Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It was a great Halloween. For one, it didn't rain (of course it didn't since his costume featured a rain jacket). Two, we got to spend the day with lots of different friends, and had a blast!

My cute little fireman. I put together his costume with things we already had, and Gramma made the ax!
Going down to the Village for trick or treating with Skylar Princess Leia.
Gramma and Grandpa joined the fun.
I was happy to be with my boy! Daddy was gone this year.
Gotta have candy!
The chivalrous fireman.
A break to study some vehicles!
And then a candy break.
Afterwards he lined up and examined all of his loot.
Later on... trick or treating with some other friends. Max, Jake, Eleanor, and Fiona. There was one house on the block that really went all out, with a flashing strobe light, a "graveyard" in the front yard complete with fog, eerie noise, and someone dressed as death sitting in the back of a pickup truck parked in the driveway. Jake found it to be very spooky and wouldn't go near! He was okay with the more normal-looking houses, though.
Admiring the decorations.
Then after, a dance party!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NYC -- Good Eats

Friday night Amy and I went to Blossom, an amazing vegan restaurant.

First, we ordered a bottle of Attitude. Yes, that was the name of the wine, a sauvignon blanc. (After this bottle of really nice wine, it was wonderful to walk all the way back to the apartment in the cool, fresh air! (We took the subway to the restaurant.))
We shared this appetizer, a ravioli with parsnip and crushed potato inside, topped with shitake mushrooms and truffle oil. It was probably my most favorite thing that I ate all weekend.
Then my entree was hickory-smoked tempeh with collard greens and fingerling potatoes in a horseradish sauce. Amy had a lentil vegetable mix in phyllo layers.
Happy sisters/diners.
We shared dessert (thankfully) which was a rich chocolate ganache with vanilla ice cream and peanut butter sauce.
Saturday night... arriving at our restaurant in the rain. It was as small as it looks -- you can see the front door, the tables, and the kitchen, and that was the extent of this very cool place!
Dirt Candy was the name, a very unique vegetarian restaurant. The thing about this place is that they take vegetables and put them in combinations that just blow your mind. Things you would never think to put together. Not only do they end up tasting good, but they taste interesting. An experience I would definitely recommend.
First course. Tyler and I had Kimchi Doughnuts -- watermelon radishes, cilantro and wild arugula. And Amy had Onion Soup -- farmhouse cheddar, kumquat marmalade. (I had to look up the menu online, the dishes are so complex that I couldn't remember the ingredients!)
Second course. I had Asparagus Paella -- artichokes, morels, saffron tomato broth. The piece on top was a hard rice krispie treat, and it sweetened the whole dish.
Amy had Golden Beet Papardelle -- yogurt, pistachios and honey.
Tyler had Stone Ground Grits -- pickled shitakes and a tempura poached egg. We spent some time trying to figure out how they managed to get fried batter around a poached egg!
Desserts -- Red Pepper Velvet Cake with peanut butter ice cream and Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar (sweet pea, mint, chocolate)The next morning I went to Josie's West for brunch. I had seared Asian-marinated organic tofu salad which had baby arugula, roasted vegetables, chickpeas, avocado & balsamic vinaigrette.
And enjoyed talking with Guthrie!
Then onto Sunday night dinner. Amy and I cooked up this dish which includes roasted butternut squash with sage and garlic, Swiss chard, white beans, and pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan on top. It was fantastic.
I ended my culinary experience by getting some tea from this coffeshop in the airport. Couldn't resist :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lee Goes to NYC!

As a birthday present, I got a plane ticket to NYC. I was delighted to go and spend a long weekend with my sister, Amy. The last time I was in the city was September of 2005, so it was definitely time to go back.

Arrived on Friday night and it seems I brought the cloudy weather and rain with me from Portland...
Walking to the market Saturday morning.
Farmer's market in Union Square. We brought goods for Sunday night's dinner.
Here I am! Union Square.
Saturday afternoon Amy and I started walking around and shopping. We decided to go inside Grace Church, which is just blocks from Amy's apartment but she's never been inside. It was beautiful, like being in a church in Europe!

After shopping and finally finding a pair of shoes I liked after checking out about 8 shoe shops, we stopped for a break.
Mint iced tea.
Decaf mocha. (It was pouring on and off, and a hot drink felt good. By the time we returned to the apartment from walking around and shopping, our shoes and bottom of our pants were pretty soaked.)
Then we got all dolled up and ready for an evening out.
After dinner we went to friend Gina's apartment for a party! I felt like I was back in college days... totally fun and weird at the same time. We had a great time and didn't leave until 1am. Oy.
There were 5 St. Mary's Academy alum at the party -- all of them the class of 2001 except for me, class of 1995 :) (And yes, some people were wearing Halloween costumes. Just to clarify.)
Sunday... after sleeping in and meeting friend Guthrie for brunch, we went to the flea market on 78th street.
I loved this guy's collection of old-time toasters.
And had fun watching him demo them for the little girl.
The trees were in the peak of changing colors while I was there. So glad the rain abated and it was sunny and beautiful for my second day.
With Guthrie in front of the American Museum of Natural History, where we were meeting Amy and Tyler.
A quick stop inside the museum for the restroom... couldn't resist taking pictures of the dinosaurs in the front lobby to show Jake...

Then a lovely walk through Central Park!

A stop at a cafe for some refreshments. This was a tiny little cafe and we went up this really tiny spiral staircase to a little loft area where we sat.
Subway to MOMA. Except we ended up taking a cab the second half of the trip because the train we needed wasn't running that day.
MOMA! We saw some of Monet's works, which were beautiful. Then I sought out the Van Gogh, which I love.
I also love this one by Klimt, which made me emotional. A beautiful pregnant woman.
We returned from MOMA via the bus down 5th Avenue. Cooked dinner and the skyline from Amy and Tyler's apartment window was spectacular during that time.
We watched a French movie called "The Class" that evening, which was really interesting. The next day, Monday, Amy and I walked to the subway together in the pre-dawn darkness and she headed off to work and me to the airport.

In the meantime, Mike and Jake stayed home and enjoyed a father-son weekend. Jake also got to spend time with the grandparents, during which he ate some Mexican food, visited a toy store, and had sorbeto ice cream on a cone.

Stay tuned for part 2, what I ate in NYC!