Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Whiling away the hours, finding stuff to do

I got snookered into doing something yesterday, and although I was caught off guard, I think it's going to be great. I'm going to teach two confirmation/Chai School classes at Mount Zion next year! Fall trimester I'll teach "Total Exposure: Jewish Ethics in an Online World" (or something like that), talking about things like not slandering your classmates on Facebook; and in Spring trimester I'll be teaching a Jewish baking class for 8th-12th graders! (Yeah -- I'm SUPER pumped about that one!)

The condo-selling/house hunt continues. We are now the only unit for sale in our building, as our neighbor's buyer was just approved, so hopefully that will help (somehow) and we can be in our new house by the end of summer! Cross your fingers everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Check out my new food blog!

Most of you are already aware of my love of all things food-y, so it should come as no surprise that I've started a food blog. It's called "Food if by Land, Food if by Sea." (
I'll try to keep my food musings, recipes, and restaurant reviews over there, and leave the exciting details of our everyday life here on How to Make Rice.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Race for Ronald 5k

Last Saturday, May 2, Gayle, Michelle, Hartey (Lindsey), and I ran the SAFA Race for Ronald 5k at the University of Minnesota. The student group raised more than $3500 for the Ronald McDonald house, and more than 75 of us got to get a bright blue t-shirt and run through campus. Twice!

Race results don't seem to have been posted yet (if they will be at all -- it'll just be order, not time), but here's Gayle and me sprinting the final stretch -- even if it doesn't look like it.

Here's Michelle and Hartey finishing -- considerably before Gayle and me ;)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Birthweek - Day 7: Rooftop Patio Birthday Party!

Photos were a little light for the rooftop patio birthday party, but you'll get the gist. Friends. Beer. IRISH CAR BOMB CUPCAKES. Deb over at Smitten Kitchen is a genius.

Birthweek - Day 7: A morning at the zoo!

Friday morning at Como Zoo with Zoe and the boys!
Pretty giraffe! (Wouldn't you love to have eyes as beautiful as those?)

Majestic daddy lion! (the shot of the mommy lion didn't turn out)

Leo making penny wishes for everyone (I love how he's got his feet positioned so he can be thatmuch higher and closer to the top part of the fountain!)
I hope his wish for me comes true. I also hope he wished that my condo would sell.

Zoe and Eli, Baby Bjorn-style

Super awesome exhibit-y thing in the kids play area -- Leo made it rain! How cool is that?!

We rounded out the morning with lunch at The Good Earth where I had the most phenomenal turkey meatloaf with all the (fabulous, better-than-Thanksgiving) fixings. Highly recommended!

Birthweek - Days 4: Figlio, a spark-tacular birthday event!

After few days of large-group shindigs, Tuesday (Birthweek Day 4) held a welcome low-key celebration with Gayle and Eric at Figlio for dinner, mini-tini flight, and my beloved red velvet cupcake, sparkler and all!

(Darkest to lightest: Blackberry Mojito, Ruby Cosmo, Wildflower)
The Blackberry Mojito and Ruby Cosmo were crazy-stiff drinks and disappointed me accordingly, but the Wildflower, which I got in a panic of having to pick a third for my flight, turned out to be wonderful! I'd like to reference what was in it, but Figlio's website isn't up to date; I recall it being gin-based with elderberry liquer/vodka and grapefruit juice. Delightful!

Small baby field greens salad with cayenne pecans, gorgonzola and sun-dried cherries; dijon vinaigrette on the side
Such a surprisingly lovely salad! The blue (bleu) cheese wasn't too overwhelming like I usually think they are, the pecans were delicious but not overly spicy, and the cherries added just enough sweetness to balance the whole thing.

Gayle posing for happy birthday wishes

The bread is worth photographing. Foccacia may be a dime a dozen (especially at Parasol restaurants), but that doesn't mean it isn't satisfying. Or beautiful.

Me: Italian sausage pizza with wood roasted crimini mushrooms, mozzarella, and added goat cheese
Pretty much exactly what I wanted. A celebration isn't really complete for me without goat cheese (although cream cheese stands in fairly well), so I had it added to the already-yummy toppings set. This thing was so huge that I ate my fill on Tuesday, then Lisa AND I shared the leftovers for a full lunch the next day. Incredible.

Gayle: Cavatappi with grilled chicken breast, kalamatas, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, red onions, crushed red pepper, garlic and olive oil.
Her plate was clean by the end of the meal. I think that means she liked it :)

Eric: Old school spaghetti & meatballs with foot-long cheesy-garlic bread. Figlio's "Tender Prices" promotion is a sweet deal -- all this food for $10. Eric could have eaten for two or three meals if he was better about leftovers.

Red velvet cupcake with wonderful cream cheese frosting and a *sparkler*!!! Totally made my day!

Birthweek - Day 3: Bryant Lake Bowl-ing

Happy birthday to me...
Happy birthday to me...
Happy birthday TO MEEEeEEEE...
Happy birthday to me!

How did I spend my quarter-century anniversary?
I went to lunch at Ike's Food & Cocktails with Eric, then took some photos of a few of my favorite Minneapolis landmarks.

(Foshay Tower, Marquette & 8th)

Walked home from downtown because I can.

My street, totally clean and empty!

(Rock sculpture @ Franklin & Pleasant)

And after an afternoon of rest, Cheap Date Night @ Bryant Lake Bowl!
Dinner of squash risotto with duck (fancy!):

Lisa, my "cheap date" for the night (thanks friend!):

And bowling!

My very happy birthday was brought to you in part by:

BFF KatieP:

Luke, scorekeeper:

KatieJ, ham provider:

Suzanne (with me!):

And wine!

Birthweek - Day 2: Family BBQ!

Some things to always remember:
1) There's something wonderful about mom making homemade cream cheese frosting for the homemade carrot cake she made you for your birthday (which was in addition to the homemade apple pie bars she also made you).

2) It's even better when she calls you a few days before your birthday to say "I was cleaning up to throw you a party and I just wanted to call to tell you I love you. That's all."

3) Having your Grandma unexpectedly show up at your birthday party is almost as good as the previous two good-things-to-remember. (I hope she forgives me for only taking this one silly shot.)

3) Tortilla chips make completely appropriate photo subjects when you've just gotten a Canon Rebel XSi for your birthday!

4) Dads make the best hamburgers. Even if I ate hot dogs.

All this adds up to one wonderful birthday with (most of) my family, including the in-laws, Michelle, Gary, Marni, and Doug (no Joe or Jade, or my far-flung brother and his family).