Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Maine food

I don't know if you know this about me but I like food just a tiny little bit.  It's no big deal, but we're kinda good friends.  Food and I. 

One of my favorite things about taking trips some place is to try out the local dining places.  When the girls and I were in Vegas last year, we went to some of the most amazing restaurants - a few of them that were on Man vs Food and some other Food shows.  They were amazing.  On Valentine's day, Jon and I spent the weekend in Portsmouth, NH and WOW was the food there amazing.

This past weekend we spent a weekend in Portland, ME.

On the Duck Tour that we took (yup, we took a Duck Tour - be jealous), the guide told us that Portland has something like the 2nd most restaurants and bars per capita other than San Francisco.  That's impressive. (I searched this online and I'm not sure if it's true, but it's still impressive).

Although we were only in Portland, ME for a couple of days, we did our best to explore some of the best places (obv with the help of www.yelp.com iPhone app).

The first night we went out for dinner to Street and Company.  If you are ever in the area - I highly recommend this place.  I didn't get to take any pictures, but trust me, it was delicious.  Their seafood was amazing, the location was right among all the night life on Wharf street, they have the best wine menu.  Of course, I couldn't have wine but I did get a delicious sparkling water.

Yum.  *Deep sigh* moving on.

The next morning I dragged Jon up and down hills a couple of miles away from the center of Portland to a secluded little place that looks like nothing from the outside.

Bintliff is an amazing brunch place with very cool decor of Portland's history.

And, obviously, ridiculously good brunch items.

My steak and egg Benedict with Asparagus cream sauce and home fries
Jon's corned beef and hash with over-hard egg and toast
That night we went out for dinner at a sushi place (Jon may have been dragged) called Miyake. This was another one of those places that looks like a hole in the wall from a distance, but once you step in and see everyone's plates (and not a single open table), you realize that you made the right choice.

Crab and avocado topped with shrimp in spicy mayo
Crab cake sushi with spicy mayo
Cooked salmon and avocado topped with seared salmon
Unfortunately, I am avoiding uncooked fish to keep Peanut nice and safe, but this was still pretty amazing.

That evening we walked around Wharf street and found a cute little Italian place with outside seating and had some tea (for me) and dessert.

Excuse the iPhone photo quality but I think Jon might kill me if I brought our big camera with us to every restaurant to take pictures.

What are some of your favorite places to eat? (Just in case I come to visit)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Belly pic update - 20 weeks

It's that time again folks - time for some new belly pics. We took these while we were in Maine this weekend for our friends' wedding and a little get away.

Peanut at 20 weeks
On another note - it's time to paint the room pink!  Well, honestly, we already painted it green and we're not going to paint it pink, but you get the drift.

We're having a baby girl!

Our technician at the 12 week ultrasound already told us that Peanut will be a perfect little baby girl, but we didn't want to get too excited or too set on the gender until the 20 week confirmation.  We got just that today!

Peanut at 20 weeks
We're thrilled! We'd be thrilled if it was a boy too, so I guess it doesn't matter too much.  But we're really excited to know what gender the baby will be.  Especially since now there is nothing Jon can do to stop me from buying up pretty much the entire Babies R Us and Carter's Outlet stores.

Peanut at 20 weeks
And on another note - I double checked with my mom and genetically speaking, it looks like I might slide through this pregnancy stretch-mark-free!  Woo! Thanks mom for awesome genetics.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Five: things you probably don't know about Jon

"Jon..." - whiny, needy voice (me).
"Yeah?" - calm, probably not actually paying any attention to me (Jon).
"What should I blog about?" - still whiny (me).
"Me" - I am positive that he is not actually paying any attention (Jon).

So, Mister, here it is.

Five things you probably don't know about Jon (he's the guy I'm married to).

1. He has impeccable hygiene.
It actually amazed me when we first moved in together.  I don't think that he has ever missed a day of his life when he didn't brush his teeth twice, for the full two minutes.  Or skipped a shower.  Or had dirt under his fingernails (after he's had a chance to wash his hands from all the manly work he does.  That's only partially sarcastic). 

2. He talks to his mom every single day.
It's sweet.  Kind of amazing actually.  You know how they say that you can tell what kind of a husband a man will make by looking at his relationship with his mother?  Yeah, I think I won the jackpot on this one.

3. The man hates tomatoes, but loves every single thing made from them.
I don't get this one and it intrigues me.  I quiz him on things he likes that are made from tomatoes all the time.  Like ketchup and tomato sauce.  He loves salsa and any red sauce.  How does this make sense?  On a side note, the first year we decided to plant a garden, Jon and I spent hours picking out things to plant in our small plot.  When we came home we ended up with approximately 32 tomato plants.  I'm going to say that one more time to make sure it sinks in. 32 tomato plants.  Each tomato plant produces dozens of tomatoes.  Of which Jon had none.  Because he doesn't like tomatoes.  Riddle me that one, batman.

4. He likes to nap while having golf on the in background.
It's like a Sunday ritual.  Jon will find himself a nice comfy spot on the couch, turn on golf (in HD, obviously!) and promptly fall asleep.  Me? I don't get it.  Why turn something on to fall asleep to?  Oh, and don't be fooled by this napping creature.  I once tried to walk over and turn off the TV to conserve some energy since the man was obviously asleep, but no.  He woke up immediately, turned golf back on, and fell right back asleep.  He's like a puzzle, this creature.

5. He loves romantic comedies.
It's really a good thing that Jon doesn't actually read my blog because I think I may have to write a lot of retractions.  But seriously.  He does.  If you ask him he will deny it to the grave, but don't be fooled.  We always end up watching a great romantic comedy where I will ooh and ahh at all the cute little moments while Jon just smiles at me.  We'll talk about the movie afterward and he'll tell me how he thought it was cute and really enjoyed this or that bit.  Yet, once we are in the office and someone asks us what we did last night, Jon will mentioned that we saw (insert title here), a romantic comedy, which was (makes gagging face) just sooooooooo girly and corny.  He'll laugh it off with the guys in the area, then walk away, leaving me with my jaw dropped.  I guess it's his way of keeping a manly image.  As my revenge, I wrote this post.  Just kidding.  Kind of.

If you're daring - feel free to share your significant others' dirty little secrets.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whole wheat pizza

I love pizza.  I also love anything whole wheat.  So when a friend told me she just bought some whole wheat pizza dough at Stop & Shop, I was all over it like white on rice.

I've seen these at Big Y too in case that's a better location for you.  And my guess is that they also sell it at the other grocery stores that I do not visit because I'm too lazy to drive far away.

In any case - this is the whole wheat pizza dough.  It's pre-made for you, which is nice.  All you have to do is spread a whole bunch of flour, roll out the dough and stick it in the oven at 450 degrees for about 5 minutes before putting toppings on it.  I usually put a little bit of olive oil in the middle too.

Then, the fun part - what to put on your pizza.

That is exactly what you think it is - don't judge me.  You gotta try it.  Hot dogs and broccoli on pizza are delicious.

I usually put sauce, followed by cheese, salt and pepper, some garlic and toppings.  Hot dogs and broccoli on half

And artichokes on the other.

It is delicious.

Trust me on this one.

Especially the hot dogs.

What are some of your favorite toppings?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monkeys on the brain

I can't help it - I can't stop!

This weekend Jon and I painted a couple of rooms in our house and now I can't stop planning the things that will go in the baby room.

Like this here adorable monkey wall decal:

I'm obsessed. 

Coupled with this here growth chart:

I dare you to ask what our baby room theme is going to be (that's not really a challenge).

Got any awesome nursery ideas to share or brag about? I'd love to see them (and possibly steal them).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Busy weekend

We've had a busy weekend!  The baby room is now a nice shade of green, the bedroom is a fresh taupe-ish color, while the living room just has a nice fresh coat of same-green - minus the marks and scratches from the past couple of years. 

But those pictures would be approximately 0% fun, so instead here's new pictures of Bungee, my friend Kari's dog.

Hello, Bunge-stickles.  Would you like to play?

Now, this isn't my kinda game, but apparently Kari and Bungee enjoy it.

In this game the human gets down on all fours, while the dog runs in between the human's legs and arms.

Followed by pets and a collapse.

Now who said that wasn't a blast?

And now I'm ready to do it all over again.

Who's in?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crepes sans Yeast aka Russian Blinchiki

I hate hate hate dealing with yeast.  I think it's evil.  Anytime I've tried to use it, things got ruined.  Because it's evil.  Not because I need to learn how to use it.  For real.


Anyways, I did find an awesome and SUPER simple recipe for Crepes that doesn't use any yeast.  Now I can spend every Sunday morning making crepes just like my mom and dad did for us when we were kids.  (I don't, but I'm just saying that I can.)

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 spoon sugar
That's it!  Impressive, right?  And they come out look beautious (that's a word).

Mix the eggs and milk super well.  Combine the flour and sugar.  Mix everything together with a mixer for a couple of minutes.

No chunks here!

Then cover and put in the fridge for about 1 hour.

After an hour, turn on your burners to about medium-high (basically, you want your frying pan to be HOT but not too hot that it burns the crepe before it even has a chance to cook).  You're going to want to wait about 5-10 minutes for your frying pan to heat up thoroughly before you put any of the mix on it. Add a drop of butter or olive oil.

Now, tape about a quarter cup of the crepe mix and pour it slowly in the middle while rotating the frying pan in the air in a circular motion to fill in all the spots.

You want to portion all of the mix as thinly as you can to cover the entire pan.

After about 5 seconds, I start pushing the edges down just a tiny bit to encourage them not to stick to the edge of the pan.  You can turn the whole thing over with the spatula (choose a thin long one) after about 15 seconds.  What you're looking for is for the Crepe to have tiny little holes in it, turn just a bit more yellow than the original white color and for the edges to start to brown only a tad.

There! Perfect!  One thing to keep in mind is that your first (and sometimes second and third) crepe will never come out good.  At least mine don't.  I end up using those for a taste-test.

Some things to watch out for:

If you forget to put butter/oil before every single Crepe, you might get something like the one above.  The whole thing gets stuck to the pan and burns.  You can throw that out (or if you're like me, pick at it while you're making the others).

Another thing that can happen is that your Blinchik is not cooking well or burning at random spots - that means your over top is too cold or too hot.  Adjust it and wait a couple of minutes before trying again.

If you're making your Blinchiki or Crepes plain, flip them over and cook on the other side for about 10-15 seconds before transferring to a plate.

Today, I'm filling mine with chocolate for a simple, quick, but delicious dessert.

Who doesn't love chocolate?

You can fill these with just about anything from ham and cheese to ground meat with onions to jam.  Most times I just make them plain and then add either sour creme or condensed milk (kinda like the frosting you get with cinnamon buns).  Any way you do, it's amazing.

Now fold it over, flip once. and fold over again.


This gives the chocolate just enough time to melt.

I love these perfect little guys.

This is a double batch to accommodate two girls that will be joining me for girls night.

Although if they don't get here soon, there won't be any left.


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