives, Sage and Oregano

Hanging Plants with Geraniums and a Purple Flower that I Don't Remember the Name

More pictures to follow of the actual gardening in the yard.

Chili Cook Off

MTH and I went to the DC 101 Chili Cook Off yesterday. We've figured out that we're too old for those kinds of things. Not the chili cook off portion - we definitely love eating chili. The crowd part is what we're too old for and the lines!! We had to stand in line first for our arm bracelet and beer tickets. Then, we had to find our way through a sea of people in order to find the tasting booths for trying out the chili. We figured out that we were too late for quite a few of the tastings :( But, of the 3 or 4 that we tasted, they were all very good. I definitely wish we'd been able to taste more. After we finished with the tasting, we listened to Better than Ezra. Then, since we hadn't gotten our fill of chili, we had chili nachos from Hard Times. They were definitely good but we can get Hard Times' chili any time since there's one just down a few blocks on King Street. At least they Red Hook beer (and not just watery Bud Light!).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Love Boat

I went out to dinner on Thursday night with a friend of ours, Marky. MTH was out of town in NYC for work. Little did I know that I'd get the privilege of hearing the them from "The Love Boat" sung in karaoke. Marky is definitely a good singer. Of course, good singing and the Love Boat probably don't normally go together in a sentence. His performance was right on with how you remember the song when you were little. Very low, lounge singerish, just all around cheesy. There were other songs sung that night (none by me since most of you know that I can't carry a tune) but the only one I'll remember from that trip to karaoke is "The Love Boat".

Friday, May 19, 2006

Dinner Last Saturday

Yes, I'm behind. I meant to post about this one earlier this week. But, the food we made was so good, I have to share :)

When SM visited, she had mentioned that she grilled some tuna. So, I decided that we could do it to. Using my Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill cookbook, MTH learned how to sear the tuna on the grill. I made an Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce to go on top. It consisted of grilled tomatillos, a grilled jalapeno, lime juice, honey, avocado, onion, cilantro and oil. You mix everything together in the blender except the avocado, onion and cilantro. So, it's like a vinaigrette with chunks of avocado, onion and cilantro. For the side dish, we made Grilled Asparagus and Rice Salad with Goat Cheese and Spicy Vinaigrette. The original name is actually Grilled Asparagus and Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese and Spicy Black Olive Vinaigrette. I didn't own any quinoa and MTH isn't a big fan of olives. It still turned out great! I'll most likely be making it at our next cook out (which happens to be on Memorial Day in a little over a week).

Once we sat down to eat, we were very pleased with the meal that we put together. MTH was an integral part of the preparation as he did all of the grilling while I put everything together. Unfortunately, it was too cool to sit outside. Hopefully tomorrow night we'll be able to enjoy all of the gardening we've done by sitting out on our deck.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


It seems that I'm now learning about plants. Over the past two weekends, we've "transformed" our yard. We planted lots of different plants in the front and back yards. Begonias, non-stop blooming begonias, alyssum, angelonia, daylilies, coleus, verbena and petunias.

It's nice to accomplish something. Plus, now we can walk out onto the deck and look at a much prettier yard. There's still some work to be done. A couple of our azalea bushes died so there are now a couple of holes where they used to be. We need to find something to take their place. Maybe we'll figure that out this weekend.

We have a cookout coming up on Memorial Day so that gives us even more impetus to finish.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


It's been a year since my last trip. Based on all the jokes people tell about me, that's a long time. I didn't go to the City of Lights with my then fiance, MTH. Instead, it was a girls only trip with MAK. We tried to get EE to come too but she has to procure visas so it's much more of a hassle. Plus, she was changing jobs at the time. Anyway, MAK and I had a great time. Here's a picture that will prove my point.

We were reminiscing a little through email this past week. We've decided that we must keep up the tradition of taking a vacation together. Several years back, she and I took a long weekend trip to Cape Cod. It was a great time. We both enjoy eating, drinking wine and walking around places exploring things. We also took a short bike tour one afternoon. I went out and bought a bike after that. I've been pretty good about riding it (of course, it now needs a tune up so I haven't ridden it yet this year). Here's my favorite picture from that trip.

Back to the topic at hand, Paris. MTH forwarded me an article on CNN yesterday about the many things to do in Paris. He's also ready to go back. For some reason, we really like Paris and France. I'm sure it's more that we love the idea of Paris and France. If we lived there, I think we'd get quite frustrated and fed up. But, by just going for a week or so at a time, we just whet our appetite for all things French (especially the food and wine!). Maybe we'll find a good deal and take a trip over there soon. I hope so.

Of course, I should expand my horizons. There are many other places to see in this world. We did enjoy our time in Dublin and Barcelona for our honeymoon. I've heard that Prague is an awesome place. I'd also love to see Slovakia. My great-grandmother was from there. Although I basically know nothing about the culture, going there would be a great way to learn.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Another Party Disguised as a Horse Race

We've been invited to a Kentucky Derby party this Saturday. It should be fun but I still have to find a dress and a hat! Hopefully tomorrow in Richmond I'll have some luck at the Nordstrom's. I'll keep you posted. SM comes to visit starting on Thursday. She'll also be going to the party with us. She already has her dress and hat. I'm so behind. MTH can just go into his closet and get something together at the last minute. It's so unfair. Of course, I shouldn't complain - it gives me an excuse to buy a new dress! I think we'll cook out again on Sunday. I love this time of year. The weather is wonderful and so far there hasn't been too much rain but it's also not extremely dry. The only complaint is that there are a lot of caterpillars on our back porch. Our neighbors' trees on both sides have the nests in them. It's interesting, we actually have no trees in our backyard. They're all around the perimeter of our yard and give us great shade but aren't ours.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


My first time going to Foxfield was yesterday. It's a big party disguised as a horse race. MTH and a couple of friends and I got in to Charlottesville on Friday night. They went out but I went to sleep. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it through the day (from 11am-6pm out in the sun) on Saturday if I stayed out too late. They got in at 2:30am. There's definitely no way I would have been able to function on Saturday if I'd stayed out with them. They had fun though so that's what counts. Plus, they were able to function on Saturday. Although MTH did not go out to dinner with us that evening after Foxfield as he was fading fast. The races themselves were actually exciting to watch but there's a lot of down time in between. Thus, there were snacks and drinks. Plus, we all stand around talking and catching up. It was quite fun. Then, this evening, a couple friends came over and we grilled out. We had those homemade brats from Whole Foods again. They're awesome. I also grilled some sweet potatoes. I brushed them with a fresh herb mixture. Then, we had Thin Mint milkshakes for dessert. It was a great meal and overall a great weekend.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I'm back...

but just for the evening. I'll leave for Richmond for 4 days tomorrow. I was in Macon for the weekend for my Wesleyan college reunion. It's been TEN years since I graduated. Definitely hard to believe! It was fun to see people I hadn't seen in a long time. Some it had only been a couple and some it had been the entire 10 years. The weekend was well planned and the weather cooperated for the most part. I also got to see ETK, KS, MD, LS, ETK's husband, Jason and Jason's friend. We went to brunch at Einstein's in Midtown (at 12th and Juniper). I enjoyed my cheddar shortcakes although I couldn't even eat half.

This week at work is all training. The first 2 days are the All Stat conference. It'll be 100 statisticians in one place :) Then, the last 2 days are an actual training where we dicuss some theory as well as policy. I'm actually presenting a 45 minute presentation so I'm a bit nervous.

Next weekend, MTH and I are going to Charlottesville to Foxfield. I've somehow never made it to this annual event. I just hope it doesn't rain.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Back from Sin City

Yes, MTH and I went to Las Vegas on Easter weekend. Everything was open! We had a great time. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so unless MAK and/or PT give me permission, there will be no picture story. Nothing else interesting to report from the nation's capital.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cafe MMH

Instead of going out for dinner last night, I cooked dinner for us. The menu was as follows:

Warm Arugula salad (without the croutons)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sour Cream
Skirt Steak with Cilantro Garlic Sauce

If you clicked on the recipes, you'll notice that I changed the first two. They still turned out good. The recipe for the salad would have taken close to 2 hours if I had followed the recipe. Instead, I did some of the things at the same time and omitted the croutons. The only thing that would have made the salad better is if Whole Foods had better arugula. It was on sale for a reason!

For the sweet potatoes (or yams as they called them), I wasn't able to find creme fraiche so I substituted sour cream. Plus, it didn't seem worth it to buy a whole pack of chives just for a topping.

For the skirt steak, I basically followed the recipe. We really enjoyed the flavor of the cumin spice rub with the cilantro garlic sauce. These would be good in corn tortillas (like fajitas).

As you can see, I was the chef. MTH filled in as the sommelier. My mom gave us a wine fridge as a wedding gift. The wine we drank from a Bordeaux Grand Vin. It was a gift from our flight attendant on the flight from Atlanta to Dublin for our honeymoon. We had upgraded to Business Class for that leg of the trip.

After dinner, we listened to music and played Chinese Checkers and Scrabble. I won every game. I only tell you this fact because MTH already gloated about winning the last Scrabble game on his blog.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Our Town is Smaller Than I Thought

MTH and I decided to check out a new restaurant, Rustico, in our neighborhood. It's about 1.5 miles away. Originally, when the weather forecast for Friday was good, we were going to walk over and then take a taxi back home. The reason we didn't want to drive is that one of the restaurant's specialties is beer. We wanted to be able to try out a few of the brews. But, the weather didn't turn out as we had hoped and there were thunderstorms. So, we took a taxi there. The driver seemed nice. He had a clean taxi and didn't talk on his cell the entire time we were in the car. That's a big deal around here as most cars are very dirty and the driver will be on the phone the entire time. He dropped us off and we went to the restaurant. The restaurant doesn't take reservations so we had to wait about 30 minutes for a table. While waiting, we had some beer. I had a Dominion Oak Barrel Stout. MTH had a lighter beer to start (I can't remember the name - will add later) and then a Breckinridge Avalanche Ale. At dinner, we decided to have some wine. It was a nice rioja from Spain. My dinner consisted of salad and pizza with roasted wild mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese. Both were very good. The pizza has a crispy thin crust that's been baked in a pizza oven. It has that nice smoky flavor. MTH tried out the asparagus fritto misto as an appetizer and pizza with Italian sausage, pickled red peppers, smoked mozzarella and smoked tomato sauce. His pizza was much richer in flavor due to the meat. The pizza's are quite large so we have lunch in the fridge.

To get home, we needed to take a taxi. So, MTH called the taxi company and then we went to wait outside - it had stopped raining by this time. We waited a few minutes and then the taxi shows. We get in and I notice that the seat cover that the taxi driver has looks very similar to the one who drove us to the restaurant. MTH and I look at each other thinking the same thing. Then, the driver says "Back to your house, then?". It WAS the same driver. He knew exactly where to go since he'd already been there once before that night. In the grand scheme of things, our town is not that large but there are at least 200,000 just in our city and the region has several million. So, it's not like we live in Baxley where there's probably only one taxi driver.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Proof that I Ran the Race

It's a terrible picture but here's the proof. It's interesting - I look like I'm walking.

MMH at around Mile 3

The Weekend is Here

No real plans but am definitely happy to have the weekend here. It's our last one at home for 4 weeks. Next weekend is the trip to Vegas. I'm looking forward to my hot stone massage! MAK and PT get there Friday afternoon. We'll probably go to a low key restaurant that night and hopefully out to a club. On Saturday, MAK will definitely hit the shops while PT and MTH hit the tables. That night we're going to Bouchon, a restaurant that has been touched somehow by the guy who runs French Laundry in Napa. I'm definitely hoping that I'll make it to that restaurant one day soon. MAK also wants us to go to a buffet on Saturday. I wanted to go to one last year but the lines always looked horrendous. I just have to suck it up and stand in line. Then, we leave pretty early on Sunday. I've decided I can't deal with red eye flights anymore. I need my bed. So, we'll get back Sunday afternoon and it'll give us some time to adjust back to the East Coast. Then, that Thursday, I'm off to Atlanta. I'll see MTH's parents Friday morning - I'll be getting to their place very late that night. Then, I'll be off to Macon for the weekend for my 10th year college reunion - yes, my age is finally showing. Should be a fun and entertaining weekend. The last weekend of April will be spent in Charlottesville at the world famous steeple chase horserace called Foxfield. You haven't heard of it? You're so out of it! (JK).

So, as you can see, MTH and I need to get a few things done this weekend or everything will fall apart. The first thing on the list are taxes. Yes, we're lazy. The second thing are a few more thank you notes. Again, yes, we're lazy. The others are just normal, run the house kind of things like wash clothes, wash dishes, clean out the litter box, etc.

Now, the weekend's doesn't seem quite as fun as it did when I started writing this entry.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Sinful Delight

I've found a new cheese to recommend: Pave d'Affinois. It's kind of like a brie but richer. Also, if you clicked on the previous link, you'll see that it says if the cheese ages for a few weeks, it'll become runnier, more like a brie. I don't think that this piece of cheese will around to find out! Maybe next time.

One note of caution, if you don't like eating the rind on a brie, you will NOT like this cheese. It's small so a large portion of the cheese is made up by the rind. I like the flavor that it adds to the cheese but realize that not everyone agrees.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

MTH is the BEST husband!

He got up with me at 5:45am (felt like 4:45am due to the time change) to cheer me on for the 10 mile run!!! I was able to see him at miles 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and just before the finish line. Unfortunately, the way the course was set up, those were the only feasible places for him to see me. He's not a crazy cheerleader but seeing him as I'm running up gives me that extra bit of energy to keep going - especially at the end. I was VERY tired. There was no way I was going to stop running but after seeing him, I was able to speed up for most of the last part. Overall, it was a successful race although I didn't meet my goal time of 1:30. I ran it in 1:36:53 (updated with official time). I can make excuses (time change, too many people in the way, etc) but next time I just have to train to go faster so that I can make up that time.

I don't have any specific races picked out yet but some possibilities are: the half marathon in VA Beach, the Army 10 Miler again, or the Chicago Half Marathon. I do want to do a half marathon. I just need to do some more research on what ones are coming up.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Taunting Squirrel

Today, I was sitting in the living room with the doors and windows open filling out a survey for the JLW and looking over the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile course map. I kept hearing this really weird noise that didn't sound like anything Phoebe had ever done before. But, I figured it must be her and just ignored it. Finally, I decided to investigate. It turns out that it was a squirrel. I didn't realize that squirrel's could be so loud. Also, I've never seen one be so brave. It was probably 10 feet away from the door where Phoebe was sitting looking at it. The only thing I could figure is that the squirrel knew Phoebe couldn't get outside and eat it. So, it was taunting her - "I'm out here and you're not (sticking tongue out)"

Squirrel after it jumped up on the railing when it saw me - it still made that noise even after I showed up

Daniel O'Connells

A new Irish pub has opened in Old Town. It's about 2 blocks from the waterfront in the building that used to house Bullfeathers. I never went to this previous establishment so I have no idea what it was like. The new place seems pretty cool. It has 4 bars (some are extremely tiny but the point is that each of them serve drinks). It's also a fine dining restaurant. That was the reason MTH and I were there last night. We finally had our date night (he stood me up last week to go to the Wichita State/George Mason University game with some colleagues - I've forgiven him).

We arrived late for our 8:15pm reservation but they were still able to seat us right away (although without any menus - I guess they're still figuring out how many they need). We sat at the table for probably at least 10 minutes with no menu but we did get water and bread so that made the wait not so bad. The waitress finally stopped by with our menus. The menu was VERY short. Everything on it looked good but there was virtually no choice (only one chicken dish for ETK - at least it wasn't on the bone). We ordered cocktails - kir royale for me and a Guinness for MTH (so a Guinness isn't exactly a cocktail but we were in an Irish pub!). We decided on what we wanted to order: beef tenderloin for MTH and seared tuna for me. MTH also ordered a side of macaroni. We both ordered a glasses of wine. I had a shiraz blend and he had a cabernet sauvignon, I believe.

The food arrived in what seemed about the right amount of time. The taste of the tuna was wonderful but it was lukewarm. Although seared tuna is basically raw, it should not be lukewarm. This must mean it was sitting out waiting on MTH's tenderloin. His was very good and the right temperature but he thought it was a bit big (I think he would have rathered had a smaller piece of tenderloin and more side dishes that came with the meal). The macaroni and cheese was nothing special.

We decided to share a dessert. It was called mini-doughnuts with semi-freddo espresso. I didn't understand what the second part meant until it was served - coffee ice cream (semi-freddo must mean something about frozen). The idea of the dessert was awesome but the mini-doughnuts were a bit doughy. I think they need to turn up the heat on their fryer.

Overall, we enjoyed the restaurant will definitely go back. Hopefully, next time it's on a Saturday and we'll feel like checking out one of the 4 bars after dinner.

Phoebe: A Salute to a Spoiled Cat

Pictures downloaded from my camera phone.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Grants from the JLW

I went to a meeting for the JLW tonight. Due to the fact that many of our functions are to raise money, one of the committees is devoted to giving out money. They solicit applications from non-profit organizations through DC. After a lengthy process, 2 are chosen for the league to vote on. If approved, each organization will receive $20,000. The first organization is Turn the Page. They do programs with underprivileged parents to help them understand the power of reading and communication with their children. The second organization is the Washington Middle School for Girls. They're mission is to help vulnerable young girls in SE DC get a good start in life by intervening around the 4th grade.

The other thing that the league offers is volunteers. We also give grants of people's time. The recipient this year is called Jubilee Jobs. It's an organization that helps vulnerable people (i.e. ex-convicts, immigrants, undereducated) find jobs. I'm thinking of working with this group next year. The specific program is called Move Up. It's for people who have been able to find entry level work and keep the job for a certain amount of time. Then, we'd help them with their resume and basically mentor them in trying to "move up" to a higher paying job with benefits.

A Productive Sunday

Yesterday turned out to be a great day. On Saturday night, we went out to dinner for a friend's birthday. The reason I start with that is that normally if I stay out late on a Saturday, then Sunday turns out to be at least a partially lost day if not a fully lost day. I did listen to that voice in the back of my head that reminded me I had been training for the upcoming 10 mile run and that my most important training run was on Sunday. So, I didn't end up going out dancing with them although we didn't end up leaving the restaurant until after 11pm (and remember, I'm old now!).

So, on Sunday, I was supposed to go running with my running group but the trail was 30 minutes away and the run started at 8am. I decided that I didn't want to waste an hour of driving so didn't get up until 8am and went for my run at 9am. I ran 8 miles in 74 minutes. I can't help myself - I have to brag a little. I'm so proud that I ran close to 9 minute miles (if there were no traffic lights, I was on pace to finish in 72 minutes). So, I actually have a chance of reaching my goal of running the race in 90 minutes!

After the run, I headed to the Corcoran to take another docent's tour. I give my first real tour next Saturday so I'm putting togehter what I'll say. The two main exhibits just opened within the last month. Therefore, I don't know them all that well yet. After the tour, I sat at Cosi eating my lunch and reading through the Cooking Light to figure out our dinner menu for the week. I've been horrible about cooking lately. With MTH working 10-12 hours per day EVERY day of the week, I don't have much motivation for cooking just for myself.

After creating my grocery list, I took a few pictures.
The main exhibit at the Corcoran is by Robert Bechtle. His art is very interesting to me. It's like looking at someone's family album. He paints mundane and ordinary scenes. The paintings are mostly based on photographs. And, they're so detailed, that photos of the paintings look like photos themselves. Even some of the paintings look like photos in person from a distance.

The Renwick Gallery (part of the Smithsonian)

The Corcoran Gallery of Art from afar

The Lion that meets you at the front door of the Corcoran. It's an interesting pose. The lion reminds me of Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia. He's laying down and gives a sense of stillness but in looking closer, his face is scary. He looks like he could pounce at any moment.

After the pictures, I headed to Whole Foods to pick up the groceries. Then, back at home, I cleaned up a little, talked to MAK for over an hour and cooked dinner. MTH made it home around 8pm and we were able to actually eat a somewhat normal dinner.

Then, I was in bed by 10:30 and asleep soon after.