Friday, February 27, 2009

Psychic Connection?

It seems like practically every time I talk to my mom or sister on the phone the other one will call while we're talking. Or when I call one of them, she's on the phone with the other. I kid you not, it must happen at least 70% of the time. We don't talk all the time either--maybe twice a week or so? And we don't talk at the same time every time. It's just odd.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reading List

I love books and I love food, so it goes without saying that I would love books about food. I found this fun list of Food-Related Non-Fiction on GoodReads.

Of the first twenty listed, I've read:

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table by Ruth Reichl

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell

A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain

Ruth Reichl is my absolute favorite food author. I'm not sure which book I liked best. And I thoroughly enjoyed all the others.

I think I need to add the rest of the top 20 to my TBR (to be read) list:

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection by Michael Ruhlman

The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten

My Life in France by Julia Child

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute by Michael Ruhlman

Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steve Almond

The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher

So...have any of you read those in my TBR list? Worthwhile? Anything that is missing?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Local Chef Wins Big!

Woohoo! I was surprised, but very pleased that Boulder chef Hosea Rosenberg of Jax Fish House won Top Chef. His meal looked great and I'm so pleased to see a local win. Looking forward to seeing where he goes from here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our Night Out at O's at the Westin

B and I got a sitter and enjoyed a night of Denver Restaurant Week at O's Restaurant at the Westin Westminster. If you didn't see my earlier post about it, Denver Restaurant Week is an annual event where tons of local restaurants have special prix fixe menus for the price of $52.80 for two people. It's a great way to try some of our finer restaurants without shelling out the usual dough.

Chef Ian Kleinman is the only local chef that I know of (which might not be saying much) that is doing menus with molecular gastronomy. After reading several online reviews of his restaurant, I was curious to go and experience it for myself. The prix fixe menu for the week is here.

We had a great meal and didn't think to take pictures--a testament to our level of enjoyment--but there is a great review with pictures at the blog CulinaryColorado.

For appetizers, I chose the 148 Degree Egg with Grilled Tomato, Prosciutto and Cherry Balsamic, a fun and delicious play on ham and eggs. B had the Lump Crab Cake with Avocado Relish, Watercress and Sriracha Caviar. I loved the spicy "caviar"--my second favorite dish of the night. For entrees, I chose the Sous-vide Dijon Chicken with Pastrami Hash and Rosemary Air and B had the Grilled Salmon with Shitake, Asparagus and Hoison Brulee. The latter was very good, but my chicken was absolutely delicous. It was cooked perfectly--very tender--and the dijon and rosemary flavors were great. But I surprisingly loved the pastrami hash. Together the flavors made the dish very German tasting. It was quite hearty.

The desserts were sadly disappointing. I had the Vanilla Custard with Peach Air and Tapioca Pearls. The bananas and peaches on it were very unripe and the dish had a metallic taste to it. B had the Liquid Nitrogen Whipped Blueberry Ice Cream with Grilled Yuzu Pound Cake and Caramel. The "grilled" cake had an over powering burnt flavor. Ick. But despite the desserts, the other dishes were all so good that we didn't mind so much.

After, we went to Paris on the Platte wine bar . I really like this low key place and I worry that the two times I've been there (both on Sat. nights), it's been fairly empty. They have a great selection of wines by the glass and bottle. Not a huge selection, but a very good selection. I actually started out the night with a French absinthe, served the traditional way with a sugar cube placed on a slatted spoon and a match used to caramelize the sugar into the glass. I loved the ritual of it all. The taste was okay, and (un)fortunately, I didn't have any hallucinatory Oscar Wilde experiences.


Our bartender was great and had the cleverest tattoo--a handle bar mustache on his index finger so he could hold it up over his lip. He was very knowledgeable about the wines and suggested an excellent Spanish red, that I have now forgotten the name of (damn!).

Despite the reviews on Yelp, I was a bit disappointed in the Chianti board, which included bread, prosciutto, salami, cheese, veggies, and a dipping sauce. It was decent, but not great. They play good music at the bar and later had a guitar player and vocalist who were very good.

Here's our poorly done phone picture from our night in Paris:


Worth Sharing Here Too

Controlled Chaos reminded me that I should share this site here too: F*** My Life. I haven't laughed so hard at a website in awhile.

Some recent posts I enjoy:

Today, I called the florist and ordered a flower arrangement for my grandma, who I was told was sick. I said I didn't know what to get her, so just to send her something nice. I got a call from my mom calling me an inconsiderate bastard. They sent my grandma forget-me-nots. She has Alzheimers. FML

Today, I went to the hair salon to cut 6 in. off my hair. When I got there I decided to get my upper lip waxed for the first time. When my boyfriend came to pick me up for our date I asked if he noticed anything different about me, the first thing he said was "I see you got rid of you mustache." FML

Today, I was interviewing a cute guy for my journalism class, and he asked to borrow my laptop to check his email quickly. After the interview, I realized that the last thing I had searched for on my browser's Google box was "ingrown pubic hairs," and it was still up there. FML

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Seriously Have a Problem

I love love love getting wine in the mail. Not sure why, since I love wine shopping in an actual B&M store. I guess I just love getting stuff in the mail, and since I love wine...well...

I have a case of half 2006 Sauvignon Blanc/half Chardonnay from Moon Mountain Vineyard on its way to me. Yay! We joined their wine club when we visited in Fall and they offered members a deal of a case for $99. Now I'm really looking forward to warmer weather!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm Giving Away 4 Tickets to Disney on Ice!


MomCentral has been so kind as to give me a family four-pack of tickets to give away on my blogs. The show is on Thursday, March 12th or 13th at 7:30 pm at the Denver Coliseum. To win, just leave me a comment on this post with your email address and date you would prefer. I'll randomly pick one winner between this post and a similar post on my other blog. I'll then contact the winner by email for information on how to get your free tickets.

In addition, MomCentral is offering a discount code so that anyone can get 4 tickets for just $44:

Just log onto
Select a performance.
Enter the coupon code: MOM in the MomCentral Promotion box.

Show dates are
Thursday, March 12: 7:30 pm
Friday, March 13: 11:00 am, 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 14: 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 15: 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm* (*Spanish Performance)

Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Not valid on Front Row or VIP seats or combinable with other offers.

So please leave me a comment below and don't forget your email address so I can contact you, if you're the lucky winner!

I know my boys are excited about this show. They are The Incredibles biggest fans.


You can have your choice of tickets for March 12 or 13. The contest will close on Noon (MST) on March 3.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bitchapalooza II - VEGAS BABY!

My best friend Erika and I have birthdays exactly one week apart. We met in 1987, when I threw a going away party for her boyfriend who was leaving for the military. Somehow he ended up getting out of joining--not sure how that worked--and the party was unnecessary. But after I let her sleep in my bed where she cried and left make up all over my pillow, we've been best friends ever since.

We've been through tons together: break ups--both boyfriends and an engagement; we were eachothers' maid/matron of honor; children; etc.

On our 30th birthday, we decided to throw a bash of all bashes. She lived way out in the boonies of Appalachia, near Athens, Ohio, home of Ohio University. We organized a festival in our own honor called "Bitchapalooza" with tons of people from all over Ohio camping in her yard, bonfires, etc. It was a fantastic night. Here's a picture of me the morning after, pretending to drink from the huge ass wine bottle we finished the night before. It's SO nice that her husband is a wine distributor! I think this picture rather fits in with the "theme" of pictures I tend to post on here.


Unfortunately, you can't really see it well in the picture, but we even had t-shirts made up for the festival, which I'm wearing in the pic. It's a silk screen of a print my friend KG made from a photo my friend Phoebe made of me at my bachelorette party. Can you tell what it is? Here is a b&w version of the print. (Hint: that's my combat boot at the top of the pic).


I remember that morning we had the most fantastic breakfast at the fabulous Casa Nueva in Athens, a co-op owned Mexican restaurant that specializes in wholesome ingredients. I swear they have the best hangover breakfasts in the world. Or at least they did.

Damn, I got sidetracked by the thought of a CN breakfast...

So anyway, we've been talking for a few years about a Bitchapalooza II for our 40th. And what better way to do that than a girls weeekend in Vegas? Well, we're pretty good at talking shit like this and not following through, but yesterday I called her up and said let's get this done. And we did! We found an awesome deal for airfare plus 3 nights hotel plus 2 tickets to the Cirque de Soleil show of our choice for just $264! We're going to stay at Circus Circus, which I haven't heard great things about, but who's cheap and we're doing it. We plan to see the Beatles "Love" show for our free tickets.


And to finish up, some lovely pictures of us throughout the years. Yes, we are goofballs. And yes, we used to drink too much. The last is just a couple of years ago. The calmer, more gentle Erika and Julie. You can see we've known our husbands for a very long time.







Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Sign of my Age?

So I got this cool new phone--a Blackberry Pearl flip phone. It's my first phone with email, web, etc. (phones: they're not just for calls anymore!). Dang, this thing is complicated. I'm starting to feel I need to take a class on it or something.

Yeah, I'm a technical idiot.


Friday, February 6, 2009

25 Things

Since I spent too much time doing this damn thing for Facebook, I'll make double use of it.

1. I have an inherited condition called Benign Essential Tremor, which makes my hands shake like an old lady. When I’m feeling poorly or take certain medications it makes them worse. Oddly enough, alcohol makes it better (at least temporarily). Another excuse to drink up!

2. I’ve been friends with my husband since 1986. We were roommates for about 5 years before we dated. We’ve now been married for 10 years.

3. I spent my junior year of university in Salford, England and then went back after graduation for 7 months to work in London and travel.

4. My husband and I were in a band together. I sang and he played guitar.

5. I would rather read a good book than just about anything.

6. I was very shy when I was young. I attribute this to moving to new schools several times when I was a kid. Each time got harder and I got shyer. Now I don’t really consider myself shy at all, but I can be a little reserved until I get to know you.

7. I’ve been told by numerous people that I’m intimidating and I don’t understand why. I don’t bite—really!

8. I haven’t eaten beef in many years and don’t because of the reasons listed in this book: “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” However, I just read that book for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I actually was a vegetarian for many years for the reasons there, not because of the “usual” reasons. But now I realize I would prefer to be more of a “locavore.” Eat local!

9. I am quite proud of my bargain hunting accomplishments—finding deals and using coupons.

10. If I don’t get “alone time,” I go a little crazy.

11. I’m glad I have two boys, because I tend to get along with boys better than girls.

12. Yoga is my savior. It has pretty much cured my back problems.

13. I won two spelling bees when I was in junior high and went to the NY State finals twice.

14. I like to think of myself as an “outdoors” person, but I’m really not. I’d rather just curl up inside with a good book.

15. I love my Tivo so much I want to marry it.

16. I have a cat named Marge and she will be my last cat because I’m allergic to them.

17. I am such a “classic” Taurus, it’s scary.

18. I was brought up in a very conservative religion—born again fundamentalism.

19. I am about as liberal as one can get.

20. I have an unhealthy love for trashy reality TV.

21. My current favorite hobby is Food and Wine, not necessarily in that order.

22. I skipped second grade.

23. I still don’t know what I want to do with my career.

24. My favorite thing in the world is Saturday morning bed cuddles with my guys.

25. Thinking of 25 things to say about myself is surprisingly difficult for someone so self-absorbed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The World is Slightly Less Cool Today

I am so very, very sad that Lux Interior, the lead singer of The Cramps died yesterday from an existing heart condition. He was 62.

The Cramps are my all-time favorite live band and have brought me much joy over the years. I will miss Lux and his penis.

RIP, Lux. Thanks for the music.