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more chocolates etc

  • Posted on November 9, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I totally spaced and didn’t get to Li-Lac today, so Jacques Torres it is. A medium assorted box and some orange peels. Will be delivered on Thursday.

Had to turn down an invitation from mom for brunch on Sunday. After this dinner, I doubt we’ll be in much shape to go anywhere on Sunday- though Scotty joked that we’d have to come in, for the hair of the dog from the night before.

So much work to get done this week, I know I’ll end up having to do some on Sunday. The price I have to pay, I suppose. There’s always more work to be done; I can never seem to find or have enough time to get it all done. It’s part of the reason I end up staying so late- I can only really start working without interruption after 4. Gotta remember to ask about working in Piscataway data center- now that would be convenient in the winter.

I can’t wait for this weekend!

birthday chocolates

  • Posted on November 8, 2009 at 5:59 pm

The Husband and I have birthday’s a day apart, plus we moved in together on our birthday’s as well, so we have a tradition of having a real celebration each year, with two notable items, a fabulous meal with friends, and gourmet chocolates. We also have some very dear friends who are also foodies, and he shares my birthday as well so for the last three years they have been a delightful part of the celebration.

This year’s dinner will be at elements, and just the four of us. We were unable to get the table in the kitchen so we’ll be in the cube instead, which may be even better. I don’t know if we’re going to do a tasting menu, though I suspect so.

I’ve been having a problem with the chocolates. It has to be something just fabulous, since that’s as close to presents as we’re getting (which is just fine, really). Last year I got a custom box from CocoaBella, and I could certainly go that route again this year, but I wanted something different. I started at Vosges this year, since they have the applewood bacon chocolate bar. in a mini size. I got a 4 piece caramel assortment and a box of their holiday bonbon collection. But no chocolate covered orange peels. No matter what else I get for the birthday chocolates, there’s always a small box of orange peels for me. Yum! Jacques Torres has orange peels, and truffles too. Li-Lac has an outlet in Grand Central, where I’ll be tomorrow so I may see what they have. was recommended by Annie, and they looked pretty good too, perhaps when they have different marshmallow flavors. I’ve got to remember where I ordered the macaroons from last year, too.

I’m still trying to figure out what we’ll be doing for dinner on Thursday night for the Husband’s birthday and Friday night for mine. Perhaps for his we’ll get take out sushi. For mine, I’m still working on options for that. I’m not working that day, though I do have things to do in the morning and will probably need to do a bit of work that day, so we should be able to get an early dinner wherever we’d like. Just need to decide where that should be.  need to remember this one too

weekend update

  • Posted on October 12, 2009 at 9:36 pm

It’s been another one of those busy weeks, and the upcoming one doesn’t look too different.

Work is still a lot of hours and a lot of work. I don’t like it any better this week than last. I was talking to the girls at PMG today when I was home and had IM access, and realized how much I miss them personally, as well as just working with folks on a daily basis to chat and catch up with, to break up the day, to sympathize with the specific insanities of the job. I don’t have that where I am now. And as anti-social as I am now I miss it.

Saturday was a very long busy day. We started the day taking a drive up to Woodstock to take care of a bit of business with a friend. It was a lovely drive, the trees are all changing up there, but it was almost two hours up, and then two hours back. We stopped at the Plucky for lunch on the way home. I had a yummy tomato soup and a crab cake with tempura green beans. The Husband had the butter lettuce salad which he said was spicy this time, so much so it made him flushed. He also had the baked ham and brie sandwich with an egg on top. He was so exhausted that he asked me to drive home. I certainly didn’t mind, it was just home from the Plucky which I’d done countless times before.

We get home and he’s just exhausted. Under normal circumstances it wouldn’t be a big deal but Saturday we also had a second Rocky Horror Reunion to go to. And I have to admit, I -really- wanted to go. Some of the same people from July were there but there were several folks including Sal who hadn’t been there. So we both just try to chill out and finally he goes to take a nap. Before he does we talk and he’s ok with me going in, so I put him to bed and go shower and get ready. I realize that I can’t wear the outfit I had planned because it laces up the back, so I find something else and head out into the city. I stop at Starbucks at the rest area on my way in for a needed fix and managed to get myself into the city and parked without too much angst. Always a plus to starting the evening. I hate driving into Manhattan.

Parking in the city is always fun. This time at least I knew exactly where I was parking, it just took $10 to convince the guy to find a spot when he said the lot was full. Got to the theater and got my ticket, definitely a good thing since the show sold out. Then met up with Jeremy; it was funny- I texted him to see if he needed a ticket and a minute later he came walking up the block. He didn’t actually notice my text till much later. I’m so glad the two of them are working together, and that this can work out to be something good. It’s so rare for either of them to have someone at their own level.  We then ran into Angela and the three of us headed over to the diner. Holy Hades was it hot in there! They had us in way too small a space and there were a lot of us and it was really freaking hot. In a way it was good that the Husband wasn’t there, he would have been incredibly uncomfortable and outside for much of the dinner. It took us FOREVER to order, but I think that was just my table, which I ended up sharing with Greg who played Rocky before my time (and that night) and his wife Laura and their daughter Violet. When we finally got it, they made a decent burger, medium rare as asked for. I figured they couldn’t screw that up too badly. Eventually we headed out to the theater. Met up with Jason and a couple of his friends for a smoke before the show.

Thanks to MMM I was once again able to get in with the cast and company before the general audience. It was a really good preshow. The kind of preshow I remember back from the Playhouse days. It’s good to be able to think back to those days and remember the good times and the friendship. I think it was MMM who in the tribute to Sal said that he created a place where all of the misfits and outcast could come together and be themselves and have each other. And we really did. It’s kind of amazing how 20 years later those are still some of the friendships and memories I treasure the most. I stayed till after Time Warp, said some goodbyes and headed home. I wish I had stayed till the end of the show. But it was late and I needed to be sure I could drive myself home safely.

I kept texting and emailing with the Husband all night which was really cool. Poor thing; I missed him so! But he was in no shape to be out and about that night and I’m glad he had the sense to let himself rest. Sunday we did just about nothing. He went out to pick up some awesome sushi for dinner and I think that was the extent of it. Today was Columbus Day so I had off from work but was still up by 9. Ugh! Even with the lunesta, I can’t get a decent night’s sleep. I’ve been trying to rest and do as little as possible for the last few days. I haven’t had much of a choice- the Husband has insisted on taking care of me and everything else and I’ve been trying to let him. Especially since he’s been fighting his own issues at the moment and slept for 13 hours last night.

I’m still fighting the headache, though for a brief moment it seemed like it was loosening its grip somewhat, so we’ll see what happens this week. I’m trying to stay optimistic but it’s hard sometimes. Though I have to say, I didn’t get as sick as I expected from being in the city Saturday night. I hadn’t been feeling well for a day or two before and was sure I was going to be knocked out on Sunday but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I’m trying to be grateful for the little things. I still need to make a neuro appt. Ugh.

Next weekend we’re supposed to go see Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull down in Red Bank. Tomorrow I must remember to make the dinner reservations. Then Sunday my mother is throwing a surprise party for my stepfather’s 75th birthday.  Always something to do. Fortunately, the Husband is dealing with the cake for which I’m grateful. I was feeling a little overwhelmed having to deal with that too.

Must make plans with Rocky friends. I don’t want to lose touch again. The Husband and Phillykins need to play some chess, maybe get Mutie to come around, see who else we can wrangle up. Dang it. Need to get Ed and Joey to come home too, at least to visit. When things were good, hanging out with them were some of the best times of my life.

Bed. Rest. Sleep. Wake up. work. travel to office. work. travel home. work. bed. sleep. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

today’s treat

  • Posted on July 1, 2009 at 3:57 pm

It should be a real treat for the Husband, actually. Orange cream something. It’s not really sorbet, it’s not really ice cream. Orange cream dessert.

I modified the Orange Popsicle Ice Cream recipe in what has become my ice cream bible, David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop.” For the cup of sour cream, I subbed soy sour cream, and for the 1/2 cup of half and half, I subbed soy creamer. I know, it’s nowhere in the same range of milkfat, but it’s what I had. And they don’t make a soy half and half, at least as far as I know. Other than that, the recipe is from the book. Zested 3 oranges with the microplane. Added 2/3 cup of sugar to the blender and grated the zest a bit more. It was rather fine already from the microplane. Added 1 1/4 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice from the oranges I just zested. Fortunately they were easy to squeeze since I have no gadget or tool for juicing. 2 teaspoons of Grand Marnier. 1 cup soy sour cream. 1/2 cup soy creamer for half and half. Blend till the sugar is dissolved. Chill and freeze.

It’s still chilling in the fridge as I type this and I haven’t churned it yet to know how it tastes. The biggest pain in the arse is the zesting of the oranges. My hands kept feeling like they were going to cramp.

UPDATED TO ADD: It’s damn tasty. Next time I have to either chop the orange zest finer (not sure how to do that) or strain it out before freezing. Still think it was a pain in the ass to make so not sure how often I’ll make it again unless the Husband specifically requests it.

Happiness is…

  • Posted on July 1, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Happiness is…

…finding vanilla beans in the cabinet when you thought you were out. Yay for vanilla sugar!

…coming home and being surprised with gorgeous red roses by the Husband when you thought he had been home coding.

…being told by the Husband that last night’s peach sorbet was better than the Ben & Jerry’s!

…having the best nurse in the doctor’s office dealing with prescriptions and refills for us, and knowing it will get handled right and quick.

…being able to see the grin and look of glee on the Husband’s face as he eats the frozen goodness I keep making (ice cream, sorbet, whatever you want to call it).

…getting ready to see some really old friends in a couple of weeks.

…having a low pain and headache day for the second day in a row.

Heh. Seems a lot of the happiness is with the Husband. Excellent.

Anniversary Weekend recap

  • Posted on June 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

It has been suggested to me that I write up the food extravaganza that was our anniversary weekend this year, even though it was more than three months ago. We’re foodies. We love to eat, and eat well. We didn’t intend for it to be a weekend-long celebration, but I don’t think either of us were complaining when all was said and done.

Our actual anniversary was on a Friday, and we started it at the Pluckemin Inn with the chef’s tasting menu. That’s all we had originally intended to do. Below are my notes from that night:

  • ahi, mussels in spicy, fois gras bon bon, balsamic and brioche
  • fish with spicy pineapple sauce in shell. cilantro, salt, spicy sauce
  • Noodles with hard boiled egg and stuff
  • first of the season halibut, buttered morels, pea puree
  • scallops, pork belly, beet sauce
  • venison. black trumpet mushrooms. kale. cippollini onions.
  • Japanese kobe, super titi garlic chips. pad thai flavors
  • sous vide rhubarb and rhubarb foam
  • lemon creme fraiche
  • chocolate caramel brownie
  • salted caramels

Some recollections: the halibut, morels and peas were just fabulous, though I’m not sure how you can go wrong with anything with morels. the “super titi” garlic chips were pretty phenomenal. The Husband loved the noodles and egg. I’m pretty certain we had cocktails. I believe they also gifted us with a glass of champagne. If this was all we had done or eaten, it would have been a fantastic weekend.

I’m pretty sure we were back at the Plucky for lunch on Saturday and then Saturday night we got sushi to go.

For Sunday brunch, we decided to finally try elements for the first time. The Husband had pheasant hash, I think I had the french toast. We were impressed with the food, and they had the chef’s table in the kitchen available for that night, so we decided to end our anniversary weekend in much the same format we started it. At the mercy of a chef. Once again we were not disappointed.

  • Terhune tamago. Crispy bacon sweetbread frisee. Citrus lauging bird shrimp.
  • Kindai o-toro
  • Kampachi crudo four ways
  • Popcorn. Coarse ground corn meal. Mushrooms, black truffles.
  • diver sea scallops. spring pea leaves. truffles. mussel broth.
  • Kindai tuna loin wrapped in rye
  • fois gras torchon. kumquats
  • guinea hen. yogurt spatzle.
  • 48 hour short ribs
  • Bacon and eggs. Mille feulle.

Some thoughts on the above: by the time we got to the guinea hen, I was starting to get full. The popcorn and cornmeal dish was OUTRAGEOUS. Really unique taste profile. We loved that there was so much seafood here. The only thing I didn’t really like was the tuna in rye and that’s because I don’t like rye. The tuna was incredible.  I think there was another dessert as well (either carrot cake or bananas foster, I can’t remember). They sent out the bacon and eggs when we were there for brunch. I’ll have to get Joe to give me the details again (brioche, maple custard, candied bacon, I don’t know), but from someone who doesn’t like bacon, it was pretty good. The Husband loved it so much they served it to him again at dinner (originally they weren’t going to but he asked for it). No cocktails tonight, but I believe they gifted us with a glass of rose cava.

It’s hard to believe we’ve only been going to elements for less than four months! It did get off to a rather auspicious start.

And that is the tale of gluttony that was our anniversary weekend. It was good food and a whole lot of fun! Just as the four years of our marriage have been…