Monday, November 12, 2012

Long Weekend, First Snow and Zabar's Plus

First snow on the mountains this year! View from the dog park

We had an all around rough week last week that left us exhausted, thankful for our wonderful lives and appreciating each day together. We were both exhausted and so relieved after the stressful evening Tuesday (I don't think we even realized how stressed we were until we woke up so happy on Wednesday with a huge weight off of our shoulders). Andrew came down with a nasty bug that kept him up all night on Wednesday and led to a trip to the emergency room Thursday night. And, we received heart breaking news about a beloved and amazing aunt who passed away this weekend. Yeah, it's been a rough one.

Luckily we had a long weekend to recover. We slept an insane amount - starting Friday night when I went to bed at 7:30 - and laid around a lot, and cuddled with the dog girls, and talked about our next adventures. A year ago at this time we were in Nicaragua, and we are seriously missing the beach.

Such a sweet husband...

We woke up to the first snow of the year on Saturday morning. Up until this weekend, it has been in the 60s and 70s, and we have still been wearing sandals and summer outfits. Now it really feels like winter, and the holidays are just around the corner.

In between all the sleeping, dreaming of beaches, and talking about when the ski resort may open this year, we had a nice little birthday dinner for Andrew. We called it Zabar's plus because we had our normal Zabar's dinner PLUS steak on the salt block. We received a salt block as a gift for our wedding. I had never heard of it before, and honestly, it seemed pretty weird. But, we've figured out how to use it properly, and now that we've used it quite a bit, the food we cook on it is gaining more and more flavor. We bought a rib eye steak from the Whole Foods and sliced it into strips. We could each cook the strips to our desired rareness. So good!!

We drank Gruet sparkling wine and a bottle of Mas de Gourgonnier, which has a special place in my nostalgic heart. I drank it when I was in college, and the year I taught in France, when my mom was visiting, we visited the winery. I told the woman that we drank her wine in Minneapolis and loved it, and she was so pleased. Unfortunately, this wine is now $19.99 per bottle, and while it is a fine wine, it really isn't worth that much. I knew it when I bought it, but I ran into it at the liquor store, right next to the Château de Flaugergues of all wines - a winery that is just outside of Montpellier where I studied abroad. A huge nostalgic ka-bam! I couldn't resist!!

We spent today eating greasy hamburgers and taking a long walk in Diablo Canyon with the girls. We haven't been back there since Lola's surgery, and she did great! We were reminded of how happy we are that she had her surgery and is back to normal.

We'll go back to work tomorrow well rested and extra thankful for all of the blessings we have in life.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's November...

Thanksgiving 2005 in Taos

And you know what that means - Thanksgiving menu planning! I usually scour the bon appétit and blogs for new ideas, but since we missed Thanksgiving dinner last year while we were in Nicaragua, I want to go with our traditional favorites. I'm going to research new appetizers, but the rest is going to be our tried and true favs.

2012 Thanksgiving Menu Chez MeghAndrew 

Appetizers - TBD, but we'll probably serve at least one of the usual suspects
Apéritif - Gruet sparkling wine with dancing pomegranate seeds

Salad - Mixed Greens with Blue Cheese, Cranberries and Candied Pecans
(I'm also considering making a New Mexican Christmas Salad since we'll be traveling this year and might not have the chance to make it for Christmas)  

The Ultimate Turkey, obvs... 
Our local coop sells turkeys raised locally, and they are always very tasty.

Grand Marnier Apricot Stuffing

Andrew's special Sweet Potatoes - yet to be determined is what letter we'll put on this year... 

Green Bean Casserole - this will actually be new to us this year, but my sister's boyfriend is visiting and has requested it. You know my aversion to cream of xx cans of soup so I'm going to find a recipe that is more appetizing to me. I'm thinking that the pioneer woman's recipe looks promising. Any other ideas, folks?

Rolls - Andrew likes potato rolls but we're also considering making biscuits. I guess this is tbd too...

Dessert - my favorite pumpkin pie and apple pie with cheddar crust. My sister has also requested sweet potato pie with graham cracker crust. I haven't had great luck with graham cracker crusts but we'll see.

And, of course, we're planning a day trip on Friday, which is really just a good excuse for a picnic with our favorite sandwiches and mimosas!

Are you trying anything different this year? What menus are you planning????

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hiya, Sweets!

Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet hubby- you're the best - the cutest, sexiest, sweetest, smartest, nicest, strongest, darlingest, and did I mention frick frockin' CU-test man I know. Hey, I love you!! Happy 33rd! xoxo

And, Baby Blue Eye would like to remind you, the readers (all eight of you), to VOTE today!

Monday, November 5, 2012

72 Hours in Seattle

We took a quick weekend trip to Seattle for our anniversary this year. It's part of our new plan to lift our self-imposed austerity measures and start spending more money doing fun stuff now instead of holding out for some big thing down the line. It was a ton of fun, and I think we'll start taking more weekend trips.

We picked Seattle because the tickets were pretty cheap, and I had never been. Andrew's family used to live on Bainbridge Island across the Puget Sound from Seattle so we didn't need to do any research or really much planning before we went. We stayed at the Ace Hotel in Belltown and spent all of our time in the downtown area.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

LIfe is Good Today

dans la cuisine

Uffda, it's been a long week - a long several weeks actually. I've been super busy at work, and I haven't had time to cook much. We've been eating out and picking up take out more often than I'd like to admit. This weekend Andrew and Lola headed to the cabin to continue repairs after the break-in.  I wasn't quite ready to go back yet, and I decided to stay home and relax. 

I haven't been sleeping well, and I've been stressed at work so I really just wanted to sleep and recoup this weekend. I haven't had much energy to plan meals let alone cook them, but after 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep on Friday night, I was awake at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning. I stayed in bed for a few more hours hanging out with Elsa and thinking about what I was going to COOK! I spent all day today cooking, cooking, cooking! 

I made pasta sauce with Italian sausage and red peppers in the slow cooker, chicken stock for green chile stew and chocolate chip cookies from the Rebar cookbook. It was so fun to spend the whole day in the kitchen chopping, mincing, sautéing, simmering, mixing, baking. I even took a nice little nap during the day's activities, and now I'm watching Amélie and waiting for my loves to come home from Taos. Life is good today!

Tomorrow, I'm going to make the green chile stew and bake a carrot cake with the last of our carrots from the garden. 
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