Tuesday, February 22, 2011

restaurant week

I met Kevin for lunch downtown today to take part in Downtown Cleveland's 4th Annual Restaurant Week.  I had a blankety-blank of a time finding parking.  Had to circle the entire self-park area twice before finding a spot(later Kevin informed me it was probably due to Obama speaking at the Wolstien Center.) 

After viewing the special restaurant week lunch menus online we selected the Greenhouse Tavern.  It was a short chilly walk from his office.  Even though we didn't have reservations we were slightly ahead of the lunch crowd so we were seated immediately.   The server took a lot of time explaining all the specials to us.  He wasn't quite thorough enough though.  We are the antithesis of foodies so we were left wondering about more than a couple of the items he described.  Cornichons, mignonette sauce, lardo, and fromage blanc were among the items we were ignorant of.

From it's description, I knew I wanted to try the fried Brussels sprout soup but wasn't sure how far to push the envelope.  I was going to opt for the burger but Kevin encouraged me to be brave so I ordered the Pâté Melt Sandwich w/ caramelized onions, two year cheddar & pâté maison.  I'm still not really sure what it was that I ate, and likely don't want to know.  It was quite tasty.  Somehow I already knew the pomme frites it came with were fried potatoes.  They were hair thin potato strands that took too much effort to eat.  Now that I think about it, maybe I was supposed to use my fork.

Kevin was VERY adventurous and went with the special.  House made ravioli stuffed with lardo, goat cheese, and apples.  The server just described the sauce it came in as "sweet and sour."  When his plate arrived I was surprised at the small size of the serving.  And the fact that it looked like it was garnished in tiny cubes of beets.  After a quick taste I confirmed to him that they were in fact beets so he worked his way around them.  He was so generous and let me taste one of the tiny pillows of deliciousness.  The lardo, goat cheese, apple combo was yummy.  The pasta dough was so thin and done to perfection. 
Our meal ended with ONE vegan chocolate chip cookie the size of a quarter.  He got one bite.  I got a bite and a half.  Yum!

This was a very fun lunch.  Once in a blue moon, there is nothing wrong with eating someplace where you have to google the ingredients before you order but I'm not making a habit of it.

I made sure there was a substanial dinner waiting for hubby.  With all the running he does he needs a ton of calories.

Monday, February 21, 2011

date night

Saturday night for the first time in a long time we had no day care, AND no life group.  Kevin and I took advantage of it by sneaking out for our February date.  He probably would have preferred his alternate suggestion of RamonesMania but being the true gentleman that he is, he left the choice up to me so we saw The King's Speech at the Regal Cinema.

This was a fascinating portrayal of King George VI and how he overcame his stammering to lead the people of Great Britain into WWII.  I love well made historical films of all types but especially those from the modern era. 

And it certainly didn't hurt that Colin Firth was the lead.  ;)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

jacob's 12th birthday dinner

Jacob turned 12 last December but just got his birthday dinner two weeks ago.  He chose CiCi's Pizza Buffet.  I was excited because we finally had coupons!  Buy one adult buffet with a drink and get one free. 

But then I read the fine print and it said "Carry Out Only."  How do you carry out a buffet?  The cashier cleared it up for me when I presented the coupons before we paid.  "It's a misprint." 

I had looked up their menu online and discovered that I could have 4 slices of Veggie Italiano for only 10 points(yes I'm doing Weight Watchers again.)  It was delicious and satisfying.  The kids enjoyed lots of helpings of the Macaroni and Cheese Pizza, always their favorite.  And thanks to Kevin's pocketful of quarters, they also got to enjoy the game room.

The only thing missing was Emma.  She had to miss once again because she was working.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

OM-a will do just fine, thank you

Recently I was mistaken ONCE again for George's grandmother.  While I realize I am technically old enough to be one, especially at the young age some kids are having kids these days, I am still not ready for that title.

The Faster Times newsletter I subscribe to had an article on what a great opportunity it is to choose your own grandmother name.  The article pointed out a handy online quiz you could take to help out. 

So...the results from my grandmother name test.  Just in case I don't remember where to find it when the time comes.

You're a bit of a hippie, interested in preserving the earth and living naturally. Your taste tends toward the arty and bohemian, and no one, not even your grandchildren, knows exactly what you will decide to do next. Because you have such a global perspective, you may want to choose a grandmother name from another culture, such as the German Oma, Italian Nonna, the Hawaiian Tutu or the French Grandmere. Alternatively you may want to create your own grandmother name from whole cloth. Whatever name you end up with, it will be individualistic, and it will suit you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

guess who?

I always thought I knew how to play this game.  I felt confident teaching the kids how to narrow down the options by asking obvious questions like "Do you have facial hair?"  "Are you a girl?" and "Do you have a hat?".

Well this morning George has beaten me three times in a row by asking inane things like "Are your eyes red?" and "Do you have eyebrows?"  It may have helped that he didn't realize that when I asked "Do you have red hair?" I meant even the guys with just a few tufts of hair above the ears.

It was then I suggested we take a break and make some cupcake tin crayons for the daycare baby.  Find instructions here: Recycled Chunky Crayons

Sunday, February 6, 2011

jesus and his headache

Jordan is a 3 year old girl I have been caring for over a year.  She comes to church with me on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.  Her mom sent me a text a while back that she had named her doll that she got for Christmas "Baby Jesus" and has been singing "Yes Jesus Loves Me" to him at night.  I am grateful to the servants in our Children's Ministy programs who have taught her a lot of this.

I have a baby Jesus in a manger on the window sill above my kitchen sink.  He stays there year round.  Last week, Jordan was studying him thoughtfully as she sat on the kitchen counter.  That is her favorite place when I am preparing dinner.

I tossed  the whole wheat rotini into the boiling salted water and heard her ask, "Why's he sleepin'?"  I told her it was because he was tired.  That he knew he had a big job ahead of him and needed all the rest he could get.  It was then she decided that he had a headache.  I agreed that with a job as big as the one he had, he definately might have.

I've tried to keep that in mind.  The headaches I get from the stress of parenting and day care are nothing compared to what made him sweat drops of blood the night before his death.  And he has given me these challenges because he knows I can handle them.

His grace will be enough.

Our church is embarking on a series called "The Adventure of Trust".  It is all about learning to be a good steward of the things God has placed in our care.  I'm looking forward to learning how to work harder at being a better parent and provider to the children he has placed in my care.

His grace will be enough.