Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorite Moments of 2010

An early morning boat ride off the Gulf coast of Florida with Mom, Pseudo Pop, the W's, and a Bloody Mary.  Oh, and dolphins too.

Celebrating Valentine's Day with G at a palm tree shrouded pool in Las Vegas.

Taking the train through upstate NY for our first visit to Montreal.  And then meeting new friends Liz and Victor while we were there.

Learning more about tea, drinking tea, shopping for tea related items, and having a tea party.

Watching the beautiful final episode of Lost and going through lots of tissues.

Starbucks moments in downtown Ann Arbor.  Just me, my iPod, and a book.

"Hey, Mom!  Feel like going to Chicago tomorrow?"  And we did.

Seeing Harry Potter 7.1 in New Orleans with friends Mark and Andrea at an adults only showing at a theater that serves food and cocktails during the film.

Visits from fab family and super friends, Venessa and Courtney.

Learning how to properly play golf and loving it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Favorite Reads of 2010

 I read many books this year but these are the ones that have stayed with me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Favorite Films of 2010

So not all of these films came out this year, but I did see them in 2010.

The Ghost Writer (starring Ewan McGregor)
I was wowed while watching it and I'm still wowed just thinking about it.  In fact, I think I'm going to place it in my Netflix queue after writing this post.

Inception (starring Leonardo DiCaprio)
Mind blowing, visually stunning, superbly acted...a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle (courtesy of puzzlemaster/director Christopher Nolan).

Miss Marples (starring Margaret Rutherford)
I read a handful of Agatha Christie novels this year and did some research about film versions.  I discovered a series of Miss Marple films from the early sixties and was completely charmed.  Rutherford IS Miss Jane Marple and she's a delight to watch.  I wish they'd made more.
(Murder, She Said, Murder at the Gallop, Murder Most Foul, Murder Ahoy!)

The Other Guys
I loved the sendup of cop buddy movies and I loved Mark Wahlberg in a comedy.  The movie theater's sound system stopped working about 3/4 of the way into the movie.  I didn't get to see the ending, but this still made my list.

Toy Story 3
Just under the wire.  G gave me this for Christmas and we watched it this week.  It's always fun to see these characters again, it's a fantastic story, and it made me cry like a baby.  Pixar can do no wrong.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Celebration #2

Last night we had a fabulous dinner at Eve with our dear friends, P&J.

Eve is our special occasion restaurant in town.  Right before the family craziness of Christmas, we sit down with P&J and spend a cozy, leisurely dinner together.  And Eve IS cozy with maybe thirty tables and a small bar in historic Kerrytown here in Ann Arbor.  The interior walls are brick, the tables covered in white cloth, topped with tiny white vases holding a single sprig of fresh sage.

Once we were tucked into our table, I started with a tropical bellini, sparkling wine with passion fruit puree.  Per usual, we shared a plate of "Inspired Nachos", fried won tons topped with fresh plum tomatoes, avocado, black beans cooked with chilies and bacon, and Gouda, Jack, and cheddar cheeses.  Never a disappointment.

For the entree, I had the Moroccan scallops.

"Aromatic spiced and seared day boat scallops with a fresh carrot lime puree, creme fraiche, coconut-ginger rice and vegetables of the season."

I usually take photos of my food, but between the spirited conversation and my hunger pangs, I dove right into my scallops and forgot about the Kodak moment.  Believe me when I say that my meal was one of the best I've had all year.  The scallops were silky and milky on the inside, surrounded by a spicy sear of cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne.  The rice wasn't its usual quiet side dish self, but an in-your-face coconut-ginger wake up call which paired perfectly with the intensely flavored scallops.  The carrot lime puree wasn't exactly a puree, more like a finely diced carrot relish with lime.  The freshness of the carrot and the fact that it was a cold dish worked well to balance the actual heat of the scallops as well as the heat of the spice.

A long, lingering, delicious dinner is one of my favorite things.  Best of all though was the company at the table.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What to Read?


With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, my reading habit has been sadly set aside.  Most of my Christmas chores are done so now I'm ready to curl up again with a good book.  The problem is that I can't seem to find one that I want to read.

I've tried a few...Elegance of the Hedgehog, Run, So Cold the, no, no.  Apparently I'm in a picky mood.

So, should I try classic adventure and finish the Narnia Chronicles?  (I've only read the first two.)
Should I try some dysfunctional family drama and read The Corrections?  (Maybe not such a good idea at Christmastime.)
Should I just choose a straight-on classic like A Tale of Two Cities?  (This one is back on my radar thanks to Oprah.)

I feel a little lost without a book in my hand.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Check This Out

Mom gave me this cool gift pack from Starbucks. Inside was this cute mug with a rubbery drinking lid. It has already become a new fave. I think every beverage I drink this Christmas will be in this cool cup. Coffee, tea, juice, wine...
Right now my bev of choice is hot chocolate. Ghirardelli double chocolate. I was always a Swiss Miss girl growing up and that continued into my frugal singlehood. G introduced me to Ghirardelli in our early dating days and I've never looked back.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Braised Red Cabbage

From today's dinner...

Christmas Celebration #1

We celebrated Christmas with my Mom and Pseudo Pop today.  G shoveled and salted the sidewalks and driveway.  "No broken hips today!"

Today's menu included roast duck (for Pseudo Pop), beef tenderloin (for the rest of us), wild rice, noodles Romanoff, and braised red cabbage.  Oh, and we started with crab cakes.  Whole Foods Market advertised fresh Dungeness crab, cleaned and cracked, between 12-4 yesterday.  We arrived at the store at 1:30 to more fresh crab.  Grrrr.  G found a can of crab on sale, but I was crushed that I wasn't able to see the fishmonger cracking the crabs.  Though once I tasted a crab cake today, I forgot all about it.

After dinner?  Coffee, tea, and presents!  I'm so grateful for my family.  And for my presents.

This recipe has become a Christmas tradition at our house: