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.