28 December 2010

home is where the mortgage is.

We're back in Austin.  I just stood barefoot on my front porch and I'm not contemplating which hospital has the best ER to treat frostbite.  This makes me very sad, but it's okay because my best friends in the world are about to descend upon my house and we're going to celebrate Christmas and New Years like it's no one's business.

On the road again

I'll update about the rest of my break when we stop moving, but I wanted to say hello from the road (i think we're near the  illinois/missouri border). Hello. :)

In the spirit of being efficient, I've been menu planning  new years eve dinner while I'm not driving. Thus far it looks like this:

Cheese plate from antonelli's
Antipasto salad
Detroit style pizza
Prosciutto, fig, and goat cheese pizza
Meatball stromboli

German chocolate cake (because I'm a bad wife and never made the 'sband a birthday cake... But shh, don't tell Colby.)

Also, I have a sleepy puppy on my lap.

27 December 2010

What I Did on My Christmas Vacation Part 1: The Anniversary

I got back from Boston on the 18th, with orders to finish up my paper draft and relax because another onslaught of work would be awaiting me on the other end of Christmas.  The past eight days have been anything but.  I spent the rest of the 18th cobbling together some figures for the paper and frantically packing.  I ended up with two suitcases filled with a lot of clothing that I haven't worn, some essential missing items that had to be bought on the road, and a bunch of encapsulated postscript figures that had some horrible artifact appended to the end of the files, thus rendering them unLaTeX-able.  We left at about 8:45 AM on the 19th, which was, indeed, our second anniversary.  The 'sband, the dog, and I spent the day getting out of Texas and driving through most of Arkansas, until we reached West Memphis.  We were pretty tired by then, but we found a pet-friendly hotel, unloaded our car, and then two of us (the tall ones) left for our anniversary dinner reservation in downtown Memphis, TN.  On the way we listened to this, because a roadtrip isn't a roadtrip until you listen to a little Paul Simon.  We arrived at the restaurant, Flight, a bit early and were seated immediately.  
See? Way tired. 
Our waitress was named Colby, marking the first time that the 'sband has ever met someone with the same first time.  We laughed, we ordered the carpaccio flight (beef tenderloin w/basil, lemon, parmesan; seared lamb loin w/blue cheese ice cream; tuna w/ wasabi sauce, seaweed salad) as an appetizer and I got the Tiny Bubbles wine flight (Veuve De Vernay brut, Gloria Ferrer brut, Lunetta prosecco).    I really enjoyed the Veuve de Vernay brut, as well as the Lunetta prosecco, though the Gloria Ferrer was forgettable.  The carpaccio plate was amazing.  The beef carpaccio was good, though it was basically what I expected.  The lamb wasn't so much "carpaccio" as it was just rare, which was also good, though underwhelming by itself.  The blue cheese ice cream was interesting and played well with the lamb, which is why I suppose they were served together.  The tuna was probably the best tuna I've ever eaten.  It wasn't just that it was a really nice cut of tuna, but it was completely balanced in flavor.  The combination of the smoky notes of sesame oil in the seaweed salad with the wasabi sauce and the tuna, was basically the perfect bite.

Between the appetizer and the entrees, I noticed that I had three missed calls from some random number I vaguely recognized.  It dawned on me that it was the hotel and I made Colby call them back.  I turns out that the babydog had been barking for about 45 minutes nonstop and that our neighbors were complaining.  We tracked down Colby (the waitress) and had her box our meal to go.  Everyone at Flight was completely gracious when we explained the situation and they offered to get our car from the valet early.  We went back to the hotel and our dog calmly (and happily) greeted us.  We then proceeded to eat the most expensive meal we've ever had in pajamas.  

Flight is called "Flight" because they offer the option of ordering small portions of each part of their menu.  The wines in the Tiny Bubbles flight were all 2 oz pours and the carpaccios were each tapas-sized.  The entrees are offered in the same manner, though you have the option of ordering an entire serving of one thing.  We both opted for flights.  I got the filet mignon in a red wine sauce with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and crispy onion rings (though these were delicate and not of the gross variety); the muscovy duck breast in a pomegranate sauce with butternut squash; and the Maine lobster in a lemon-butter sauce with asparagus in hollandaise and roasted purple potatoes.  It. was. awesome.  Colby got the tenderloin flight, which was comprised of pork with roasted root vegetables, veal with roasted carrots, and lamb chop with yams.  I tried the veal and the lamb and they were both quite delicious.  In order of deliciousness: filet mignon, veal, lobster, duck, lamb, pork.  Except, I don't know what the pork tasted like because I don't really eat pork.  Since Kimchi demanded our presence, we included her in the dinner as well: she got to lick the carry out containers after we were done with something. :)
Since we were robbed of the cupcake (cupcake!) dessert flight, we went to the local Waffle House, which was only place left open in West Memphis at that point, and ordered slices of chocolate pie and  pecan pie to go.  They were both pretty terrible and we didn't even finish them, but it was a nice way to try to round out the meal.  I think that this was one of the best meals that we've ever had.  I wish that we had a reason/way to go to Memphis alone to go back and experience an entire meal there, but if we do find ourselves in Memphis, we'll definitely be back.

18 December 2010


Astronopalooza is over though I still have some things to do when I go home. It was a really productive week, so I'm definitely ready to come home. Though it was not all work. I got to hang out with Ry and Michael tonight and I got to hang out (and got a cold from) Dave earlier this week.

08 December 2010


My goal was to have 300 posts by the end of the year.  This will be 296.  Hopefully between now and 2011, I'll be able to breathe, but I'll be doing anything I can to survive astronopalooza between now and the 18th.  Wish me luck.

06 December 2010


If you find me slumped over my desk dead, you'll know why.

Christmas Party Sneak Peeks!

I have the most talented friends!  Lauren, Chalence and Randi came over tonight to help me set up the house for my Christmas party on Thursday.  Colby and Chalence were on kitchen duty and Lauren and Randi put together some fabulous decorations.  It's going to be sooo much fun! :)

Can you guess the gift giving theme of this event?  Lauren drew this awesome picture of a Christmas elephant.  You know, because elephants are totally the go to animal of the holiday season.

Randi made this adorable penguin and igloo out of card stock, construction paper, and a whole lot of tape and then made paper snowflakes to match the wintry theme.  I made the North Pole sign.  Clearly my friends are far craftier than I am.  :)

02 December 2010

Hello, December.

It's been awhile.  It seems like I've been blogging a lot lately, but that's just because I've actually kept with my research blog posts.  Thanksgiving was a blast.  It was only Colby, the babydog, and me and we never left the house.  Our turkey was delicious and I highly recommend heritage breed turkeys for those of you who actually like to eat turkey with flavor, not to mention the fact that these turkeys have pretty okay lives for something bred to be eaten.

Since Thanksgiving, though, we haven't been cooking much.  Our kitchen is still recovering.  It's kind of a sad state of affairs.  We've either been eating out or eating things that require little to no effort.  I'm under the gun on this paper that I'm trying to write.  I need a draft in the next two and a half weeks, so it's going to be kind of nuts.  In addition, I've started to try to run again and let's just say that there's a reason why I run at night when everyone else is asleep.

And now my new goal is to have either a picture or a link in every post.  This might get challenging for my recipe posts, but it might also mean that I figure out how to use my camera phone to its fullest potential.  Or something.

Found on facebook: Medical Researcher Discovers Integration