Archive for the ‘brunch’ Category

Sunny Santa Fe

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

I’m back!

Wait, did I mention I was gone?

We were in Santa Fe. School started yesterday (orientation blah didie blah) and classes start Thursday. I turn 30 on Monday.

30 is the new pink, did you know that?

So we decided to vacation.

In Santa Fe. I used my mad internet skills to find us a lovely hotel a block from the plaza (where all the historical stuff is). Our sunset view wasn’t awful.

The St. Francis hotel, where we stayed, is  gorgeous. The room was not big, and that’s putting it generously, but it was super pretty and well designed with benches and hooks and shelves for all our stuff.

Before we left Louisville, we asked a couple of folks where to eat in Santa Fe. Two independent recommendations came back for Pasquals, which happened to be directly across from the hotel, so on Thursday night when we got into town we wandered through the door right at opening. You usually need reservations, it seems, but since it was early they gave us a little table. Crockett got immediately into the spirit of things with a Santa Fe Pale Ale and mole enchiladas, but I was absolutely freezing and I wanted soup and stout. So soup was had – spicy thai coconut squash, and stout was had – Samuel Smith knows what he’s about.

Then, bed. Because driving for six hours is exhausting. Even if you only actually drive for half of that.

In the morning I went for a run. On the one hand, I love running in a new place, because it’s an awesome way to explore. On the other hand, I was worried I was going to be abducted.

What, it happens.

Crockett tracked me the whole time using Find my iPhone, just in case.

About two miles into the run, I saw this sign. I’m assuming it was for me.

After I dragged Crockett out of bed, we wandered around looking for breakfast.

Also, witnessing New Year donkies and hipster dalmations.

Because of the run and the wandering, we missed a lot of places breakfast hours. Fortunately, Tia Sophia’s was there for us. Crockett went with heuvos (they’re under there, I swear), I had green chili, and we got sopapillas with our meals. We didn’t know when we chose it, but apparently this is sort of a go-to breakfast place around town, and I can see why. Delish.

Properly fortified, it was learning time.

The New Mexico History Museum was awesome. I was hoping for more bomb stuff, but at least I did get to see a book about bombs mixed up with Santa Fe coloring books.

I don’t know why I was hoping for bomb stuff.

I think it’s the ex-engineer in me.

We wandered, and shopped, and napped, and then headed out for first Friday. My research had informed me that the galleries would all be open and love us on Friday nights.

My research overestimated the willingness of galleries to open when it was freezing cold and also the willingness of galleries on the road we chose to visit to open when there was a gas leak.

We did make it back to town in time to catch the free entry at the Georgia O’Keefe museum, which DUDE. I did not know Ms. O’Keefe was as cool as she was.  No pics allowed, sadly, but did you know she didn’t just paint girly part lookin flowers? I didn’t. I do now.

Also, we saw this sign. I found the cross amusing. Because, you know, don’t park here… because Jesus said so.

Know what else Jesus said?

Buy folk art.

Apparently. Also, Moses wants you to buy cowboy paintings. Not pictured: Mohammed says buy sculpture.

We went back to the galleries on Saturday, when it was sunny and they weren’t cruelly taunting us with their brightly lit interiors and their locked doors.

I did buy art, because I’m nothing if not swayed by amusing signs.

We went to the farmers market, flea market, and a confusing yet thrilling bunch of overcluttered stores called Jackalope.

I am both dangerous and adorable.

One of the downsides of going somewhere like Santa Fe is that everyone says ‘oh the food is amazing!’ and then you have 400 restaurants to choose from and only four days and limited belly room and you worry that you’re going to chose the wrong thing and…

Fortunately, our friend sent us 5 text messages, listing the places not to be missed.

The Shed was one of those places. I continued with my green chili investigation – also delicious. The thing about green chili is that it’s always delicious, have you noticed that? Crockett had a grilled chicken sandwich with guacamole, because he feels about guac the way I feel about green chili. We also had several margaritas. The Shed: two thumbs up. The only weirdness is that it came with garlic bread, but the menu said:

You might be suprised to find that a restaurant known for tradtional Northern New Mexican cuisine serves french garlic bread with all its entrees reflecting a taste of history patrons have demanded since the beginnings of The Shed on Burro Alley.

Yeah, I’m not sure I understand either. We didn’t eat the bread, but it was pretty.

For dinner we followed another text invective and went to Tomasita’s. Those plates you’re looking at are two different plates, I swear. Crockett’s had enchiladas and mine had rellenos. The building was beautiful – it looks like a train station, maybe, but I don’t know for sure. The food was as expected – tasty, plentiful, and American Mexicany. I ate it alllll up.

We did have a restaurant in our hotel, but we never made it. We did make it to the bar a couple of times, Secreto Bar. The spicy Secreto was like a sweet spicy cucumber margarita that I found delicious, and apparently the bartender who invented it won some sort of award. Obviously my palate is fabulous.

Sunday was a day of rest. Literally. We went to Pasqual’s again for brunch and sat at the communal table and I ate grits and it was gooooood. Then we hit up Trader Joe’s for picnic food, and spent the rest of the day kicking around the hotel reading and watching tv and (if you were Crockett) working.

The ride home was actually sort of miserable. Snow and nasty roads and a working boyfriend, leading to seven hours of tensed muscle driving for Emma. However, we made it back in two (him and me) pieces and now have happy Santa Fe memories.

it’s a jungle out there

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Do you know why they make playgrounds in such bright colors?

I’m pretty sure that it’s so I have something cheerful to look at on overcast days. I mean, I can’t think of any other possible reason.

Yesterday started with a very important date with Laura. Last week she fed me, this week we went out. Ideally, two weeks from now, I’ll feed her. It’s important to make time for this kind of thing, even when you have so much Java programming to do that you sort of want to slam your head in a piano and you didn’t do it the night because you saw your other friends that you don’t get to see very often and even then you had so much Java programming to do that you sort of wanted to smoosh your toes with an anvil just so you could have some time off.

I’m sorry, obviously I digress.

We went to Mimi’s Cafe. It’s a chain but Laura is over our local breakfast cafe and she adores the muffins at Mimi’s. I like the honey soaked bran ones, but I passed, what with honey and muffins both being on the things-to-avoid-if-possible-for-South-Beach list. Each breakfast comes with juice, and I opted for tomato.

Green tabasco for the tomato juice. Mmmm.

Laura requested the Buttermilk Spice muffin, but our waitress (who was hilarious and cheerful, which is so welcome in the morning) recommended a pumpkin spice muffin instead. Laura wasn’t nuts about it, but it had the crunchy topping which was apparently the most important part.

I had the Light ‘n Fit two egg plate. Eggs, dry wheat toast, and fruit.

I felt so healthy afterwards that I would have given myself a gold star if I’d had any. Sadly, I didn’t. Note to self: start carrying gold stars.

I went straight to school, thinking I’d have at least and hour to get some work done. Then? “Gas Main Break. Road Closed Ahead.” That’s never a good sign. (Ha, sign. Get it? Cause it was a real sign?)

People on the side of the road… then more people on the side of the road… then, yes, road closed. Sigh.

I did eventually make it and instead of working I snuck to the gym. It was great except, after my noon class, I realized I didn’t have any food for lunch. I raided my office.

Not the best option.

But it was all I had. I’d gotten it in a goody bag after a race last year. I rarely end up using those samples, but I guess this one came in handy.

It was pretty tasty, although I suspect they didn’t intend for me to eat it dry.

I supplemented with half a Larabar dipped in peanut butter. I was starving when I got home. I really need to put some thought into food I can keep in my office for situations like this – maybe some apples and … what else? Any ideas?

the lost weekend

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Sadly, this story is not going where you think it’s going.

Friday morning I had a very important date.

This lovely lady is my co-blogger on The Road More Travelled. We’ve been friends since we were 12(ish) and she is that friend that I know I will have when I’m old and grey and bitching about the crappy food at the old folks home.  She had me to her house, which had been very seasonally decorated by her little ones.

She fed me a very South Beach friendly meal, because her husband has been doing something very similar for literally years now. She’s used to it.

Lady Grey tea. Apparently this isn’t all that popular, but I adore it. If you haven’t had it, close your eyes and let your memory of Earl Grey tickle your tastebuds. Now add a little orange and a little lemon and subtract a little tannin. Oh with the yum. I never keep it in my house because only Twinings makes it commercially and my local stores don’t stock it, and our local tea house is like 11 whole miles away so clearly I can’t get there very often (even thought they make their own blend and it’s damn tasty). Thank goodness Laura is around to compensate for these failings of mine.

This is what happens when you stick an iPhone in a hot steamy oven.

In case you were wondering.

That lovely souffle looking thing is a crustless quiche that she made with ham, packaged cholesterol free eggs, and some delicious cheese. (It flattened out when we removed it from the oven, it wasn’t truly six inches thick.)

Fruit salad. Technically fruit isn’t in my phase 1 list of allowed foods, but honestly, like I’ve been following those rules. I ate it up. (Don’t worry, I checked out the real South Beach book today and I’m going to follow the real rules, not the half-assed-learned-them-on-the-internets rules.)

Are you jealous right now? I’m jealous and I got to eat it.

She’s the best. Plus?

She totally gave me the Las Vegas cup. That’s just how she rolls.

I did go to school on Friday, but I have no photographic proof because I didn’t eat while I was there. (You can consider that foreshadowing, if you’re the kind of person who likes to consider foreshadowing instead of just internalizing it and moving on.)

I did, however, send Crockett this series of IM messages before leaving campus:

Hey how’re you feeling?
The cold that’s been hovering over me has hit
Nose throat head
Blah

Cold or no cold, we had big plans.

That dude in the red shirt?

It was his birthday happy hour. We went to see him, have fun, be crazy, etc etc. We toured around Louisville, crashing more than one corporate happy hour, and ended up out with pizza. Pictures were not so successful, due to bar lighting. Oh, except?

This one. This one came out great. If I weren’t already with this guy, I’d be tracking down his phone number and dating status right now.

Saturday, the cold had hit with the vengeance that only November colds can have. (That’s what I was foreshadowing earlier, so you can stop holding your breath now.)

I don’t know what I ate all weekend. Yesterday I managed to get out of bed and stagger to my office to do some homework, but the only evidence I have of food is this.

Yogurt with almonds and honey. I seem to remember there being cereal, as well.

It was all very exciting.

How was your weekend?

follow through

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Yesterday was a day of big plans and very little success.

Planned: start my hearth healthy diet, do homework, clean my house in preparation for the lunch I’m having today, run, and then head down to Denver for a sleepover with some of my favorite ladies.

However, I woke up at Crockett’s and hadn’t given him appropriate notice with regard to the diet. Plus, he grocery shops like once every three weeks, so even if I had it’s unlikely he would have been able to whip up a super fancy low carb low fat phase 1 South Beach appropriate breakfast. He did well though – he busted out his signature delicious weekend breakfast staple. ______ chilaquiles.

Chilaquiles, if you’re not familiar, are usually tortilla chips cooked with salsa and eggs, making sort of a crispy eggy tasty mashup. Crockett has developed an ability to turn anything into a delicious chilaquile. This particular version was based on leftover barbeque chicken pizza. South Beach friendly? Nope. Delicious? Yes.

Then we spent several hours attempting to install Snow Leopard on my Dell, after I swapped out my RAM and hard drive for faster and larger versions, respectively. Apparently, such a thing is called a Hackintosh. Hackintosh. Say it out loud, it’s fun.

Sadly, we failed, and I had to come home and reinstall XP. (There was a failed Windows 7 attempt in there somewhere too, if you’re curious. And I call myself a computer scientist.)

I spent an hour or so in the kitchen making zucchini cakes and soup for my lunch today. The zucchini cakes are grated zucchini, pumpkin soup, and eggs. I made a whole bunch, because zucchini apparently quadruples in size when you grate it. Who knew.

Then I returned to setting up my computer, and did so for many many hours. Apparently. In my defense, I had a lot of programs to install.

Our sleepover was postponed due to sickness and ennui.

I even managed to bore my girls. Maida found it necessary to take every toy out of the box, one by one, and strew them across the floor. (Can you tell which one is her?)

“Bored now, Mom. Entertain me.” I took them for a night walk, which we don’t usually do. Crockett was downtown crashing the parties of strangers. (That’s true.)

Night dogs – much shinier than day dogs.

I did well at lunch, South Beach wise. I did. I had zucchini cakes and a handful of almonds. However, at dinner, I cracked.

I think I have a sugar problem.

h-HA-ppy HALLOWEEN Part 1

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Look at these two beautiful black cats that were waiting for the girls and I when we went to take our walk on Friday morning. I have an excellent prop department, don’t I?

Two days before Halloween and some of the plants are finally starting to give up the ghost, but some are holding on strong. This time last year we’d had at least a couple big days of snow. I have no idea what the hell is going on this year – summer just doesn’t want to let go.

I was so stressed Friday morning, and my darling friend Laura insisted that I drag my butt out of the house and come have brunch with her and her younger daughter. I got all cranky about it – ‘I’m so busy, whaaaa’, but she refused to take no for an answer. That’s how you know you have excellent friends – they’re the ones who don’t let you be yourself if they self that you’re being is crappy.

We arranged a rendezvous at The Huckleberry.

The Huckleberry is this great brunch restaurant in downtown Louisville. (They have dinner too, but I’ve never gone and therefore can’t attest to it’s tastiness.) I was just in time for the annual elementary school parade. Every kid dresses up and they march through old town, chasing each other and waving to their parents. Also, I saw Waldo – turns out? Not that hard to find.

We got my favorite table – the pig picture table. Who doesn’t want to eat with a painting of a happy little pig wallowing around in … mud? soup? … over their heads? (I’m being totally serious. I love this painting.)

This is me, thinking I’m going to have a light yet filling bowl of crunchy granola and tasty yogurt. (You can consider the word ‘thinking’ in that last sentence to be foreshadowing, if you so chose.)

This is Laura, carefully weighing her options.

This?

Is the coffee and chai that was helping us with our decision making process.

Laura ended up with bacon and whipped cream, and had some help getting through the bacon.

Ok, fine, there were mixed berry crepes under there too. Probably.

Doesn’t my tasty granola look a lot like vegetarian eggs benedict? Weird, right?

Friday breakfast

Friday, September 24th, 2010

A girlfriend came over for brunch- which I’d completely forgotten about until roughly 9 pm yesterday.
Pioneer Woman’s baked French toast to the rescue.