Colorado: dinner at home with Sam

Wednesday night – our first day in Colorado – Kevin’s girlfriend Sam invited us over for dinner at home. So sweet of her, since she hadn’t met us yet and apparently usually makes herself pasta (which Kevin told her I don’t eat). So, after we went hiking in Boulder, we drove south to Denver where Sam lives.

But first a stop at the grocery and liquor stores (ice cream and beer) where I noticed the back of Kevin’s car:

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Sam is living in this house in Denver that she is helping fix up in exchange for rent/space. But her roommate/landlord/boss was out of town so we had the house to ourselves. It’s in this cute old neighborhood in Denver ….

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Just us and NINE animals : 3 chickens, Kevin’s dog Muppet, Sam’s dog ‘Mo (Guillerrmo), 2 birds (parakeets?) and her roommates 2 dogs.CO4  003

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We like Sam. She’s super cute and sweet and really interesting :)

Although I felt ENORMOUS the entire week we were hanging out ….. she’s about HALF my size.

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For our dinner at home Sam made:

  • roasted chicken
  • steamed asparagus
  • roasted potatoes
  • green salad

CO4  007… and she made Kevin carve.

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We tried to eat outside, but there were WAY too many flies (probably attracted there by the chicken coop).

Too bad, because it was gorgeous there.

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After dinner – right around sunset – we walked a mile or so over to a local dog park with Muppet and Mo. Gorgeous night, those dogs are both so sweet.

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Fun night in – it was really nice getting to meet Sam in such a low-key way.

Tomorrow: Andrew’s first time at Rocky Mountain National Park

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The perks of Andrew’s job

So Andrew has been working A LOT.

With paying clients and everything….

But recently he got a couple fun little *extras* from a client that he shared with me….

First: A cake.

Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting …. YUM! You don’t want to know how much I ate in 2 days (knowing I was going to quit sugar that Monday).

Second: 2 tickets to see Ryan Adams at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

We went mid-February on a Friday night – I had requested the day off work because that is the day we closed on our house. And luckily enough, it also happened to be the night we had tickets!

He played a solo acoustic set …. and I just loved being able to just sit in the dark and listen to music…. I can’t remember the last time I did that.

I blogged more about it at Lemon and Raspberry.

Third: a gift certificate for Sunday Supper at Lucques

Fancy dinner …. SO much fun – especially if someone else is paying …

Sunday Supper at Lucques is – you guessed it – every Sunday night…

The chef puts together a set menu based on what is fresh and in season that weekend at the Farmer’s Market…. Freshest ingredients lead to the best food….

I had been checking their website periodically to check out the menu. There was one other Sunday we were thinking about going, but the appetizer that night was avocado-based and that would have just been a waste with me…

This particular Sunday, however…. All deliciousness…

I actually branched out and tried their recommended cocktail … I don’t like alcohol at all, and I can taste it in any kind of fancy drink you want me to try …

But ‘the O word’ (described in the photo below) …. was surprisingly well mixed, and I genuinely liked it :)

We went on Oscar night …. so the menu was appropriately themed:

our salad/starter …. it got too dark for photos after that, but trust me. It was DELICIOUS.

We got one of each of the entrees…. and split them both.

Both fantastic. …. Oh my word, so good. I *think* I liked the lobster better …. but only just. The chicken + risotto was amazing too …

Cappuccinos to finish ….

… and then we went off to look for a studio space for Andrew. More on that later.

So, basically, if you happen to be in L.A. on a Sunday and have about $150 for dinner for 2 … GO TO LUCQUES.

SO good :)

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Scotland: Stirling Monday night

After visiting Stirling Castle and the nearby cemetery … by this time it was far too late to go on to Edinburgh so we headed home.

This time Kevin drove the car with GPS and Mom and Dad rode with Andrew and me.

Now, I’m pretty good at reading maps. Without the GPS to confuse me, I’m sure I could have gotten us around the country just fine with the AAA map Mom and Dad got.

But for whatever reason … we followed the car with GPS.

On the way TO Stirling we ended up going way out of the way on a highway parallel to the one we wanted.

On the way BACK from Stirling, we’re following Kevin (who is following GPS) … who goes on the MOST DIRECT route back to Aberfeldy. Which is NOT the route on the larger (faster) highways.

Nope. Instead we spent SEVERAL miles on a one-late road.

One-lane for BOTH directions. The kind of one late when you’re praying the whole time you’re not going to encounter any other cars, because then either they or us will have to back up til we find some kind of turnout.

And considering long stretches of this one lane had waist-high meadows on either side, I’m not so sure how easy that would be.

But, like I said … It was the most DIRECT route.. Straight north instead of east-north-west.

(landscape photos all taken from the moving car)

By the time we got back to Aberfeldy I was hungry-hungry! I had barely eaten anything for almost 3 days now (from being sick) …

We got home and agreed to walk into town to find some food.

Since Andrew had already (basically) scoped out the route and the restaurants he led the way.

Aberfeldy is teeny tiny but there is a little ‘square’ – what feels like the center of town.

 

Located there is a little takeaway fast food restaurant called ‘A Place on the Square’ that serves pizza, burgers and (among other things) “Donner meat” …

For someone who grew up in California, Donner meat can only mean one thing: The Donner Party of 1846, known for cannibalism.

Aweome.

(we found out later that Donner meat is lamb).

We settled on dinner at “The Fountain” – a pub that was more affordable, but whose kitchen was about to close so we were hurried through our order.

Still on the lookout for vegetables, I ordered “vegetable lasagna” thinking at least I’ll get some tomatoes… (even through the lasagna is even served with ‘chips’). Everyone else ordered some version of meat and potatoes.

Sadly for me … my ‘vegetable lasagna’ was mostly cheese, cream and noodles. Very few tiny pieces of veggie, no tomato sauce at all … and far far too rich fro my sensitive stomach.

(It would have been funny if I wasn’t so hungry!)

Luckily for me, Andrew came to my rescue (again) and gave me half his meal while finishing off the lasagna I couldn’t eat.

Then it was a walk home in the dark ….

We got back to the cottage and Andrew ate some of his carrot cake and they opened a bottle of whisky they had bought in Oban ….

Then to bed for our early morning the next day for Edinburgh!

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Alaska: our waitress Galina

I’m pretty bummed I didn’t end up getting a photo of our cruise dinner waitress, Galina from Bulgaria…. She was all kinds of awesome.

Our first night on the cruise (Sunday) our waitress was this intense Thai girl named something like Trixie. I don’t remember. She seemed to be rushing us and not really paying attention. Luckily for us, she started out the night saying that she was temporary and our normal server would be back tomorrow.

Thank goodness.

Our assistant server – Marian but spelled differently – was adorable and sweet and I just wanted to take her home with me!

Marian is from Serbia and she had a great accent and was young and blonde and genuinely interested in us. Throughout the week she would ask us about our day as she brought us drinks or cleared our plates. We found out at the end of the week that she is up for a promotion – which is great for her because she totally deserves it :)

Our main server – Galina – was …. very professional. Very no nonsense. And very generous. My guess is mid-late-30s, short brown hair, Bulgarian.

The first night we had her, I ordered my dessert and she just looked at me …. and said, “No. Pick again.” hahah!

Who DOES that? :)

She proceeded to tell me how “boring” the dessert I chose was and how I really wanted something else (perfectly nice and kind of teasing about it). So. …. OK. You’ve got to trust your waitress, right? I ordered something else.

She ended up bringing me both. …. Just so I could see/taste what I had originally ordered.

And of course she was right :)

Every night Galina would give us her recommendations – at least 1 from each course – and if we didn’t order it she’d bring it to us anyway.

One night, Katie and Julie skipped the formal dinner so it was just Andrew and I …. Once we got to desserts, we each ordered…. and then Galina ended up bringing us 4 or so MORE desserts! The sugar-wreckage strewn about the table was incredible :)

The servers are always a fun part of your cruise …. Having the same person (or team) every night really makes the “formal” dining room less formal and more inviting.

(I can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of them!)

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Sunday night dinner party

…. although, can you really call it a dinner party when we have to eat in shifts because the grill won’t hold all 9 steaks and we only have 5 dining room chairs…. ?

…. and if Andrew and I have to quickly do dishes after dinner so we have enough clean forks for dessert… ?

meh.

details, schmetails….

A week or so ago, Andrew and I had some family and friends over for a little dinner.

It started with Andrew and me and Kaitlin and Joe …. and ended up being 11 people invited (7 were able to come)…

oops!

Andrew has been really into perfecting his grilling technique. Steaks from Jim’s Fallbrook Market (a local place we need to blog about), slightly flavored with Santa Maria seasoning and a few drops of soy sauce.

I prepped some sliced watermelon, roasted potatoes and grilled onions and peppers ….

Angela and Devo brought chips and salsa, and (not pictured) Kaitlin brought a green salad and dessert.

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t believe I didn’t get photos of the dessert – but honestly, I’m kind of surprised I got any pictures at all once people got here!

Guests include:

  • Daniel and Jenae : Although Daniel was seriously sick and wore sunglasses the whole night because his eyes were swelling shut. Poor kid.
  • Kaitlin : Joe was too busy studying
  • Chris and Kaylah : Chris is Andrew’s cousin who moved to SoCal from Idaho almost a year ago
  • Angela and Devo : I love them. The end.

We kind of just spent the night cooking and chatting and eating and laughing ….

Good friends and good food….

And then, later that night, Chris and Kaylah and Angie and Devo and Team Schubert played Traveling Pictionary. Which is obviously the best game ever.

 

 

 

SO fun!

We love having people over …. I can’t wait til we have a house with more room … .

…. and enough dining room chairs :)

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dinner with the DiBiases

For the first time since we moved back to California, our friend Angela finally has a place of her own….

So fun!

She and Devo are renting a room in a 3 bedroom house not too far from us …. and had us over for dinner on a Sunday night in August in their super cute back yard …

Spinach salad, stuffed artichokes, and steak and grilled pepper tacos …. mmmmm…..

Oh, and strawberries in champagne :)

(they also invited over their friend Harker who may be the sweetest guy ever!)

Their little backyard area is so cute!

I’m so glad for them …

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our very low-key Valentine’s Day

Just a quick Saturday note to tell you about our Valentine’s Day last weekend.

Woke up.

Read. Vegged. Intenet/email.

I think we had leftovers for lunch.

BBC Yellowstone Documentary.

more reading.

Trip to Trader Joe’s (decision: Andrew and I should not go grocery shopping together)

When we get home, Andrew puts on “romantic” music ….. or, rather just something I don’t hate.

Then he made us some caprese salad (and added prosciutto).

(um, yea, also, we got cheap cupcakes from Ralph’s because I have been craving butter cream frosting)

yum!

It was so so delicious!

tomato + basil + mozzarella + prosciutto (in case you want to try recreating it).

And then that night we went to a Daniel Lanois concert.

And that is what Valentine’s Day is like for Team Schubert. Boring. Relaxing. Low-key.

and I love it.

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