Monday, January 31, 2011

A Challenge

In a effort to be a better blogger, I am going to try my hand at a 30 day blog challenge. The idea is that you get a jumping off spot, rather than having to come up with something interesting to say on your own. Now, it's just a matter of picking the "right" challenge - there are a bunch out there. we go. Day 1 - Your favorite song.

This is actually a complicated question, because I like a lot of different kinds of music. If I was picking from the 70's, I'd choose something like "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith. From the 80's, Katrina and the Waves "Walkin' on Sunshine" always makes me smile. If we are talking about country, I will always be fond of Randy Travis and we used "Forever and Ever, Amen" in our wedding. I could do another entire post on the classical music that I like, breaking it down by period. I like show tunes, and hymns, and folk music and some R&B.

Anyway, it's hard for me to pick just one favorite song, but I'll leave you with this one by The Cure.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Restaurant Week Winter 2011

For those who are not from here, Restaurant Week is a twice a year event in which hundreds of D.C. metro restaurants offer a three course prix fixe meals. Lunch is $20.11 and dinner is $35.11. This is your chance to eat at some really great restaurants for a really reasonable price.

Let me say once again that I have never been disappointed with a meal at any of the Passion Food Group restaurants. One of the things I like best about Passion Food is that they offer all of their entrees as a part of their Restaurant Week offering. This year we went to Acadiana, which features the cuisine of southern Louisiana. Unfortunately, all I had for a camera was my cell phone, so I don't have any beautiful pictures to share with you. These photos were taken by someone else and attributed to the photographer where possible.

Appetizers: Jim had the trio of deviled eggs; the three eggs were crab meat, cheddar bacon and caviar. All three eggs were delicious and the "deviled" part was smooth. You could clearly taste the bacon and the crab, but we had trouble finding the caviar taste, just a bit of saltiness without the fish flavor that I normally associate with caviar. I had the roasted corn and crap soup. The sweetness of the corn and crab was paired with just a little heat that stayed at the back of your mouth. (photo from website)

For the entree, I had the blackened red fish topped with crawfish etouffee which was served with creamed spinach and grits cakes, which were cut into wedges and fried. The cool creaminess of the spinach was the perfect offset for the spiciness of the blackening on the fish. Jim had the "grillades and grits," veal medallions on jalapeno cheese grits with a mushroom pan gravy.

We shared both desserts, a mint chocolate cake with coconut ice cream and chocolate sauce, and warm vanilla bread pudding, bourbon sauce and praline crunch ice cream. I even liked the coconut ice cream and I don't like coconut. The bread pudding was soft on the inside like a decadent piece of french toast. (photo by vincentgallegos)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New Goals

I made my first list of 101 goals in 1001 days the first New Year that I was in Virginia. Since then, it has been in the side bar of my blog. I finished 40 of the goals and made progress on 27 others. I consider that to be a pretty good result.

So, with the actual 1001 days ending in September, I decided to make a new list for this year. I kept some of the goals that did not complete last time and added several new ones. You can check out my new list in the sidebar.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Meet Our Fur Baby

The end of 2010 was rough for us and we couldn't wait to see the back side of it. However, we did start 2011 off great with the addition of our fur baby, Rex. This is the first cat for me, but Jim has had several cats before.

On New Year's Day, which happens to be Jim's birthday, we went to the pet adoption held by Lost Dog and Cat Rescue at the PetSmart store in Seven Corners. We had made a trip out to the Fairfax Animal Shelter on December 30 and met a couple of cats there, but ended up not taking one home because we couldn't get a good feel for them. I planned to go back on the 31st and pick one while Jim was at work, but when I got out there, the shelter was closed. This information was nowhere to be found on the county's website, by the way. I was really disappointed, because I wanted to get the cat as a birthday present for Jim and the adoption fee is only $30 for an already fixed cat.

Jim liked two of the cats at the PetSmart adoption more than the others, although they were all cute. The other top contender was a pretty black and white girl, but she was currently on an antibiotic eye drop and we didn't want to start off with a kitty that needed meds. So we settled on Rex and we couldn't be happier. We brought him home and started him off in the guest room, where he promptly hid under the bed, but by the end of the day he was ready to play and explore the rest of the house. The rescue's best guess is that he is about 8 months old and we love him to pieces.