Monday, January 28, 2013

A Weekend in the Burgh

One of my best friends lives in Pittsburgh.  I wish she lived closer, but at least she lives in a cool city. The Megabus also goes there so I don't have to drive.  

I had off Friday and Monday so I could leave early Friday Morning, which was great since it was like a 6 hour ride.  I of course arrived late and ended up not having a seat to myself, or even a window, totally bumming.  

Now, if you know me, I love to eat.  So of course I had to eat my way around Pittsburgh.  For dinner, we went to this noodle place called Noodlehead in Shadyside.  I ordered the pad thai, with a spice of 2, I think it goes up to 5, with 5 being blazing hot! It was actually plenty spicy, I didn't have to add anything extra, actually I am pretty sure I downed 6 glasses of water.  T and I also ordered a Ginger beer to split the bottle labeled it "hot, hot, hot." Yeah, that did not help calm the fire that was burning in my mouth.  However, it did meet my need for a good ginger beer.   A good ginger beer should not be able to be chugged, it should be sipped because of the spice.  Oh, we also ordered these pork belly steamed buns, with some type of pickle slaw, soooo delish!

After dinner T and I had a few hours to chilax before we went to see Les Miserables.  The theater was super cute and the food was super cheap compared to normal AMC/Regal prices. They also had a full bar. Winning!  Then after consuming a medium popcorn we headed over to the all night diner, yup and ordered more food. I love diners and cheap food. I got a caramel sundae, YUM!  and mozzarella sticks, yes the perfect sweet/salty, hot/cold combo.  I think I gained like 5 lbs that weekend.

Does this look staged?!
We slept in Saturday morning and then went for our 6 mile run.  I signed my girl up for the DC half marathon in March, so I have her on a training regiment and she's been so good about sticking to it.  I however, haven't been all that diligent.  My running buddy, aka my husband, does not always like to run and I don't enjoy going on longer runs solo.  C'est la vie.   We ran along the river, highway, over a bridge and through a cute town.  

Dinner that night I had made a early birthday reservation for T at Lidia's Italian Restaurant, Lidia is apparently Joe from Master Chef's mother(I learn something new every day). Teresa got the restaurant week special, four course meal and I got the Lidia's Pasta Tasting Trio served table side(unlimited servings), with Caesar salad and dessert.  

The Breadsticks were delish!
Teresa had a roasted yellow and red beet salad with goat cheese.  Soo the "it" thing right now.  Too bad I think red beets tasted like dirt.
Her second Primi was homemade ravioli with roasted almonds(I forget what was inside, was it butternut squash?) 
Her main dish, chicken parmesan with eggplant. 
My trio of pastas, rigatoni with meat and parpadelle with vodka sauce and peas and a 4 cheese ravioli with a browned butter sauce and freshly cracked black pepper- that was my fav!
Final course: Dessert
T got Tiramisu and I torta di mascarpone con cioccolatta.

Sunday Morning we had brunch
I had the Challah french toast with fresh berries and a fig jam, potatoes and the most delish bacon. Teresa had crepes with asparagus and a cream mushroom sauce, also with potatoes. 
Later that afternoon, prior to departure we decided to visit the Andy Warhol Museum.  Let's just say he isn't one of my favorites. I am more of a impressionist lover, Monet, Degas, Renoir...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Highlights of 2012

Better late than never......

You know, I can't really complain about how 2012 went.  I have my health, my loved ones a job that I like.....well, most of the time.  :-)

But....if I had to break it down to a handful of my favorite parts of 2012 these are some of them:

January 2012:
Began with dinner with some great friends. A quiet evening with plenty of food.

March 17th 2012:
Ran my first half marathon, Rock n' Roll DC half, which of the three I have run, was my best time.  I was also well prepared for it, despite the "hills."

April, Spring Break 2012:
Our first vacation with friends.  Usually we vacay solo. This time we went with two other teacher couples. Works well when you have the same schedules. We went to Jamaica, the cheapest we could find.  There are never any spring break specials, always before and after for us.

May 2012:
Ran Race for Hope, in memory of my dad with two of my best friends at their inaugural run!

June 24th 2012:
Celebrated our 6th anniversary in one of my favorite cities, NYC! We stayed at Grand Hyatt above Grand Central Station. It's super modern and super convenient to everything, we also saw Newsies!!! And, got to "meet" some of the cast members and got my pictures with them. 

August 2012 
Hit up Rehoboth beach. I heart the beach and we had so much.  Hope we can relive it again this year.

-oh yeah, and..... my dirty 30!   My bestie, Meg took the train in and we got out nails did, I also got some eyelash extensions. I felt super glamourous. 

Sold our condo!

End of September 2012
Moved into our new HOUSE!

October 2012
Got our corgi puppy, Pepe.  Gary said, as soon as we got a house we could get a corgi. He's super calm and super sweet. Love that little bundle of fur. Thankfully all the pets get along.  

Dec 31 2012

Cut down our first ever Christmas tree!

Ended the year with some great friends, the same two who we started the year with.  This time we went out to eat. Melting pot, time to loosen the belts, oh yeah, and wallets.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Last cooked meal of 2012

I have started to dedicate my Fridays to preparing fun meals.

We haven't been home since before Christmas break, much needed by the way. But the last meal that I made my hubby and I was a rack of lamb.  I've never made it before.  I've always wanted to, ever since I saw Matthew McConaughey prepare it for Kate Hudson in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." One of my all time favorite movies by the way. 

So, the last time I was at our new Costco I saw a lil baby rack. Thought, what the hey..... and voila.....

I got the sides and herbs at the local market: Eastern Market, one of my favorite places to shop on the Hill.

I purchased fresh rosemary and oregano for the rub.  I chopped it up and mixed in some EVOO. I also chopped up some garlic to add to the rub. The longer it sits, the more the flavors seep in, however, I was only able to let it marinate for an hour or so. However it still had tons of flavor. I also cross scored the meat so that I could rub the mixture into the cuts.  

 I also bought fingerling potatoes. I also brushed them with some of the rub, added some additional smashed cloves of garlic and sprinkled with kosher salt.  I started roasting them up first because I hate when my potatoes aren't cooked enough.
Green bean almondine, I boiled the beans with again, some smashed cloves of garlic. Are you getting that I love garlic?!
Toasted almonds - yeah toaster oven
 OF course I took a picture of my chopped garlic!

 There it is just coming out of the oven. Beauty eh?!


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