Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Beginnning Vacation & Serious Snow

Ben arrived just in time for the first big snow storm of the year in New England. Our Friday night plans of visiting people quickly changed to staying home and watching movies.

And going out to dinner in downtown Northampton

Massachusetts knows how to handle a snow storm. They cleared the roads quickly, allowing us to head down to New York on Saturday afternoon. We stopped at my uncles house in Mount Kisco, NY, and then make it to my parents house later that evening.

I have not celebrated Hanukkah in many many years. Ben has never really celebrated. My parents gave us the full experience. We attempted to play dreidel, lit the menorah, ate latkes, and opened lots of presents!

Aunt Sheila's dark chocolate Hanukkah cookies

My parents dog Misty has no manners, but her massive floppy ears and bark that sounds like she has a sore throat are very redeeming

Cookies from Viking Bakery...same as when I used to work there!

Tres Leche. Ben and I picked up this cake in a local bakery. Unfortunately my family members are on various diets that don't include cake....damn Atkins diet.

"Understanding Your Dog For Dummies"

Lets hope that my parents are not successful in fattening Indy while Im gone. She is not off to a good start.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Tart

Apparently people have been eating tarts since Medieval times. They can be either sweet or savory. Right now I am preferring sweet!

I worked in various bakeries during high school and college. During that time I did not eat any animal products, which was difficult when surrounded by beautiful pastries and the smell of butter. I was always drooling over the mixed fruit tarts with custard. The fruit was glazed and carefully arranged on top of a creamy, yellow custard. Now that my only limitation is that I eat good quality, organic animal products I am learning to make the desserts that I spent years staring at.

A standard bakery tart

I decided to make an apple tart for a potluck. I always make apple crisp because Im intimidated by pastries and until recently would not have been willing to use a whole stick of butter and a bunch of egg yolks in one recipe. It was easy and the Pink Lady apples gave it a lovely flavor. I can't wait until summer...Im going to make all sorts of fruit tarts! I used a recipe by Paula Deen, (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paulas-party/apple-tart-recipe/index.html) It was very good, but next time I'm going to try this one from NPR by Betsy Block. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4715960

My 1st tart. Oh yeah I need a tart pan

Unless I make a rustic tart.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Border Collie Family

This weekend I made the trip to York, PA to play flyball as usual. It was especially fun and worth the 6 hour drive to meet the people that own Indy's dad and two siblings (Orion Border Collies). The tournament was filled with lots of Indy's relatives that all look alike. None as much as her red brother, Drive.

Indy's sister Sprint

Indy did really well and is hopefully back on track after messing up last weekend in Montreal. She helped their club beat their time record with a 17.1 second race.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Whirlwind Thanksgiving Weekend in Seattle

It all started on Wednesday at 4 pm. I forgot that I made my flight reservation to leave from Newark instead of Hartford. No big deal, only an additional four hour drive. I was a little bit stressed because I still had to drop Indy off, pack, and get to my parents house in New Jersey with enough time to get some sleep before my flight first thing on Thursday morning. That all went as smoothly as could be expected.

One of the best parts of my trip was seeing my boy Ari!! I miss him so much. He was disappointed that I missed his Halloween bee costume, so he put it on for me.

Our friends from Hawaii, Ted, Jaymie and their baby Azure are staying at our house. So when I finally made it home, I had about 2 minutes to say hello to them before we had to leave to get to Joy and Chris's house for Thanksgiving dinner.

Ben prepared a roasted root vegetable dish and Joy made the rest of the food, which was all very impressive. We had turkey breasts (my first in 15 years), biscuits, green salad, mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted root vegetables and deviled eggs. All the standard Thanksgiving comfort foods. For dessert we had pumpkin and chocolate pies with homemade whipped cream. After that meal I felt satisfied, relaxed and ready for a nap. It was great to see Joy and Chris and their dogs, especially Ezri (Indy's younger 1/2 sister).

The Adiletta dogs were treated to their own Thanksgiving feast. I would eat that dessert.

I miss Ezri already

Deviled Eggs...Joys staple Thanksgiving dish

Gluten-free Cornbread

Who needs turkey bacon when you can have turkey wrapped in bacon!

The next morning we went out to Portage Bay Cafe for breakfast with Jaymie and Azure. Eating out with a fussy baby is not fun for mom. We took turns entertaining the baby so Jaymie could eat! Ben and I both had wild salmon omelets.

Jaymie and Baby Azure. So cute!!

Later Ben and I did our part of contribute to Black Friday shopping. We wanted to support our local economy so we bought a new camera from Kenmore Camera. We ended up with the Canon Rebel Xsi with a 2 lens kit. Hopefully you will see an improvement in the quality of the photos now.

We made it back to to house just in time to meet Brooke, one of my best friends. We met shortly after I moved to Olympia, WA and have stayed close ever since despite both of us moving around over the years. She is settled in Portland, OR, so visiting is easy when I'm in Seattle. We both enjoy just sitting around talking and drinking tea and so that is what we did. We all went out to dinner to our favorite Japanese restaurant, Kisaku for sushi.

Sorry Brooke, somehow this is the only photo I have of you and I just had to post it. It looks nice next to all my food photos!

The next day I got my fill of my Vietnamese food for lunch (I have been dreaming about fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce since I left Seattle) and then after a little more relaxing we headed down to Federal Way for Rudy's birthday party. It was fun to hang out with our flyball buddies and help Rudy celebrate.

We had just enough time to meet up with Kate and Jacob on Sunday morning for Mexican breakfast at Senor Moose. Wow. I didn't know how much I like Mexican breakfast until this. The combination of beans, avocado, corn tortillas, and eggs smothered in salsa hits the spot.

And that was my trip to Seattle! It went by super fast. The short trip was totally worth the nightmare of delayed flights and 8 hours of driving to and from Newark.

For those of you that are wondering how Indy's flyball tournament went....not so good. She had some ball dropping issues and so they decided to pull her. I guess she didn't like holding her ball while I wasn't there. We have another tournament next weekend in York, PA, so we'll see how she does. I'm going to do a lot of work with her on holding her ball this week.

Amanda gave Indy a cool new toy to bring home....this toy is now a mass of white fluff all over my apartment.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New York City & Waiting 8 weeks for Border Collie # 2

I spent this weekend in NYC visiting my friend Rachel. We have known each other since before we remember and are still really good friends. We always have a good time together. Her and her boyfriend Teddy have a beautiful apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. NYC was unbelievably cold...painfully cold. I had to borrow some of her winter stuff.

Rachel's Apartment

Waiting to go for a walk. Border Collies can survive in NYC!

Rachel and Teddy

Inside the Apt

Cute little kitchen

On Friday night we went out for Haitian food in Harlem and then had a lazy Saturday morning, making it to brunch by 1 pm. We went to a place called Hells Kitchen (http://www.hkhellskitchen.com/). I had a unique dish that was a spinach pie on a croissant with eggs. It was cooked perfectly. The draw to this place is the unlimited refills on bloody marys, mimosas and screwdrivers. I did not enjoy this offer, but everyone else thought it was pretty exciting.

Later we went to Erins (a friend from NJ) 30th Bday party in Brooklyn. It was good to catch up with some old friends, especially Lyz who we met up with later that night.

Rachel and Lyz

The Dare X Corrie puppies are finally here! Since she had 6 we are definitely getting one. Ben is extremely excited. I'm disappointed that I won't be there for most of his/her puppyhood. Poor Ari thought he was done with annoying border collies and now he is going to be stuck with another baby one (the worst kind in his opinion). Ben will be flying to pick up his new puppy in about 8 weeks. Here is the breakdown of puppy colors:

red tri girl
red merle girl
blue merle tri girl
black/white boy
red merle boy
black/white girl

They will be posting videos regularly here...