Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yves sent me beautiful flowers for Valentine’s Day. 2 dozen roses! Here’s is the Instagram photo.

I decided to do something a little different and ordered chocolate covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements via a friend’s recommendation. Since there was a local branch, me and Sienna went to pick them up today. The strawberries were very tasty!

Here is the card I made for him.
When I saw this image of the kissing kids in a heart, I had to have it from the Silhouette store. I turned it into a pop-up card. It really came out cute because you can have them do the kissing motions by just opening and closing the card slightly. I just love images of kissing kids (although I kind of dread the day when Sienna has her first kiss! Ironic!)

The Chew Taping

Last month, on September 29, I woke up at the insane hour of 5:30 to attend a taping of the new ABC show, The Chew. It was Rosh Hashanah so Sienna was off from school so I had my dad sleep over the night before since I had to leave so early! The Chew is a talk show centering around food with 5 co-hosts. It replaces the long running, now canceled All My Children so it already has that running against it. I have a friend who hopes the new show will be canceled so they could bring back AMC. I think she ignored me when I said even if they cancel The Chew, they aren’t going to bring back AMC, at least on tv! Anyway, the taping was at 7:30 allllll the way up by Lincoln Center. I went with Brenda, who told me about the tickets, and Joy. I won’t lie to you, I was hoping for some good swag or at least some good food to taste! Got neither (unless you consider a Mickey Mouse apron good swag!)

A self portrait

The taping was really like any other show taping. There’s a comedian there to get you in a good mood and to tell you when to clap. Paula Deen was on the show and although she is not my favorite chef, it was fun to see her. She really is like how she is on TV! Very personable. They did actual cooking on the show and it was such torture to smell all the goodness! The taping ended around 10:30 and there were seats available for the 2nd taping (there are 2 tapings on Thursdays). No way! We are going to go eat! I am actually surprised Brenda was able to keep her eyes open, having come home at 1 am the night before. No sympathy as she was at the Radiohead show at Roseland!
My bad photo of Paula Deen
Brenda dealing with work issues
All done!

I had wrote in my Facebook status that I was going to the taping and my friend told me to say hello to Clinton Kelly. She is good friends with him and they went to high school together. I actually had the chance as he was in the audience talking with someone. Nice guy! Michael Symon also seemed like a personable guy as I noticed he was chatting with several audience members. The others, well, they really didn’t even turn our way. Not a criticism, just an observation! And as a coincidence, Yves had videotaped Carla Hall the day before as she was a former Girl Scout!

Now, on to lunch! We decided to go to Shopsin’s! It’s been so long.
I ordered poutine (exact name on their menu, I don’t remember!) MMMMMMM!
Brenda got a pancake sandwich with bacon and eggs. They don’t skimp on bacon!
I think Joy got some sort of baked potato with fresh ricotta?

Of course, I had to stop off at Economy Candy! All in all a nice day!

10 years

On Friday, Yves and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary! 10 years ago on Friday, we went to Vegas to get married and a handful of our friends and family joined us. We had planned it earlier that year as October is my favorite month. It was nice to get so many well wishes on my Facebook page. Our friend, Rob, who went to Vegas with us, reminded us of how his room in the Tropicana hotel had mirrors on the ceiling! LOL! He also wanted to make note that he did not request the mirrors! HA! Yeah, ok! 🙂 Anyway, we celebrated on Friday by going to Morton’s Steakhouse. I knew of the place, having bought a gift card for friends Bill and Laura, who were moving from New York to Chicago a few years ago (all the cdmomers chipped in!). Our friend, Jana, highly recommended the place so we said, why not?

Here’s the photo they took of us. The service was wonderful and everyone wished us a happy anniversary. The food was so good! I am still full from the dinner on Friday! We opted for the steak and seafood special. They started us off with warm onion bread. I could have easily eaten the whole thing! But I only cut off 2 pieces! I ordered the chopped salad and Yves got the caesar. I love that salad! It was so delicious! I’m going to have to attempt to make that at home. I got the Shrimp Alexander with my filet mignon. The shrimp was jumbo, lightly breaded with a butter wine sauce. MMMM. I also ordered the brussel sprouts sauteed in bacon and shallots! Yves got the lump crab cake with his filet and the grilled asparagus with balsamic glaze. I was already half way full when our entrees came! I was only able to eat half of my warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream! It was so good but I felt like I was going to burst! Yves got carrot cake. It was very light and fresh but it had cloves in it, something that Yves doesn’t like. If it wasn’t for that, it would be the perfect carrot cake! He ended up taking home the carrot cake. It’s too bad I couldn’t take the warm chocolate cake home!
My chopped salad, you can see the onion bread in the back!
Sorry for the bad vegetable photos but I just wanted to make sure I document them. We ended up taking them home too.

Afterwards we had originally thought of going to check out a movie. Going to the movies is not something we do often since Yves has unofficially banned going to movies. He ALWAYS seems to get stuck sitting by the noise makers! But since it was a special occasion, we were thinking of giving it a go. Well, we were so stuffed from dinner that sitting down for a movie did not appeal to us. We had to walk it off! So we decided to walk down to the Brooklyn Promenade. It was very nice! We haven’t been down there in awhile. We also took a few night shots, which we used to love doing!

All in all, a very nice evening! Oh, here is the card I made for Yves too! Very simple.

Into the City

During the middle of Sienna’s spring break, we went into the city to have lunch with Peter, or as Sienna calls him, Uncle Peeder. Sienna really enjoys riding the subway into the city although she pretty much asks if it’s time to get off at every stop (starting from the 2nd stop from our house!)
Entertaining ourselves while waiting for the train
Checking out the scenery outside

Pete and I both enjoyed the short rib pierogies at Veselka last time so we decided to go back. This time I got the meat combination because I knew I could give Sienna the kielbasa portion of my meal. Pete also gave me one of his short rib pierogi (thank you Pete!).
They gave out wikki stix, a nice change from the standard crayons.
Pete showing off the bracelet Mike made him for their 1 year anniversary! The dark beads are made of the roses Pete gave him from their monthly anniversaries! (Cute AND crafty!!)
My meat combo sans kielbasa (off to the left on Sienna’s plate)
Pete humors me by making goofy faces when I take his photo
We stopped by Sundaes and Cones for ice cream afterwards.

Pete had to go back to work after that so I decided to check out the newish playground at Union Square. Of course, while we were still eating ice cream, Sienna had to go to the bathroom. We hightailed it outta there and I was hoping to be able to make it to Whole Foods to use their bathroom. I realized we probably wouldn’t make it so we stopped into the Amsterdam Billiards. I usually don’t like to do that but they were really nice and accommodating.
Notice how she is wearing a t-shirt now? I knew she was going to be hot in the long sleeved shirt even though she was so adamant on wearing it. Good thing I brought a short sleeve shirt for her to change in! But she was still hot…(it was a beautiful day!)
I told Sienna she shouldn’t be doing that out in the open! HA!

China Max

My friend Jana has been raving about her and Allen’s favorite Chinese restaurant to me for a few months now. Yves was a little leery to accept any of Jana’s restaurant recommendations given the long list of things she won’t eat (bananas and beans being 2 of them!) We finally went with them to sample it for ourselves a couple of weeks ago. So it is now official, China Max is delicious!! Jana’s raving of their fried pork dumplings is justified! Their favorite waiter, Jimmy (whose name they didn’t know until I asked that night!) is very attentive. When he realized that Sienna also liked the maraschino cherries (as does Emma and Leah), he brought out her own little dish of them!

So we ordered the fried pork dumplings (very plump, not greasy and delicious!), sesame beef (the beef tasted like good quality beef, big, thick pieces!), happy family (chicken, beef, shrimp and scallops in a brown sauce) and fried rice. The portions were pretty big. They also have a sushi bar, which Allen always orders from. He offered me 2 pieces and I have to say, the sushi tasted very fresh! Melt in your mouth fresh! Jana says they always order the same things so don’t even look at the menu and don’t even have to tell their waiter because he knows! Jana always gets the combination chicken with broccoli and fried rice. Since she never eats the egg roll, Jimmy no longer brings her one and doubles up on her rice instead. I forgot what else they got but after Jana saw our sesame beef, she said she was getting that next time.
Emma and Leah share some hot and sour soup
Pork dumplings
Happy Family (they give a lot of scallops!)
Fried Rice
Jana’s chicken with broccoli
Their other dishes
Sienna really likes the beef!
My fortune?
Because of conflicting school schedules, the kids don’t see each other as often so it’s nice that they got some play time after dinner. They are playing with their “magic sticks.”

Can’t wait to go back to China Max! I wouldn’t mind some pork dumplings right now!

Dim Sum and Date Night

Here’s the 2nd in a series of food posts. I went to dim sum with my parents and aunts in Queens on the first day of Sienna’s Spring Break. I forgot to take note of the name of the restaurant but they were having a weekday special where all the dim sum was $2. Needless to say, I stuffed myself and I actually did not eat much dinner later that day! There were the usual standard fare (none of Yves’ favorite-funkore-probably not the correct spelling!) and then a few different items. Chow fun noodles, fried chicken (never actually saw fried chicken at dim sum before), some crab meat dumpling wrapped in rice and muscles with a cheesy like topping. Everything was pretty tasty.
Chow Fun
“I’m gonna eat you don tat”
Fried Chicken
Crabmeat with rice, this was eh
Mussels with cheese like topping. The mussels were good, the topping not so much.
Sienna thanking Aunt Helen for the stuffed dog (among other toys she got from her!)
I really dug these lamps
Sienna asking who I was taking a photo of!

The next night was date night! We dropped Sienna off at grandma’s and grandpa’s and headed over to The Burger Bistro. You get to choose every aspect of your burger, from the bun and meat and cheese and toppings! I was tempted to get the lamb, as I do love lamb burgers, but since it was our first time there, thought it better to see how they make their beef burgers. We started off with one of the special appetizers, frito pie. Basically nachos with frito chips instead of nacho chips. The waiter really played up the dish but it fell short of expectations. Oh well. Thankfully the burgers made up for it! It was huge! I got beef with cheddar, portobello mushroom and bacon on a whole wheat bun with a side of frizzled onions. It was very good. My only complaint was that the bacon were crumbled into bits. I much prefer they were kept in strips. I’m not sure what Yves got and I didn’t get a good photo of his burger. Definitely beef and probably bleu cheese!
This didn’t warrant the $7 price tag and I hate when places use sliced cheese melted over nachos!
Can you tell how huge that burger was? (I did not eat breakfast the next morning!)

LES mini food crawl

Last week, Brenda was able to answer my call of distress and go out to dinner with me. I had a bit of a crazy week with Sienna being sick and in need of getting out of the house. Sienna had a fever for 4 days!! She’s never had a fever that long, usually any OTC meds I give her for fever takes care of it within a few hours or by next day. Her fever would reduce but then it would come back. She also complained about her ears hurting (she had an ear infection in both ears last month!) and a bellyache so we went to the doctor. The doctor said her ears were fine (thankfully!) but that she had a throat infection! Total surprise on that one. Since the throat infection was viral and not bacterial, he didn’t give her any meds. I felt so bad for her. She started getting better by the 5th and 6th day and it was actually the aftermath of the sickness that drove me batty! Mopyness and whinyness…she is now back to her usual, happy self! Whew!

Brenda suggested we head out early and go to The Meatball Shop. Been wanting to try this place as my friend Pete likes it AND they’ve been on the Martha Stewart show!
Brenda got the Everything but the kitchen sink salad with spicy pork meatball (she shared one with me!)
I was tempted to get the naked meatballs but you could only pick 1 protein so I opted for sliders and got veggie with spicy meat sauce, chicken with mushroom sauce and beef with tomato sauce.

My favorite meatball was probably Brenda’s spicy pork! They were all good (although I wasn’t too keen on the mushroom sauce) and I definitely want to go back to try more. But wait! Here is the best part and probably the main reason I would go back; homemade ice cream sandwiches! I love that you could pick the cookie and the ice cream (which is housemade! Awesome!!) Brenda chose the one I would have picked, chocolate chip and mint so I got the ginger snap and vanilla, which actually was the better one. I loved that they use fresh mint but it was a little too much. The ginger snap was so good and just the right amount of ginger.

Since we were in the ‘hood, had to drop by Bisou Ciao and picked up 2 macarons for home, the salted caramel and blood orange with dark chocolate filling. Do I have to tell you they were delicious?

Our next stop was Baohaus. When Brenda sent me the link and asked if I wanted to stop by after meatballs, I said hell yes!
We got the Chairman Bao, which is pork belly. Very delish! Definitely need to go back to try more!
A very small place
Cute family photos on the wall

And of course, how could I not pick up some Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes to take home for the family (big wink)?
2 pistachio (by far their best), a peppermint chocolate and spicy pumpkin. And proof that family ate it:

More photos of food excursions to come as it just so happened that I went out to eat 4 days in a row! Oy, my belly…


Sheng Wang with Joy and Brenda. Everything was so good!
Boiled dumplings (bought a bag of frozen ones for home)
Oxtail noodle soup with fried egg on top. The oxtail was disappointing but everything else was good!
Brenda got tendon with spiced egg, tendon was the way to go!
Joy got pork chop over her noodles, she wasn’t thrilled with the pork chop.
We were delighted to find meat in the fish balls. So good and I also bought a frozen bag for home.

A couple of weeks ago, went on a date night with Yves to Sally and George’s Place. The food was good but the experience was a little less desirable. There was a table nearby where the father was hacking phlegm every few minutes and the daughter, aside from sounding like a 12 year old, never seemed to learn about having an inside voice so I heard about her philosophy of life throughout dinner. Oh fun.
Assorted appetizer plate.
I got lamb over rice
Yves got kafta kebab

I met Tammy and Co (Alison, Stephanie and Jen) for brunch at Bubby’s. I was so looking forward to the homemade corned beef hash! It was a disappointment! Too much red peppers and it overwhelmed the whole thing. Tammy got Eggs Benedict, Alison got boiled grapefruit and shrimp and grits, Jen got pancakes and Stephanie got an omelet. The smallest girl at the table suggested we get an order of french toast with bananas and berries for all to share! My kinda girl!
Both Alison and Tammy are due any day now so I expect to hear about a new addition to their family very soon!!

I also met Pete for lunch a couple of weeks ago. We went to Veselka’s. My camera battery died and the extra one I carry with it was also dead! HMPH! So I only managed to get one photo of my Ukranian meatball sandwich with sweet potato fries. It was ok. I prefer the italian meatball way. You can also see in the corner of the photo the order of short rib pierogies we shared. That was awesome!!

So if you don’t think I’m a glutton already, here’s the last one to round out the latest food outtings! I’ve been attending a monthly poker night (altho so far we haven’t actually played poker!) with some local moms but this month we had to rearrange schedules and couldn’t get a room for poker. So we decided to go out to eat to Il Fornetto‘s this past Friday. I was very close to bailing out on it because Sienna was sick all week with a fever, throwing up and throat infection. Yves even called in sick on Friday since Thursday night was really tough (I ended up sleeping on the floor of Sienna’s room, which I don’t usually do ever! This might be the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve done so in her 4 years!). Yves encouraged me to go since I’ve been cooped up in the house all week and since it was local, I did go. I’m so glad I did. It was a fun evening with the ladies!
My order of lamb scallopini, one of the specials of the night. Very yummy and the lamb was tender!
Jana got chicken cardinale
Shirley got filet of sole
Daniela got caesar salad because she already ate dinner
We all shared 2 orders of warm chocolate cake. MMMMM

Thing a day 2011

I participated in Thing a day again this past February. I didn’t post much about it on this blog but if you click on the logo, it will bring you to my flickr set of thing a days. Each photo has a link to the posterous blog for further details about the project.

Maritime Aquarium

We met up with Tammy and Zack at the Maritime Aquarium up in Norwalk, CT. I have to say that I wasn’t that excited about the aquarium (but was excited to see Tammy and Zack) as the reviews were good and bad. The aquarium rocks! The only aquarium I really know is the New York Aquarium and I have to give it up to the CT folks! They are both small aquariums but I think the Maritime one seems to have a lot more stuff. Not only that, there is an awesome burger place right down the block. Burger Bar and Bistro had one of the best burger and fries I’ve had in a long time. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I had such a wonderful burger!
On to the photos!
(I LOVE the jellyfish exhibit, I could stand and stare at them for hours if I could!)
Sienna touches a horseshoe crab!
Monkeys having some sort of important discussion (I just realized they both have monkeys on their shirt!)

Sienna and Zack had hot dogs
Yves got the boomer (goat cheese, mushrooms and truffle essense). Me and Tammy both ordered different sliders and split them! I got the chimi (argentinian cilantro sauce, garlic, avocado) and Tammy got the Ultimate (sweet onions, gorgonzola, pancetta and aged balsamic). The fries were DELICIOUS but no photo of them!
Zack plays connect 4
Ride ’em cows!

Overall a very nice day. I can’t wait to go back to the “aquarium!”

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