26 August 2008
25 August 2008
To celebrate, I took Heidi on a treat-gathering mission at Pet Supplies Plus because they have treats at doggie level so she could pick out her own treats (and shoplift a few in the meantime). I think she had fun. :)
23 August 2008
We started bright and early, hitting the road at 7:30 am. We got up there and got cracking, and we had the truck loaded in under an hour.
No problemo. We were all in pretty good spirits on the ride back to Ann Arbor. Picked up some pizza, got to the apartment, signed the lease, oh look, the new apartment is right by the pond, pretty! Oh, wait, where's the door? There it is.... Across the lot, on the other side of that huge incline, down that row of stairs, and at the far end of the sidewalk. And up half a flight of stairs. What mojo we had immediately disappeared the moment we saw what we were facing. Did I mention that my dad's entire apartment consists of ancient, heavy chairs and a couch... and 10 to 12 solid wood antique hutch pieces and tables? Omg. Even the drawers weighed a ton. But we did it. We kicked that wood's ass!!!! Soaking wet, red faced, and exhausted, we got everything in in about 2 hours... and not once did anyone even bat an eye. Those are true friends. I love you guys, and I truly couldn't have done it without you.
*Note, above rug placement is temporary. We have better taste than this.
All the changes have given us the re-do bug, so I've got lots of shopping and reorganization to do in my near future! TBD. Not now, though. Now it's nap time. I've got boogie Bang!-ing to do tonight!
PS: Late summer is bringing many visitors to our yard. Luckily, they are much more pleasant than our evil snake visitor!
13 August 2008
12 August 2008
I was also excited to visit my first real meat market (other than Necto, of course. he he he). Unfortunately, none of us felt comfortable buying meat, walking around with it, then spending an hour+ in the car with it, so we didn't indulge. But, despite my skeevy meat feelings, I loved walking through and checking out all the crazy stuff available. Like pig brains!!! (Unfortunately, no pig brains were on display. Sigh.)
That's my okra. Swoon. Also discovered this at Watershed with Sara, so when I saw it, I snatched it up. I made it for dinner that night with some chopped tomatoes and oil. Delish. Also thanks to the basil guy for the handy basil tip -- apparantly, you can freeze basil. Score.
It was an awesome day. I had a great time with Lisa and Brian, and I always love a little produce shopping. That being said... will I go back? Perhaps. It was cheaper, yes, but factoring in the gas and drive time and hassle, locavloralywise (ha! yes, I made that up), it kind of defeats the purpose. On my own? I think I'll stick to my local market. But if Lisa and Brian are headed back down, I'm totally in.
Mini-sidenote: Sara and Matt have been in town, and I've seen Sara THREE times. I might even get to see her again. Very very exciting. Smoosh. :) And Heidi and George have very much enjoyed playing with their BFF Kaia, who is so big now! Love you all!
You want fries with that shake?
03 August 2008
We've been talking about heading back since, and last night we finally made the move. The bartenders made such an impression on us that we immediately headed to the bar area. After a quick chat with one of them about Three Sheets, Brad ordered a Duvel, which Zane had tried on one of our favorite episodes (Belgium). I knew I had to try the Michigan harvest cherry antioxidant spritzer, and it didn't disappoint. Prosecco mixed with harvest cherry juice... Easy peasy. I will be making this soon!
Next, it was time to check out the new menu, which had the following statement (menus hot off the press just yesterday!):
Vinology is dedicated to supporting small local farmers and whenever possible sources ingredients at the height of their season from surrounding farm concerns. Local farms and businesses contributing products to today’s menu include: Tantre Farm, Back Forty Acres Farm, Rob’s Garden, Avalon Organic Bakery, Prochaska Farms, Chef’s Garden, Four Corners Creamery, and Kapnick Orchards.
Tantre? Avalon? I know those guys! Sweet! And the bartenders seem really proud of this new change and are eager to discuss the benefits of seasonal produce. It was fun to see such excitement, and there really aren't too many places I've found that make good use of all the great stuff available locally. The menu changes based on what's in season, roughly every two weeks.
Brad wasted no time deciding on the ribeye with local greens and fingerling potatoes. I'd had a big, late lunch (mmm grits and eggs at the Roadhouse!), so I wasn't super hungry and focused mainly on the small plate section. I knew immediately I had to have the squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese and served with a green tomato marmalade, and on a whim also decided to get the heirloom tomato gazpacho with crab and cucumber garnish (I've only tried one bite of gazpacho once and have never made or ordered it).
Our meals were so good, I was actually giggling with delight. Midway through, we decided it was the best meal we'd had in a long time. The squash blossoms weren't even in the same universe as the ones I made a few weeks ago, and even Brad enjoyed the one bite I was willing to share. The gazpacho wasn't like any I'd ever seen, and it was amazing. It was kind of the texture of cream of wheat, but not as thick, and the crab and cucumber added some nice crunch to each spoonful. I'm officially sold on gazpacho.
Room for dessert? Well, no, but hells yeah we're ordering it! Brad decided on the panna cotta on top of chocolate ganache (even ordering the recommended Port pairing) and I couldn't resist the cookies and milk. Three homemade (and warm!) chocolate chip cookies with a shooter of vanilla cream. Hello? YUM!
Do you think they'll get sick of us if we come in every two weeks to check out what's new on the menu? :) They're also open for lunch, and although I'm sure the lunch menu online isn't 100% accurate, it sounds delicious, and I can't wait to check that out, too. The bartender even told me you can pick up wireless from next door, so I'm looking forward to an afternoon lunch + work field trip.
It was nice because it was 8 pm on a Saturday and it wasn't insanely packed like most of the resturuants and bars on Main Street. Good for us, but probably not so good for business. I will be heartbroken if Vinology doesn't make it. So go! Eat! And enjoy. Lots!
Just a quick sidenote: I wasn't able to make it to the Farmer's Market this week, but I was pleasantly surprised with all the local goodies I found at Plum Market. Bread from Livonia, blueberries, green beans, Zingerman's cream cheese, zucchini, even tomatoes! (They had cherries, too, but I still haven't finished mine from last week.)
02 August 2008
And Jason, man, in on the sneakiness all along. Makin' movies with Rachel... Amazing. Have I said amazing enough yet? Amazing.
And to everyone else, love love love. Times ten! Times a hundred! I seriously have the best friends in the world. I am a lucky, lucky girl.
A special thanks to that sneaky husband of mine, who tells me everything but somehow managed to keep the whole movie a secret, even whilst filming in our house, in our bed. Who knew you could do it, babe? :)
Monday rolled around, and I was 30 for real. I had a mini panic late Sunday night. I decided to take Monday off, so hecks yeah I was staying up late on Sunday. I started to think, "Crap. should I have done X today?" and "Uh-oh! Should I be doing X now?" Luckily it passed, and thanks to those of you who were up late and counted down the minutes with me ("14 more to go!"). Midnight came and went and I didn't feel any different. Hmmm.
First order of business as a 30-year-old... Get a delicious breakfast. Meggie was still in town, so we met up at Afternoon Delight. I've been mad craving this dish since I finished it. Smoked salmon eggs Benedict (minus the sauce). Definitely easy enough to recreate, and I will be buying the items the next time I hit the grocery store. YUM.
And of course we weren't about to pass up free birthday frozen yogurt. With sprinkles.
Stephaniepalooza, as Brad coined it with a roll of the eyes, took a break until Thursday when it was time for birthday Mexican dinner with Aunt Sandy at our place (some jerks had taken our table!). That Sandy and Danny! They greeted me with a beautiful bouquet, and handed me a bag of... ones! And each bill was wrapped with a pink bow and a little tag, with a quality of mine they like. AWW! Seriously? So cute! So sweet! Again, I am simply too lucky.
...I guess turning 30 isn't all bad. :)