Friday, October 29, 2010

Weird Schedule = Bad Updates

I am not doing well at updating now that I am back! For reference, I am planning on being a bum this weekend and hiding out in the dark watching movies instead of giving candy to children or dressing up and going out to spend too much money on alcohol with a bunch of strangers. Bah humbug, I say! Or is that too soon?

However, tonight is dinner party night! I love a nice dinner party! It's nothing too exciting, here's the menu:

smoked gouda
red pepper and artichoke tapenade

from here.
nice piece of wild sockeye salmon (probably just gently sauteed with lemon and white wine and a bit of garlic)
the last of the green beans (possibly roasted, possibly not)
salad (with the last of the tomatoes, sigh)
roasted vegetables (carrots, mushrooms and tiny potatoes)
and whatever ciabatta is left if I don't finish it before they get here...

Dessert is being brought, so that will be fun! Our guests are pros in the dessert dept. so I figured that was safe to delegate ;)

That is pretty much the big excitement for the weekend. I am going to lay low and stay away from candy and probably skip out on family Sunday dinner early so I make sure not to miss my new favorite show. Masterpiece Theater, how I love you so!

Also, Martin Freeman has become my new favorite Watson! I will refrain from writing more drivel about him with excessive exclamation points, but suffice it to say, I am a fan.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Pleasant Surprises

I was cleaning out my cupboards this weekend and just happened to find all the makings of a pumpkin pie. Yay pie! So I knocked up a couple of pie crusts using my standby recipe (I cheat and use my food processor so it takes about four minutes) and my mother-in-law happened to be doing a turkey for Sunday dinner so we went all out. It was ugly but tasty. But now I have a spare pie crust.

So I am thinking pasties. My favorites while we were in England were the Cornish pasties but I have also had interesting ones involving pork and apples. So right now I am contemplating carrots and potatoes, to be traditional, but maybe with some of the chicken sausage I have stashed in the freezer. Too weird? I guess I'll find out... I love having all the fixings to make something right in my kitchen without having to run to the store for ONE THING.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It Must Be Fall

because I am having cleaning urges. I've started on the pantry and have cleared out some old bottles and jars that expired/were never going to get used. What I really need to do is de-grime my horrible old avocado green stovetop. I get compliments on my retro green kitchen but it is so hard to keep clean. More photos and trip recap once I get this out of my system. Ugh.

Well maybe a picture or two. We are still jetlagged, I am coming home and taking naps before dinner and then waking up raring to go at 5 am. It's not terrible, apparently I am more inclined to be productive in the mornings than in the evenings.

And last night we went to a lovely recital (after my nap), to "celebrate" that my job ended yesterday. So my house is going to be really clean soon. And all the house projects I have been putting off will be done. Right?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Alive! With A NYC Recap And Pictures, Too!

And good lord is it nice to have water pressure again. The Brits do many things well (ask Matt about cask-drawn ales sometime), but water pressure is not a high priority. And when it takes a half an hour just to get the soap out of my hair, it makes me think, are we really the wasteful ones here?

Anyways, trip recap part 1:

We drove down to the Bay Area and I got to have a nice visit with my grandmother, followed by a girly afternoon with Kari and pedicures and wine tasting. In retrospect, this was a GOOD idea. By day two in NYC, my dogs were barking! We got to have a chill evening with some friends instead of the reunion fiasco, and then we were off!

We flew into Newark first to see some cousins and had a couple of gorgeous days in the city:

We walked through Times Square (oops) and Central Park (aaah).

We hoofed it all the way up to the Lincoln Center neighborhood for free awesome jazz at the American Folk Art Museum AND over to Grand Central Station just to do some ogling. That is one gorgeous building.

Instead of walking back through Times Square we cut across Fifth Avenue and Matt patiently let me wander through H&M (I find that to be a highly stressful store) and I found a ridiculously large mauve circle scarf that I then wore every day for the entire rest of the trip. Also for one of the only photos of me, in front of Rockefeller Center (not very exciting).

Among the other highlights of the NYC portion of the trip were High Line Park, a converted elevated train line that is now a nice park for walking around (maybe better when you haven't already walked 100-odd blocks, though) with some neat views. It is in one of those weird neighborhoods where it looks kind of rough and is down by the water but then you walk by a store and realize it is Diane von Furstenberg. There are some cool views from up there. If you click that is Lady Liberty right in the middle there.

And some ugly buildings, too.

The Empire State Building has an amazing lobby but we were too cheap to go up to the Observation Deck. Story of my life. I guess the views aren't what they once were with all the taller buildings there now. But still, sigh.

We also walked to Greenwich Village for more awesome free jazz at The 55 Bar and just happened to walk by a Brooklyn Industries store. I now officially LOVE this place and wish I had more money to spend there. I got an adorable purple skirt (with studs! very mild-mannered ones, though) and a yellow wallet with birds on it (I will never lose it). The shirts were on the thin side but the dresses and skirts and bags were all eminently covetable. Also, lovely service and coats to die for.

We stayed with cousins in Hoboken and took the Path into the city, which was nice and easy. We didn't have much in the exciting food dept. overall, whenever we went somewhere touristy we regretted it. We found a great little Jewish deli right behind the Empire State Building where we were the only ones aside from the staff not wearing yarmulkes. We also had nice Thai food and tasty pizza in Hoboken close to where we were staying. We were trying not to spend boatloads of cash as England is pretty pricey, but we still had a lovely time. Staying with family was highly entertaining, the new wife is an ex K9 cop and current dog trainer and has a gorgeous black German Shepherd who only responds if you talk to him in German.

Next up, Earby! Also Manchester, Skipton, Carlisle is awesome and Heathrow sucks.