Hello to my poor neglected (as of late) blog and readers... I know I've been one of those aggravating non-serious bloggers as of late with infrequent posts. Somehow, I've been overwhelmed at work and not had time to parse through my many bytes of Internet reading to share with y'all. I've also been pretty busy at home. Although part of my business has been me watching Veronica Mars. And, lately, the OC, except now I'm sick, so I have an excuse.
Last weekend was a pretty grand success, and I was punished for it with a nasty cold, which is why I'm home right now instead of still at work. We started off with the inaugural "Dirty Apron Kitchen Club," a cooking club that my friend Peattie and I informally started. We had around 15 people there for it, which was more than I expected and a pretty hard crowd to manage, but still very fun. For dinner, we made stuffed shells from this recipe, which was really easy and really delicious and satisfied the Mom's manicotti craving I get periodically (although no raisins or nuts in it, which I think Mom puts in her manicotti? Oh my God, it's been so long since I had it. Hint). That plus a lot of wine and a salad pretty much sums up the menu. I was very aggressively managing the kitchen and felt kind of bad about that, since I tend to be an overly detailed person and many of my friends (especially not-quite-as-close friends) I think find it a little irritating. Still, the meal worked out and I'm really excited about the Kitchen Club in general. I can't wait to do a Passover menu and a St. Patrick's Day menu. YUM!
Saturday I went wine tasting with my friend Tina. Her roommate works at a country club and had arranged for a few free/private tastings. We had a private tasting (just the six of us in our group in a private room) of Terlato wines, a brand of Rutherford Hill, which was pretty fun and very informative. Every time I go wine tasting I learn a little more and am better able to ask questions and carry out a conversation. I decided I need to learn more about wine, though, since our hostess was making references to how certain wines were supposed to be homages to different Bordeaux regions and I had really no idea how true that was, etc. One interesting thing for me was that the first "flight" we tasted was very geographically based -- two whites from the Russian River and a syrah from the Dry Creek region. I knew that certain wine regions are better known for certain kinds of wine, but had never really thought very seriously about a wine being "a Dry Creek syrah" as opposed to a syrah. Forgive me if this seems stupid, but I finally made this connection the other day. (Suddenly I realized it was like single origin chocolates.) Anyway, we did that and then a tasting at Beringer, where I had only been once before when I was under 21 and driving through wine country with my dad and sister. Back home, Tina and I made dinner with Justin (Dad, we made your peperoncini shrimp pasta and it was a hit, except I don't have a pan big enough to stir it all up together like you do, so it wasn't melty enough in my opinion) and then went out for a bit. I ended up coming home and watching part of Moulin Rouge with Dan.
Sunday Justin and Laurel and I had brunch at Magnolia. I'd always heard they had good brunch and it's very true. I had the cardamom-spiced French toast with garam masala whipped cream and huckleberries. I rarely get sweet breakfasts but this one was really good. The huckleberries were a lot like dried blueberries, only more tart. We also got started on our strong beer tastings at Magnolia and got through three of them before it was time for me to get a manicure with a couple of other girls. I have to say I quite enjoy getting manicures and would like to do them more often. I know I keep saying that. I took a nap before heading out to Magnolia for the second time that day. (Yeah, I know, I'm not sure how this became an idea, but we did do it on purpose.) I was supposed to meet coworkers for more strong beer, except when I got there, the friends I'd invited greatly outnumbered the coworkers, and we ended up sitting on opposite sides of the restaurant. Oops. Still, the 8 of us crammed into our 5-person table had a great time and I had the best reuben ever. It was almost spicy. We closed down Magnolia and I came home to watch more Moulin Rouge. I should say that both Saturday night and Sunday night I watched Moulin Rouge and hung out with Braden and Pat, two guys that Ace knows through work, and who I have only once hung out with before midnight. I was up pretty late Sunday night, except for the fact that I periodically fell asleep on the futon, so it was no surprise when I woke up Monday with this headcold. Since then I've made a conscious effort to vegetate and have turned down two anticipated social events, but I'm kind of trying to save up so I don't suck at my job and so I can have fun this weekend. Blah.
So I'm now something like 12 episodes into the first season of the OC, and then today in the mail I got a package from Bethany containing the entire series of Sex and the City, which is contained in the most ridiculous fuzzy magenta booklet slipped into a plexiglass box and is probably officially my most absurd belonging, and I have a lot of absurd belongings so that is saying something. I have a sort of love-hate thing for SatC and haven't watched it since the series finale, which I am pretty sure I watched on tape in Cristina's dorm room my junior year, and I'm pretty sure I cried. But I'm pretty excited about this set on my coffee table. It's definitely good entertainment for sick Emily.