Monday, December 22, 2008

Earle Girls' Xmas Dinner

Every year for the past 6 or 7 years I have celebrated the holidays with my lovely lady friends that I befriended at my last restaurant job, The Earle. We usually go to the cozy restaurant, The Lord Fox. This year due to financial reasons, we decided to have the festive dinner at one of our homes. We were happy to have everyone over at our place. In past dinners, there have been 5 of us ladies. However, due to losing touch with one friend and the other living too far away in Arizona,there were three of us girls. (tear--We missed you so much Kindra!)

This was, however, the first girls' dinner where we had our men there too. My guy was making the yummy food, while the others were there to help if needed. Shannon had it under control though. It was so nice to have everyone over!

We started with martinis and good conversation. It soon followed with Chandon Blanc de Noir with hibiscus flowers and a lovely cheese plate. It consisted of Camembert, Boucheron, Gruyere, and a 3 year old Gouda. The plate was accompanied with apples, rosemary crackers, and a baguette.

A couple of hours later we moved on to drinking the 2006 Stadt Krems Qualitatswein Trocken Kremstal Sandgrube Gruner Veltliner and the 2005 Hubertushof Classic Riesling with a salad of arugula, roasted pears, gorgonzola, and toasted pecans that had been tossed in a white wine vinaigrette.

About an hour later we had the 2007 Seghesio Zinfandel and the 2005 Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero with dinner. Dinner consisted of so many yummy parts. We had pistachio and creole mustard encrusted lamb chops that had been roasted, braised ancho chili short ribs, scalloped potatoes with leeks and cream, as well as leeks and fennel sauteed with lemon zest. Yummy!

We did push on through about an hour later to eat dessert. Even though we were so full. We had a plate of chocolates, vanilla ice cream garnished with a raspberry lemon thumbprint cookie, and a slice of a yummy apple crostata. We had this with much needed coffee. Some of us may have decided to throw in a little Baileys, Amaretto, or Frangelico.

This was a very fun evening of yummy food and drinks with wonderful friends. What a wonderful way to start off the holiday celebration before we travel to see our families in Memphis tomorrow!

Friday, December 5, 2008

2 Weeks in Review

Thanksgiving - Everything was fun as always - the spinach casserole was hotter because I used habanero cheese. Carrie's new pumpkin mascarpone pie was awesome. But yeah, we ended up freezing half of the food, although I did finish the mac and cheese! We would love any of you to come visit next year though!!!

Wine of the week - Juan Gil 2005 Jumilla. It was only $13, and it gets an 89 from WS - it was fantastic. Seriously, it was like blackberry syrup, but also had tannins and earth and depth. The grape is monastrell, which is really the Spanish word for mourvedre. We will get it again, especially since the price is right. Here is what the bottle looks like, in case you want to look for it.

Music - I am horribly disappointed that Beyonce is playing Etta James in a new movie. That would be like Avril Levigne playing Wendy O. Williams.

Also, my new favorite song this week - Mogwai. Awesome video, plus it is apparently part of a genre called "post-rock", which always makes me feel cool when participating in something that uses the prefix "post-".

PS - there is this new video game or something Prince of Persia, and the commercial uses this, one of my favorite songs ever. I had a song by this band on at the wedding - seriously, the lead singer is a gay Icelandic guy who sings in falsetto using a made up language. I wish I were kidding. But the falsetto is very off-putting if you aren't a fan, but I am and I love these guys. (And I looked them Sigur Ros on wikipedia and apparently they are also post-rock. I just learned this term, but I will try to drop it in casual conversation as much as possible in order to appear more annoying than I already am.)

Books - I am in that moment where I can't find a book I want to finish. I have started reading 3 books recently, all from the library, but I am just not interested in finishing them. I am rereading The Blind Side, which you should read especially if you are from Memphis or are a football fan. I think I just want the new Malcolm Gladwell book.

TV - I am very happy that Steph and Chip are watching Top Chef. Also, I seem to be the only one left with any hope that Heroes will get better.

Favorite Link of the week - 82games. I love stats, and now I can better argue that the Grizz need to start Lowry or Crittendon over Conley. And that Rip Hamilton is having a horrible season.

Health - Carrie has been sick for 4 solid weeks now (coughing and sinus and whatnot), so we finally went to the doctor and got some antibiotics. I thought I was in the clear since I hadn't caught anything. Then Sunday, I felt like I might be getting sick and tried to ignore it and drink OJ and take vitamins and all. But Monday, I was just out of it, and I figured that would be it because by the end of the day I was feeling fine. Yesterday, I wake up and take a shower and look in the mirror and my right eye is just bloodshot red. I figured I was just getting pink eye, but as the day went on, it just kept getting worse and all this mucus stuff was coming out, and it hurt and itched. So we went back to the doctor finally and it turns out that it is an infection, and the mucus is really pus, and it is worse than pink eye. I wake up Wednesday morning, and my right eye is crusted shut and my left eye is so mucus-y that I can't see, so I just jumped in the shower and turned my face into the water. It all got better and I look normal again, because I looked like a boxer after a fight that morning. I'm still phlegmy though.

In other words, I haven't had as productive of a week as I would have liked.

Movies - we had a rare 3 movie weekend. Tropic Thunder - good but not as good as I would have liked, but still gets tons of points for being actually original in concept. Iron Man - yes, Robert Downey Jr. did a great job and the movie was really awesome. Then, we watched Raiders again - good times. I dread seeing the new Indiana Jones movie.

Overheard in the classroom - OK, this one is already a classic, but it bears repeating: at lunch, one of the boys in Carrie's class asked if she could open his yogurt for him, so she did, but of course the yogurt went flying and got on her shirt. She looked for some napkins to clean it off. Then, the boy says to her, "I can clean that off...with my tongue!"

The most Ann Arbor thing I saw this week - A woman, standing outside in a couple of inches of snow at Meijer, most likely waiting for the person she was with to get the car and pick her up, wearing sandals and socks.