Wednesday, September 29, 2010

sandwich heay-weight champion of the world

Last month my oldest sister, Amy, called me to ask if I was interested in watching her four kids while she took a much needed vacation to Hawaii. Without much thought, I jumped at the opportunity for a free trip to California, and so it was that Bria and I ended up on a plane two weeks ago. I braved the four days with five kids like a champ, and then had seven extra days to play with my sister and her kids, and my brother and his kids. Plus I have a little crush on the Bay Area-- it's great to have family there so I can visit often. And remember what I wrote in my last post? About how Bria was whiny and grumpy because she didn't have her older cousins to play with? The same is true again. Seriously. I think I bore her to tears/grump/sass.
And of course, I had some amazing food in Cali. Seriously-- the two best sandwiches of my life. While I was eating both sandwiches, I remembered the last time I gave that title to a sandwich. I have no qualms in renouncing my former claim and bestowing the title on these new beauties. They were basically the same: turkey, cheese, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, avocado, (bacon on one), and mayo with a little mustard mixed in. I know this just sounds like your average deli sandwich, but they were so not your average deli sandwich. All I can say is, if you ever find yourself in Palo Alto, please order a sandwich at JJ&F and at Village Cheese House. (On Dutch Crunch bread, which I had never heard of, but is positively divine.)

And lastly, Amy and I went for sushi at Fuki Sushi in Palo Alto. Really classic, conservative sushi, but such high quality. While I tend to favor more experimental rolls, this was some of the best sushi I've ever had. We got five huge rolls (plus vegetable tempura) and stuffed ourselves silly. I paused briefly to make Amy take a grainy iphone picture before we cleaned that platter down to the very last grain of rice. Yum yum yum.
Ok, sometimes I wonder what the point is of my chronicling places I dine and random things I eat. I realized shortly after I started this blog that I am not a recipe creator. I love to cook and eat, but this isn't a recipe food blog. It's more like an I-can't-stand-not-sharing-my-joy-over a-good-meal blog. And I think it might start morphing into more. Anyway. That's all.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I've Won Them Over With Sugar

Last week we trekked out to Ashburn to watch Marc and Jenn's kids while they took David out to BYU. Yes, we have a nephew who is 18. Isn't that weird? I'm closer in age to David than I am to five of Sam's six siblings. In fact, Sam's oldest brother is closer in age to my parents than he is to me. So, I'm kind of a baby. Anyway, we've watched Marc and Jenn's kids several times, and I kind of love it because they're like dream children. They are helpful and kind, and they always play with Bria so it makes my job super easy.
We didn't do a whole lot because it's the tail end of summer, they were headed to the beach the next week, and it's kind of hard to find things to entertain three kids ages 7 to 15. We kind of just hung around doing nothing (and Amanda roped me into watching Real Housewives of New Jersey and DC) until the last day when we decided to make cupcakes.
I really wanted to take them to Georgetown Cupcake, but Ashburn is like five years away from DC, so it wasn't the best idea to haul the little kids (Bria and Colin) to Georgetown just for a cupcake.
Another benefit of watching Marc and Jenn's kids is they marvel at all the things I make from scratch. I was craving a quality cake and frosting, so we went with Ina's recipe, and it was scrumptious. Also? From-scratch cake batter is soooo worth the risk of salmonella. Seriously.

And then it was back to our regular routine this week. I did, like, 12 loads of laundry at Marc and Jenn's house (which saved me $36 from our coin-op machines in our building), and it's been a little sad to see how fast those empty baskets filled up this week. Plus Bria's been super bored (and therefore whiny) because I'm just not as entertaining as Colin, Myles, and Amanda. I think this means Bria needs some older siblings, which I'm pretty sure isn't possible at this point. Oh well, looks like she's still stuck with just me.

Friday, September 3, 2010

in which we finally go to good stuff

Sam and I celebrated our FIFTH anniversary yesterday. And we really actually celebrated it, which was a fun comparison to last year when we were on opposite sides of the country. I dropped Bria off at a friend's house and drove in to the city to meet Sam. We finally tried out Good Stuff Eatery, which has been on my list since before we moved.

I opted for the Vegetarians Are People Too 'Shroom Burger
And Sam went with the Prez Obama Burger

And we shared a strawberry shake.

Can I just say how proud I am of myself for ordering a portobello burger? I usually have a frantic fear of mushrooms, but I really didn't want to order a beef burger. Plus, this mushroom patty is stuffed with hot, melty, gooey cheese and then breaded in panko bread crumbs. Oh my. It was good stuff, if you will. (ha.) I feel an intense need to go back and try some more of that good stuff-- namely the cookies and cream milk shake and some of the wedge salads. Yum!