Sunday, February 28, 2010


I totally forgot to post my favorite pic of us in NYC! Here it is:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Start Spreadin' The News...

When I got to DC, not only did I have pretty pretty flowers, but there was a SURPRISE looming.

JJ has never pulled off a surprise... until now. I've guessed every present that he's given me, I knew when he bought the ring.... he pretty much fails at keeping a straight face.

I got to DC on a Wednesday. He said I'd have a surprise on Friday after he was done with work... and boy, did I have a surprise!

He told me on Thursday night. WE WERE GOING TO NEW YORK! For those of you who don't know about how we met, here's a brief recap:

I had recently been dumped
He was moving to NYC (well, Hoboken, NJ, but... same thing) to go to The French Culinary Institute
We got set-up
We liked each other
He moved
I cried (don't tell, it's a secret)
He wanted to keep dating me
I went to Jersey for 2 weeks to visit my bestie, Katie (holla)
JJ was conveniently in NYC
We hung out a lot
We fell in lurve
He moved back


Since then, JJ and I have always thought that New York was "our town"...well, sort of.

So I was pee-my-pants excited about going to "our town". And rightly so.

We took Greyhound (4 Hours from DC to NYC... $20. Can't beat it), which was only slightly scary. I packed a picnic (PS I went a little picnik happy with our photos, in case you can't tell) lunch of french bread, gourmet cheeses, veggies, berries, and apples, and off we went! Unfortunately... we went off without our digital camera.

"No worries! We'll just stop and get one of those disposables!" he says.
"That'll take $#!+ pictures!" she says (pardon her French).
"It'll be fine, we never look at pictures anyway," He says.

Smug boy... too bad all the pictures did end up... well, you know.

We got there Friday night at around 6, checked into our BEAUTIFUL hotel room at the Hotel Mela, and JJ told me that the biggest surprise of all was going to be at 10:30. I was so excited! I knew it involved food (my favorite thing), and he had told me I needed to get dressed up, and I just so happened to have a dress burning a hole in my closet. That's not a saying, but you know what I mean.

We got all gussied up, thanks to my 2 favorite J things of the moment: JJ and J.Crew:

Not so bad, if I do say so myself.

JJ called a cab (with the help of the door man at the hotel), and he whisked me off to LE BERNARDIN, as in, one of the only Michelin 3-Star restaurants in NYC. As in, delicious delicious fish. As in, Eric Ripert. As in... google it. or you could click the link I just provided.

We decided on the $20/per person more expensive, but not highest expensivity(it was so delicious I made up words) prix-fixe menu. I feel like I'm speaking French in this post, because I'm pretty sure not very many of the things I'm talking about are things that normal, not-food-obsessed people know about. And because that was French.

A prix-fixe menu is a menu where you pay a certain price and then get a certain amount of food. These can range from starter-entree-dessert things (think 2 for $20 at Chili's) to 9 course chef's choice menus. This restaurant, being very un-Chili's, served the latter.

It was 9 courses of deliciousness. My most favorite was the first course, which was a thinly-pounded fillet of tuna served raw over a super-thin slice of baguette with foie gras patee spread on it. Dee. Lish. Us!

Here are some pics of the greatness that occurred:

Tiny Desserts (including a tiny donut) / Gelato, mange blanc, and liquid pears / Surf & Turf / Someone Cute

Oh, it was so legendary. And it reminded me of how I found another food weirdo (also pictured above) to share these kinds of legendary moments with me--and he also thinks that they're legendary! What can I say, I'm in lurve. With food? Yes, but also with that guy.

We had all of Saturday and half of Sunday to laze around, eat, walk around town, eat....

Highlights of the rest of the trip: Eating at Balthazar (ordered the raw oysters, they were ultra fresh and not at all scummy), walking around Canal Street and not buying anything (except a coat and some gloves, but those were not on Canal Street, per se...), and eating at Stage's Deli:

I had the Matzo Ball Soup and a Salami Sandwich. JJ had an Open-Faced Roast Beef Sandwich and a Cel-Ray Soda, in honor of his late Grump-pa Balish. Everything was so delicious.

On Sunday morning, we decided to go back to where Stage's Deli is, so that we could get some of the street food we had seen earlier.

We stood at Port Authority eating a Gyro and a mixed Gyro plate. Yuuuummmmmm.

When JJ and I got back to DC, we went and got chicken at Pollo Rico with Micah, and then JJ had to go to bed--some people have to work.

When he got back from work on Monday afternoon, he looked like this:

Poor, tired, little guy. I guess our weekend wore him out. After all, it gets tiring falling in love all over again.

Monday, February 8, 2010

She'll Be Mad That I Hijacked Our Blog...

Even though this is our blog; aside from an occasional comment, I let her run with it. I am too irresponsible and undependable to be trusted to post regularly.

If you read this blog from somewhere other than the east coast, then you may have heard that DC was recently hit with some snowfall totaling 20-30 inches. To put that in perspective if you live in UT and say "so, what's the big deal?"--that's like about 7 feet to you. Here, people have been known to cancel school on the mere threat of snow; half an inch, and it's a sure thing.
So after being snowed in for almost three days with no work or internet to entertain, I decided to go venture out and see what was going on. Here is what I saw:

This "sidewalk" is actually pretty good. Apparently there is no obligation for businesses that own a piece of sidewalk to clear it...ever. It seems that someone needs to fall, break their friggin neck, sue, and win a large settlement to teach them. Good luck with that.

The Key Bridge: a scenic way to get into Georgetown.

The spires of the Georgetown cathedral are pretty iconic. Also, if you see these on your right when driving--you are on the GW parkway and will be heading north for awhile, whether you wanted to or not. Just sayin'.

This area has been suffering an epidemic for many years now. It's a serious condition called "jogging." Infected people look outside at two feet of snow, sketchy roads, temps in the low teens, and say "I think I'll go for a jog." I literally have recently seen joggers darting around traffic as it skids on ice. At what point are the health benefits outweighed by increasing odds of getting hit by a snowplow?

DC "skyline", if you can call it that. Washington Monument on the far right.

You can't build tall buildings in DC, but you can across the Potomac in VA. So whenever movies want to show a gritty urban high-rise shot, set in DC, to build the drama of a bogus conspiracy plot...they actually show Rosslyn. (Also home of a great pho place and a condescending burger joint, btw.)

Georgetown is one of the older parts of the city. It has gentrified beyond belief (3 million dollar townhouse anyone?) But it retains some of its charm as one of the few neighborhoods with "character" that is also safe at night...I think that's all I'll say. Oh, and those are the stairs from The Exorcist. I used to think that was the scariest movie ever made. Now I think of it when I eat pea soup.

There is also a shopping epidemic. This is mostly due to the demographics of the place; but still, it's outta control. VA and DC are currently in a snow emergency status. Things are borderline disaster here but when you need some $300 jeans, I guess you just need 'em. M Street was hopping!

Georgetown has a cool canal with locks for boats, I guess. They are obviously not in use and have been kept around for purely historical and aesthetic reasons (and to make your townhouse more expensive if it's nearby, I presume).

The Kennedy Center from across the Potomac. The scene of our "we welcome ourselves to DC" date. The pier where I took this pic is, in summer, quite a scene. It's quite a party, replete with pervy old dudes in houseboats and yachts trying to get cute girls on said watercraft. And by "party", I mean gross. I guess that is what rich people around here do.

Nothing to say about this. Just though it looked cool.

After this I walked to the metro and went home. We are supposed to get another 20" of snow tomorrow. That will be interesting. And by "interesting", I mean suck. At least I have my internet back, so I will be streaming a netflix marathon.

The end.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Simmer! Simmer Down Now!

Okay, I get it. I'm super interesting. Or y'all are so bored with your lives that you read my blog all the time and try to match it with stuff I say on Facebook.

In my defense:

I'm busy.
I work full-time at my dad's office and have 9 credit hours this semester (my final semester, might I add).
I travel. A lot. 'Nuff said.
I have friends.
I'm sickly. (Current news: Sinus Infection. 'Tis the season.)

Yes, I am aware that I:

Was surprised with a trip to NYC
Had fun with JJ
Went to a 3-star restaurant
Ate at Stage's Deli
Rode on Greyhound

Yet I'm also aware that I took all of the pics on a crappy disposable camera because I forgot the digital.

I'm aware that you get these developed and then you have physical pictures.

And I'm also aware that posting with no pics is boring.

Which is why you're going to have patience with me. I will post when I can.

Thank you, and good night.

Chicken Enchiladas

Ahh, another recipe. This one if for one of JJ's favorites, and was pretty well-documented, if I say so myself.

Any time I ask JJ what he wants when I go to Arlington, he always says enchiladas. I think it's boring to eat the same thing over and over, but he doesn't seem to mind (I guess that proves that he really likes them). Whenever I make them, I make another batch and put them in the freezer so that he can just bake 'em up one day and feel like he gets a home-cooked meal. I'll modify the recipe so that it's just for one batch (7-8 big enchiladas), but you can double, triple, quadruple... whatever you want! The pics will have large amounts though.

We go to Costco and get rotisserie chickens--1 for each recipe. They're bigger and cheaper than the ones that you can get at the grocery, although I have used a roasted turkey breast in place of the chicken before.

Thoroughly pick the chicken, taking off all of the skin and fat. I leave the white meat in chunks and shred the breast meat finer.

Mix together:
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup (it actually makes a delicious difference if you use Campbell's here)
1 16-oz tub of Sour Cream
1 or 2 cans of green chiles, if you do 1, leave the sauce, if you do 2, drain the sauce from one
1 TBSP hot sauce (we use Tapatio, but any kind is fine)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Divide the sauce--Put about half or 2/3 into the chicken, depending on how much it needs. It should look pretty saucy:

Put some of the chicken mixture onto a burrito-size tortilla (you'll need 8ish), and wrap as shown:

First, fold the burrito into a funnel shape (I learned this from a show about Taco Bell).

*MIGHT I ADD: When I was making enchiladas, JJ was supposed to be the photographer. He was.... indisposed.... when I was folding them, so I decided to take these pictures by balancing the camera on my chest and pushing the button with my chin. NOT BAD, if I say so myself.

Fold the large end of the funnel and tightly wrap the filling in the tortilla, burrito-style.

Put the burritos into a well-buttered casserole dish, making sure they're in there tight.

Cover with the remainder of the sauce and like half of a small bag of shredded cheese. JJ likes the Mexican blend, but I find that all of those shredded semi-soft cheeses taste the same. JJ gets what JJ wants, as you can see:

Bake in a 325*F oven (bottom rack) for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the top is golden. My favorite part of cooking it at a low temp for a long time is that the bottoms of the tortillas get crispy.

We serve this with hot sauce and a green salad. JJ makes the salad. I forgot to take a pic until I had already eaten like half of everything. Notice that I have 2 beverages--One is water and one is JJ's new homemade ginger ale. I also bogart the hot sauce.

I asked JJ if I could take a pic of him eating... here is the result:

What a weirdo.