Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Day o' Kids

The Sunday before my trip I went over to J. and J.'s. She-J. and I went to Carpenter's Woods with the boys and traipsed about. N. fell over twice and didn't like it much. S. stayed on his feet.

This was after the second, muddy fall. I helped N. get his hands clean and he awarded me a little leaning wrist holding time.

S. was busy fighting off Sith lords or storm troopers. While N. was invoking the ground to come alive.
We then returned to their home where sandwiches were eaten, baseball (of a sort) was played and markers were liberally used on skin.

Then we went to a pretty kickass park. I don't know how She-J. does it...I basically took responsibility for looking out for S. for a while, and man does he run and run and run, and the park is so crowded with running children and parents worried about those running children falling over or getting kidnapped that it's quite the rotating worry cluster. Though not without a fair share of smiles.

And for dinner we had pizza.
A lovely day. I have always understood how hard it is to be a parent, but a day with She-J. confirmed it again...even when the kids are awesome, it's still a non-stop job.

Yelp Event Rush Recap

So, I've been out of town for a while, and made the bold choice to leave my computer at home. Let's see how long it takes me to catch up. I am sometimes very quick with multiple blog posts but I'm not sure what's going to happen now.
Before I left, I met up with Mr. Ass for a Yelp event focused on local businesses. We wandered around the three or four story mansion chock full o' little tables featuring food, drinks and other products. Above was the frito chili from National Mechanics, I think.
Above, crabcake blini type things from Supper. The co-owner of the restaurant was there and was quite friendly. I've been meaning to check the place out forever, but now I want to even more. We waited in a very small room in a very long line for a decent burger.
Mr. Ass and I reflected in the first floor's mirror.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Worry Not

Worry not, I will return shortly...with epic amounts of vacation updating to do.

Monday, March 22, 2010

One More Reason I Think Margaret Atwood is Awesome

Roommate Grilling

On Friday I came home to S. grilling on the deck. He had pork/beef/veggie skewers and marinated chicken as well. And he filled his cooler with beer. And it was a really warm evening. So I drank plenty of beer and ate a moderate amount of grilled meat while remembering how much happier I feel when I can do those things whilst sitting outside. Enjoyable.

Two More Sleepy Tent

Just a few more pictures of the bed tent fort, I think I need to disassemble it in order to properly prepare for my upcoming journey....but I really don't want to. So, we'll see what happens in the next 18 hours.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bed Tent Fort Lovin'

Behold! The tent bed fort! I'm going to try to take a few more in an effort to give one the full blown awesome sense of its scale and cozy factor, but here are a few to start with.

Phomorrow, Phoday, Last Week

Last Sunday was a pho day. Ak, C., L. and I all went to Pho Ha for a round of beefy, brothy wonderfulness. It continued to rain, which made the soupy soup even more soothing. I ordered the hot coffee with condensed milk. This milk will make your eyes pop out of your head.
I ordered an '8,' but specified a desire for less noodles, more broth. My preference was acknowledged, and I felt I had just the right amount of noodles with which to work. I could have done with a little, itty bitty more steak, but that is a minor complaint as the bowl was really quite generous with its fatty flank.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Little Irish Vampiric Spirit a Day Too Late

Painted Room Part I

A long, long time ago L. and I made a deal: she would paint my room if I would make her dinner in the form of crab cakes. More than a year later, this deal was put into effect. Last Saturday L. began the process of painting half of my room. Here is what it looked like after I rearranged all my furniture in a way that would give L. access to all the necessary walls.

L. arrived around 1 on Saturday. A rainy, nasty Saturday, and soon got down to the painting. I helped a little with some taping, but kept out of the way for the most part...the entire reason I don't want to paint is because I don't have the patience for detail that one needs to have a successful painting process.
S. said he was ordering pizza, so we jumped on that bandwagon and ordered the fresca pizza from Luigi's. S. ordered an artichoke and pepperoni pizza that looked quite tasty.
I sat at my computer and blogged and futzed while L. toiled. It was fun watching the progress.
Zul doesn't seem to mind all this activity. He may be glad that I finally did a good cat hair sweep after moving the bed. Ugh. Gross.
The evening wore on, a Rummy 500/St. Stephens Green break was had; a second coat of paint was painted; and chocolate beers were consumed.
L. started on the trim yesterday, and it's looking good. Also? I am sleeping in a bed fort and may rearrange my room so that I am permanently sleeping in a bed fort. Would this be creepy to you or awesome? L. didn't understand the awesomeness of the bed fort until last night, so maybe you have to see it to believe it. Soon enough that will be a reality.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


And this I find pretty funny. Though I guess it's supposed to be disturbing?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Soy/Garlic Chicken and Steamed Broccoli

So, one of my purchases at Costco was a 15 pound bag of grapefruit, and a hefty bag of broccoli florettes. The florettes have become a staple of my lunches (along with a boiled egg and aforementioned grapefruit) but even so, I needed to start eating more of it in order to be able to eat it all before it went south. I also bought two chicken breasts from Whole Foods. So, last Monday or Tuesday, I marinated the chicken in a soy sauce, sugar and garlic concoction for a few hours before browning them a little in my cast iron skillet and then finishing them off in the oven. Nothing revolutionary, but meals for the rest of week for sure.


I wonder what kind of sister I would have been. Probably not this's funny, you should read it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Imperial Oatmeal Stout and Cheesesteak Empanadas

Last week a number of us from work went to St. Stephen's Green for happy hour. I had this wake and bake coffee oatmeal imperial stout drink. The first three quarters of the glass were great, but that last 1/4 suffered a bit. Still, if you're looking for a new chocolatey beer to try, this would count. Though there's this other chocolate beer that L. had yesterday that was even better. Hm.
I ordered the cheesesteak emapanadas as a snacky, which were better than average. Tasty for real.
Good times.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dinner c/o Tinto

After our walk, we wended our way back to home. On the way there was a stretch of time where I was randomly figuring out how to hit Ridge or Kelly Drive, and it worked out but took a little aimless driving through Philadelphia suburbia. The pretty old house part of suburbia...actually still part of Philly I think, or not? Mt Airy? Chesnut Hill? Germantown? I feel like we saw a little of all of those places, maybe. Then, when we finally hit Kelly Drive there was a good two mile stretch during which L. and I were laughing so hard my cheeks hurt and I thought I was going to puke. The most truly of infectious laughter. It felt so good...even though my cheeks were worn out by the end of it. We talked about what we wanted for dinner and L. mentioned tapas, so I figured that Tinto might be a nice place to take her. The earliest reservation was 9:30, so we kept our hunger at bay with almonds and Laughing Cow cheese.

Now, on to Tinto. I started with a glass of sparkly wine because I wanted to.
Then we were served their complementary cheesy crispy wafer bread tube things with dipping sauce. These were good, but not as good as the complementary yucca magic of Chifa.
We ordered all sorts of things. The first of which was the mixed cheese plate. There was a boucheron, a blue, and a harder Spanish cheese. Served with apple slices, quince jam and love.
We also ordered the tuna tartare sandwich, which consisted of big eye tuna, pickled guindilla, and chorizo aioli. Served on a croissant, it was a nice mix of flavors. I liked the crispy as get out piece of meat that accompanied the dish, and I ate most of the spicy pepper provided as well...though I then had to drink a little more water to get my mouth happy. Mmmmmm.
Yeah. I liked this sandwich. Also, apologies for the fact that each photograph has a bit of its own color palette. Can someone please tell me the best way to handle low lit restaurant shots? I put it on a high ISO and then automatic without flash, but I'm sure there's a smarter way to handle it.
After our disappointing fried oysters at London Grill, and with my memory of how excellent the oyster sandwich was the last time I came to Tinto, I recommended that we try the oyster sandwich (L. had never had fried oysters before and I didn't want her thinking that they were lame when they are, in fact, awesome). And the sandwich did not prove me a fool as much as inordinately least when it comes to oysters.
The sandwich = fried oyster, choricero pepper tartar, sweet onion escabeche.
Next up were the Chicken brosheta (fancy word for skewer, I would suppose), which were, for me, miraculous and revolutionary. Each skewer had two cubes of chicken, and two grapes, and were served in these cute little shot/tube glasses with a base of garbanzo puree and truffle jus. Each cube of chicken was amazing. A little charring on the outside, succulent on the inside and chock full of marvelous flavor. And the garbanzo puree/truffle jus mixture at the bottom? I was glad they provided a small spoon with which to scrape each and every drop from the glass...because it had to be done. I would mainline this liquid if I could.
L. was very much attracted to the description of the truffled chesnut soup. I had remembered that different-L. raved about the soup, so I encouraged L. to try it, though chesnut soup has never been one of my favorites. Even with the duck & mushroom hash, fried quail egg, and pistachio components, the few spoons I had were just to sweet and rich for me. We also ordered the bomba rice with morel mushrooms, green asparagus, and lemon oil. By this time in our meal, we were feeling totally and utterly satiated and pleased, and sort of regretted ordering this dish and...well, the other thing we ordered that you can see below. Not because we questioned how tasty these things might be, but because our bellies were already overwhelmed with incredible (adjective as noun..I am fancy). We ended up taking a few bites of the rice and taking the rest of it home. Of all the dishes, it was the most 'eh.'
The roasted rack of lamb, with artichoke puree, some sort of gravy and potato chips, however, was anything but 'eh.'Though we had felt entirely incapable of putting another bite of rice into our mouths, we both got down to the lamb at hand with slightly food foggy gusto. The puree/sauces on the plate were addictive. I wanted a sauce scraping spoon knife thing, like my parents and I saw at Le Bec Fin.
Tinto surpassed my own expectations for tastiness. I knew it was going to be good, but I was surprised by how even the thing that impressed the least (bomba rice) was still a complex and interesting dish. Comparing my experience at Tinto to my earlier meal at Chifa is like comparing two different kinds of apples. They are both perfectly fresh, they both come from the same tree, and yet one is simply more awesome than the other. I left Chifa with good thoughts, but I left Tinto wanting to live there. I sort of forgot about that apple analogy at the end. Sorry.

I'll take 'An awesome time' for $1,000 Alex! What is my weekend with L! That doesn't quite make sense but whatever.