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New year, day 2…

  • Posted on January 2, 2011 at 9:55 pm

What a delightful way to start the year! First off this morning was brunch at the Bernards Inn, as Elements had the weekend off. Honestly? It was good, but not for what we paid for it. A nice backup for when we need something more in that area, than Princeton, but definitely not something that will be part of our rotation. Then we were off to cruise around for something to do. We ended up in Princeton looking for desk chairs for the office. Husband had been researching and looking at some schmancy ergonomic chairs online so we found the place we could try them out, and decided that they weren’t as comfortable as we had hoped they would be for the money required to be shelled out. Even an Aeron knockoff would be an option at this point! Alas, nothing they had worked for us. So back out we went wandering around Palmer Square for the first time. Stopped into to Thomas Sweet chocolates and picked up some marzipan and chocolate orange peels for me, and some mint thingys for the Husband. There was also a store where we got some olive oil. We would have gotten some balsamic vinegar but it had sulfites in it! At least we found out before we bought some. But the fig balsamic was very tasty. We also found a kitchen stuff store, what Lechters used to be if you remember that, only more bigger and  little stuff. I could get lost in there for hours and spend a small fortune (holy Le Cruset!). But today, it was actually the Husband who found a few things for himself. Then it started to rain again, so we headed back to the car.

We went for an early sushi dinner and stopped at the bakery on the way home for some fresh bread for the week and to go with the garlic olive oil we picked up.

Now to get ready to go back to work tomorrow, for the first time in the office in over a week and a half. Meh. Oh well. This too shall pass. And we have anniversary and vacation travel plans to make and look forward to.

still here

  • Posted on June 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I’m still here. Hanging in and hanging on. It’s the start of summer already, and I’m not quite sure where the time has gone.

Yesterday was the first day of the Montgomery Farmers Market. It seemed a bit smaller than last year, but no matter. English peas are still in season- I should’ve gotten more than I did (’cause they’re all gone already)! Hopefully next week they’ll still have some and then I’ll get a pound or two. I got some blueberries too. I got an Olive loaf for the Husband and some local honey, and barely resisted the raisin challah. I’m not sure what bakery they’re from this year, I think last year was Witherspoon. The multigrain rolls looked good too. Fresh mozzarella from Griggstown. Next week I think I’ll get some mushrooms too, and some eggs. I’ve been getting the weird craving for eggs again so it’s time for the annual mushrooms and egg. I got some cherries from Tree-licious; turns out the spray them with grape juice to keep the birds away!

Then it was off to the Amish for more breads and snacks (chocolate chip whoopie pies!), some melon, cider and lemonade. Chocolate malt balls and some mints. A few chocolate orange peels to snack on. What can I say, I have a weakness for them! Quick run to the supermarket and then back home to do as little as possible for the remainder of the day.

We had a delightful brunch at Elements today, did a bit of laundry, tried to catch up on a few things and still rest.

How is it the middle of June already?

Trader Joe’s, New Year’s Eve, etc

  • Posted on December 30, 2009 at 8:50 pm

They opened up a Trader Joe’s in Princeton not all that long ago….summertime, maybe. I had been to TJ’s when I lived in North Jersey, when there was one closer, but parking there was SUCH a hassle that it just wasn’t worth it. Now, if I could manage to get there without getting off at the wrong exit, this one will be not all that inconvenient to get to every couple of months. It’s totally worth it. I’ve been looking at the posts on Chowhound for recommendations on good items, and most things to date have been pretty good.

We’re having a few friends over for New Year’s Eve tomorrow, and brunch the following morning, so I decided to head over and pick up a few things.  Note to self: shopping at TJ’s while hungry is a Very Bad Idea. Why else would I end up with three boxes of Joe Joe’s (ok, two different kinds), etc, etc? For brunch, we’re going to get bagels and cream cheese that morning. I’ve got some lox, chocolate croissants, mini breakfast rolls and apple raspberry pastries. I still need to do a french toast dish and an egg dish. I’m thinking eggs and potatoes and ham, top half with cheese. I’m trying to do stuff that can just be thrown in and put out on the table with minimal fuss. It’s going to be a long night, and I know we’ll be running the espresso machine in the morning, so the less food fussing the better.I did pick up a pumpkin pancake mix from TJ’s so I may have to break that out as well.

Dinner tomorrow night will be a pot luck, so people are bringing a ham, pot roast with potatoes and carrots,  pastries, cheese and meat platter, fruit. I’ve got some mini cheese souffles, ratatouille bites, some assorted hot apps, chips and salsa, crackers and dips including an olive spread and bruschetta.  A truffled pate, For dessert, some macarons, lemon bites, assorted caramels and chocolates and cookies. Not to mention the pastry platter Jim’s going to bring. If I make it up to the Amish, I have to get some pumpkin bars, half a cherry pie and a small lemon meringue. A cookie plate from them too. Oh, and I was going to make brownies! Did I mention we’re only going to be 13 people?

Tomorrow, last minute errands and shopping and chores, and then a double espresso pumpkin latte.

My foot is finally starting to feel better. I may actually be able to wear pretty shoes tomorrow night, for the first time in months. It was still Faire season when I hurt my toe. I didn’t manage to buy a new outfit, which I had kind of wanted to do, but I certainly have what to wear.

M-i-L’s birthday weekend

  • Posted on November 1, 2009 at 11:15 pm

This is probably the easiest way to catch up on the big things. Work doesn’t change much- it continues to be crazy and I don’t particularly like it, but that’s what it is for right now. There’s potential for me to be able to get at least get my feet wet with a small project soon that would be a nice change of pace in the direction I want to be going in so we’ll see what happens. I’m not holding my breath for anything.

Mom-in-law’s birthday was a week ago today, so last Sunday. We went over to their house for brunch to celebrate with her and had a lovely afternoon. We brought some salads from Harolds and some black and white cookies for dessert. She brought out her just incredible collection of jewelry and we went through most every piece and she told us the history of it, the story behind it. She was kind and generous  enough to bestow upon me the most incredible gift of his grandmother’s favorite pendant. Even in the short time I was lucky enough to know her, I knew how much that meant to her so to be gifted with this was almost overwhelming, for both of us.

All in all, it was a lovely day of family time.

I still have at least one more weekend to catch up on, but I’ve got to get off to bed now. This change of the clocks in just awfully hard for me to adjust to. This year with the weather already being so cold, it’s not going to make it easier. I need to make it out of the office at least a couple of days a week for lunch, just to get a few minutes of sunshine.


  • Posted on October 7, 2009 at 7:32 am

I’ve been meaning to write this post since Sunday. Damn work is taking it all out of me.

We went to elements for brunch on Sunday and they had challah french toast. Oh, yum! Of all the breads this is hands down my favorite. Unfortunately most breakfast/brunch menus have limited options for me since I don’t eat eggs. I’ll eat them if they’re in something but not an egg or an omlette. Most of the time if I want breakfast food it’s french toast. I think next time I’ll ask them to hold one of the ice cream scoops. It’s a little too dessert for breakfast for me and is just as good with just the Blis maple syrup. After running into Alex and Aki of Ideas in Food at the Newtown Amish Market on Saturday, I caught up on reading their blog as well as the elements blog. In the elements blog Joe talks about his current take on apple pie, with an apple pie gel so I asked him about it and he was kind enough to make us a tasting plating. Oh was it good! Right up my alley as the Husband said, with cinnamon merangue and toasted merangue and….drool. It was good. I wanted to lick the plate. I’d order that again in a heartbeat.

After brunch it was off to visit a new client with the Husband. First visits can be awkward especially for me but he was a very nice guy and there is potential for all sorts of different opportunities here. Only time will tell, though, and that’s what really counts, not what can happen but what does happen.

This has been another one of those busy weeks for me and it’s only Tuesday. I’m still having a hard time adjusting to the pace. It feels like a constant juggling act and I keep waiting for something to come crashing down on my head. Sigh.

The headache has been a mixed bag. Monday was a headache free day, the first complete one in I don’t know how long. Maybe three weeks at this point. Today has made up for that and we’re back to a level that makes me slowly lose my sanity. Or not so slowly. It’s maddening, really, and I want to crawl into bed, or stay in bed and just hide in the quiet and the dark for a while but can’t. We tried changing the medications to use the secondary abortive fioricet as the primary medication and that worked well for a day and a half. But I took 2 today and it hasn’t helped. Oh, and I have to be careful how much of my other pain meds I can take when I take this. Great.

Mom’s throwing a surprise party for my stepfather for his birthday. I need to deal with the cake. I need to get her to set a budget. ‘Cause I have ever-so-much free time on my hands to deal with this. And today we realize we need two cakes because my cousin’s birthday is the same day.

This weekend is another RHPS reunion which should be a lot of fun, but exhausts the hell out of me especially since we don’t meet up for dinner till 9. Still, I want to go and see some old friends again. I really do need to make time to have some semblance of a social life.

Last Day at NYRF, Back at Brunch

  • Posted on September 20, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Today we visited NY RenFaire for the closing day with the best weather of the season. Naomi picked up her new 3/4-length black cloak from the Scottish booth. She also was able to get three new skirts from Bullseye to wear in the off-season. We got to listen to Abram’s set at 11:30 and by noon we had decided it was time to go. The traffic waiting to get INTO Faire was backed up for miles – we had made the right choice! So off to Elements. We arrived at 1:50pm to find a wedding reception starting. Many thanks for the staff at Elements who agreed to allow us to sit at our favorite seats in the kitchen even though we were again in garb. The chocolate french toast hit the spot for the both of us, along with a glass of sake for me. Then it was back home to relax and prepare for the upcoming week.

End of Summer Brunch

  • Posted on September 13, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Weekends during the summer revolve around going or not going to the Renaissance Festival in Tuxedo, NY.  If the weather’s hospitable, we’re out of the house by 8 am and on the road to faire. It’s hard when it’s a Sunday morning and we have to decide between Faire and brunch. Today we managed to do the near impossible. Faire and brunch. We got to Faire as early as always, finished our errands and got out of there and back on the roads. A quick call determined they couldn’t accommodate us in the kitchen, but the cube, a private room off the kitchen was free. Around an hour later we show up and in we go.

You should understand that this isn’t the first restaurant to which we’ve gone after faire in garb, period clothing, including feathered hat and leather boots. We’ve previously been to both the Pluckemin Inn as well as David Drakes. Elements was a little different in that we needed to pass in full view of the main dining room. Since no one was at the front desk when we walked in, and several patrons were craning their necks trying to get a better look at us, we decided to just head back to the kitchen, figuring someone would seat us or we could just seat ourselves. After saying hello to the staff in the kitchen, we ensconced ourselves in the cube which had kindly already been set for our arrival with menus and water chilling.

An amuse bouche of vichyssoise was just excellent and we both wanted more. Unfortunately they were out of the local corn chowder which we both wanted to get. The Husband got potato pancakes with poached eggs and bacon. I got a delicious panzanelle, an Italian bread salad with heirloom tomatoes and Griggstown chicken. I wasn’t feeling breakfast-y at that point and this was rather tasty. Most brunch menus are hard for me- I don’t eat eggs or cheese so that eliminates a lot of options. I know the staff at elements would accommodate anything I asked, but I figured not on a day when they had 50 folks in house, including a bunch in the kitchen for a 9-course tasting.

We decided not to push it with dessert, so just got a check and headed home. On the way out  it seems we surprised a table of women when we came out of the cube and passed through the dining room on our way out. It is kind of cool to be able to go to some of the top restaurants in NJ after spending the morning at the Renaissance Faire,

Brunch in Garb

  • Posted on September 13, 2009 at 3:10 pm

It is always fun to show up at your favorite high-class restaurant dressed in our Renaissance garb, replete with feathered hat and knee-high boots with silver buttons. How the seated patrons cran their necks to get a better view of this strangeness. Then we simply disappear into a private room and they are left wondering…

Holy Hash!

  • Posted on August 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Brunch at Elements today was incredible. My lovely wife made sure to ask Chef Scott Anderson for an encore of the Mangalitsa – a Sunday brunch dish of ham, purple potatoes, foie gras, eggs and hollandaise sauce. Spectacular!

Brunch at Elements

  • Posted on July 27, 2009 at 7:11 am

It is one of the nicer feelings for a foodie to be led to the Chef’s table by the chef himself. Furthermore, also being told that the table has already been set for us in anticipation of our arrival – with NO reservations!

We love it there – the Chef’s table is in a spacious alcove adjoining the kitchen. From there one can watch all the hustle and bustle as the amazing staff at Element’s prepares the finest, freshest foods.

Because of my perfume allergies, it is SO cool of the staff to allow to sit there as often as we do. Otherwise there is a good chance that our meal will be ruined by some person who has just poured a bottle of stink over their heads instead of settling for the clean smell of soap.

Oh, and a very big thank you to Chef Scott Anderson for making me a Perfect-10 breakfast – a simple dish of 3 poached eggs, crispy house-cured bacon and buttered toast points. My hat is off to the man who understands the joys of the basic bacon-and-egg breakfast!