Friday, February 25, 2011

A few for Friday

1. Did you all watch the shuttle launch yesterday? There is something so inspiring, so patriotic about watching them. You can't help but smile and say "Go America!" I thought in honor of the shuttle, I'd share some photos from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where the Space Shuttle Enterprise is on display.

2. The weather has been super lousy in DC lately. It was 70 degrees a week ago and now it's cold and raining. But I saw that my neighbor's tulips are starting to poke through the ground and that makes me ridiculously happy.

3. I'm really in the mood to shop. That's probably not good for my checking account balance.

4. We leave for Barbados two weeks from today. This also makes me ridiculously happy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

January Book Review: Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

I love Anthony Bourdain. I want to be Anthony Bourdain. Imagine: travel around the world with some TV cameras following you, meet fascinating people, eat incredible food. And write books. Great books. Usually.

I read my Dad's copy of "Medium Raw" while I was in Barbados over Christmas. Having read "Kitchen Confidential" at the end of last year, and really enjoyed it, I had high hopes for "Medium Raw." Which were dashed.

Reasons I loved "Kitchen Confidential":
- it was funny
- it offered true insight into the restaurant world, a world I frequent a few times a week
- it offered true insight into who Anthony Bourdain really is
- Mr. Bourdain used his usual colorful language throughout, but it didn't detract from the book

Reasons I didn't like "Medium Raw":
- it flowed horribly - each chapter was its own story
- Mr. Bourdain's colorful language showed up every two words on the page. It detracted from the book.
- it offered no insight into the restaurant/TV/cooking/celebrity chef industry, but instead offered a forum for his rants, raves and otherwise meaningless blabber.

Okay, maybe that last bullet was a little harsh. But, plain and simple, the writing was just not up to par in this book. I love a good story. I love books that I can get lost in, and read 50 pages without even realizing it. I love Anthony Bourdain in person, on TV, at Les Halles, and in his other books. I just didn't love him in this one.

Recipe Tuesday: My big, fat, Greek yumminess

I clipped this recipe out of the Parade magazine a few weeks ago. You know the free one that comes with the Sunday newspaper? What? You don't read a hard copy of the Sunday newspaper any more? That's tragic.

Anyway, always on the look out for healthy recipes, I was excited for this one. I plan on serving it tonight with grilled chicken and toasted pita for dinner.

from Molly Ringwald's recipe in the February 13th Sunday Parade (yes, THAT Molly Ringwald)
makes: a LOT
serving size: 2 TBSP (yeah right)

- 4 cups fat-free Greek yogurt, strained
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large cucumber, shredded, with juice squeezed out (which is important or it gets too watery - you can just squeeze the shreds in your hands over the sink)
- 3oz olive oil
- 1.5 oz white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt

Directions: Mix the ingredients in a bowl and let infuse for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, before serving.

Store in the fridge in an air-tight glass container.

Goes great as a dipping sauce with grilled chicken, grilled pork loin, raw veggies or plain grilled pita.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The way to a woman's heart...

So I've really been slacking on this blog lately. I've been putting a lot of time and energy into my travel blog, View from the Middle Seat, (which I know you're all reading) that my blogging energies have been zapped.

Did you have a good Valentine's Day? Brad and I have never really been ones to celebrate Valentine's Day much. Sure, we watched "Will you be my valentine, Charlie Brown?" on Friday evening and gave each other over-priced mushy cards, but I generally find the whole holiday to be ridiculous.

That was until Brad gave me my present on Monday night. It was wrapped in pink and red heart wrapping paper, much too perfectly for Brad to have wrapped it himself. As I tore off the packaging, I immediately recognized the brushed-gold box. Move over Tiffany, because this box has the ability to wow me even more than your turquoise one! (Brad, you can disregard that last sentence)

Inside: Malley's heart-shaped, peanut butter filled chocolates.

I let out a squeal of joy and ignored the voice in my head saying 'You know, this is totally going to screw up your healthy eating plan you've been sticking to so religiously.'

My husband is THE. BEST. Not just because he got me chocolates on Valentine's Day. But because he got me chocolates on Valentine's Day from my favorite candy store which is located four states away.

And they say that the path to a man's heart is through his stomach - ha!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A few thoughts for Tuesday

Sorry I didn't write on Friday. 'Tis a bit crazy here!

1. Have you seen "The King's Speech"? If not, you should definitely go see it! Brad and I don't see many movies (in the theater or otherwise), but this one was definitely well worth our time and money. The acting is supurb, the cinematography is excellent and the music is perfectly chosen. I'll definitely be rooting for it on Oscar night!

2. Have you been following all the action in Egypt? I think it's absolutely facinating to watch. I can't imagine something like that ever happening in the U.S., because we just handle things differently. It has really re-sparked my love of foreign affairs and brought out the wonky poli sci nerd in me.

3. Have you ever been to Trader Joe's? If not, and there is one near you, get thee self there immediately! What a fantastic store! Last night we went in there to buy naturally dried fruit (since the stuff I normally buy for my oatmeal is full of added sugar) and came out with tons of healthy Super Bowl snacks. I also love that they have a handy guide to items that are low sodium, something that is important to me.

4.One of my new years resolutions was to read a book a month. The initial book I chose for January (a 450 pager) is taking me longer than expected, so I'm going to make that my February book. Be watching this here blog in the next few days for a review of a book I actually did read in January.

5. Are you following along at View from the Middle Seat yet? If not, well, ya should be!