Thursday, April 28, 2016

days off

Two days off translates to cleaning, eye appointments, massage therapy, seeing friends and Mexican food.  Most excited about that.  Last week, the Goddess and I met for Pho (delicious).  This Thursday we are finding guacamole, green chile and chips.  Super excited!   It's a cold day, semi-dreary, and comfort food sounds incredible.
I managed to go to a yoga class before the debauchery starts.  Typically, I like this instructor for her awesome adjustments only.  She has an assistant that also adjusts during the hour class.  I love that the studio is heated and it feels like a community.  If only the yoga, itself, was good.  I have struggled in the past month to find classes that are challenging.  The heat factor helps decrease my frustration and knowing that I like the teacher's adjustments motivated me to head downtown to attend the class.  It starts with us sitting and listening to her talk for 9 minutes.  I knew, then, that I would be leaving the class early.  She took to long for the intro and I knew that the physical part would be lacking.  It was.  I was frustrated.  Her music was terrible and she wasn't able to adjust people like normal.  There was no assistant and everything about the class was crappy.  Finally, I had enough and did a mini corpse pose before heading out.  Ironically, the instructor happened to be right by me while I was attempting to leave unnoticed.  She stopped by me to see if I was okay.  I told her that I was fine just not feeling it today.  I couldn't force myself to do stay any longer in the class.
Now I am considering joining a gym that offers spin.  I think I will start running again and sign up for a fall half marathon.  I am plateauing with yoga here.  I have exhausted my free pass options around the city and need to choose which studio has the best options. I have not found any studio with a good playlist.  I know that is not important to some people but it is important to me.  I like a heated studio and most importantly, I do like power yoga that is challenging.  I want my mind bent.
I am off to lunch with the ladies.  I convinced Sara Jo to join us too.  I am excited to see them and chat my birthday venture to New Orleans.  It is right around the corner.  Must make plans!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

friday dinner

More  Although it was predicted, I remained hopeful.  Especially after being incorrect as to when it would begin.  Thursday passed.  Friday started and there was a lingering of weather and start of rain.  I had dinner with Andy at a popular Highlands spot before the rain became more consistent. 
The dinner was good.  Italian fare.  Decent wine list. Cocktails and beer offered.  We sampled the octopus, meatballs and squid ink pasta.  I asked our server to space out the offerings so we could have a progressive meal and perhaps order more.  She made some flippant comment about not being new to the serving thing before walking away.  I ordered a bottle of wine midway through our appetizers--octopus and meatballs.  I would have preferred having the octopus, first, followed by the meatballs than the pasta.  Bread would have been a nice addition to the meatballs, too.  It was not an offering and we managed to make due with the meal. 
The nebbiolo was delicious and reasonably priced.  The vibe of the place was lively and became increasingly loud as our meal progressed.  There was a group of women that were remarkably intense.  I wanted to tell them to shut up that not everyone was interested in their conversations.  They were super loud and annoying.  Think real housewives of somewhere.  Yes, they had had work done and were flashing jewelry.  Eventually, I was able to tune them out and enjoy the remainder of the meal. 
The squid ink pasta arrived and Andy and I both remarked on the portion size.  It was huge and more than enough for two people.  A family of four could have enjoyed this meal.  And, keep in mind, I considered trying something else.  Maybe some greens to balance out the Italian fare.  However, after tackling the squid ink pasta, I was no longer hungry.  We asked for the bill and I was surprised that the girl had opted to order the larger portion of pasta as we had expressed our interest in trying multiple things.  I guess she wasn't as schooled in the ways of dining as she liked to think.  Moreover, she was all over us when I first arrived.  Didn't read our conversation or that we were not ready to order after we had been seated for three minutes.  After we ordered and tasted the wine, the server was gone.  I poured and refilled our glasses.  It was not that fantastic of an experience to be completely honest.  We tipped too much in reality.  I am tired to rewarding people for crappy service.  And I don't know when it started to decline.  I take pride in what I do and am frustrated by people that are not providing the same service and/or experience.  Not following through with wine service for example is sad.  How hard is it to pay attention to your tables and keep on top of what is going on with them?
We opted to head downtown and stop by one of my favorite spots.  I knew parking would be challenging but was unprepared for the reality of it.  And, I was uninformed on the current practice of meters.  I remember meters ending at 10:00 pm and then being free until the street sweeping occurred.  I began walking away from my spot, after 10, and couldn't understand why there were still meter maids out?  I asked my friends at the bar and heard the updated procedure.  Such a racket!  Parking is charged at all times.  Why?  Seems silly and inconvenient especially when it takes a bit to find a spot.  I was irritated and it soured the end of my night.  I should have chosen to find a spot outside of downtown with nonino.  That is what I was looking for in all honesty.  Perhaps tonight.  Snow continues to fall and it looks heavy and wet.  Work might be quick...

Friday, April 15, 2016

dinners continue

Sunday enchiladas were a success.  Surprising my host, I know. I think he was completely prepared to order pizza as he had threatened that it was on speed dial.  I do not doubt that.  In the past, I did rely, heavily, on preparing salads if and when I chose to make dinner.  Part of my comfort zone and also something that I like to eat.  This year, I want to expand my culinary skills and so I have been attempting dinners on Sunday.  Enchiladas first and last weekend, Bibimbop.  A delightful Korean dish that I experienced while in route to Vietnam.  It was the only meal that I enjoyed flying.  They fed us multiple times on the flight.  There was a fish option, pasta and then, this.  Such an improvement over the other options.  It sort of stayed with me since I have returned.  I am looking forward to finding a banh mi, too.  I have thought about venturing on South Federal to locate some pho or a banh mi.  Just haven't made time for it as of yet.
So, I offered to make dinner last Sunday and again sensed Maghan's apprehension.  How could he politely suggest that I order pizza or not even bother with cooking?  Thankfully, he did not go this route and kept his thoughts to himself.  He let me explore this newfound sense of what I would like to do.
I considered a few different recipes before committing to my cookbook recipe.  I have a vegetarian inspired cookbook that has always come through for me.  In hindsight, I should have used beef as it is more traditional and gives it a flavor profile that is not recreated with only vegetables and spices.  Still, it was tasty and another success.
This weekend, I am at a loss.  Initially, I thought I would have more time to contemplate the meal as my friend would be gone for the weekend.  Then a storm system altered his plans.  I will be vigilant and find something to showcase my developing skills.  No salad or easy appetizer with wine to distract him or myself. 
I could do another ethnic dish.  Maybe a noodle bowl.  I have been craving pho since I returned to Vietnam.  Or stirfry.  It's been awhile since I have eaten that.  I love ginger, garlic, vegetables.  Delicious!  I think that may be the way to go.
In other news, I have been dealing with the tagging of my car.  It's been a process.  I purchased the car in Santa Fe and received the title via mail a week ago.  When I brought all of my paperwork to the DMV they refused to grant me the tag since the guy I bought the car from had signed his name differently than what was on the title.  I must now wait for him to sign a form stating that he is one and the same person.
I was forced to purchase a temporary tag and then they tack on a percent if you use a credit card to pay sales tax.  It's beyond annoying.  All of this because some chick was text messaging and ran a red light and plowed into my car.  Talk about inconvenient!
I am off to run a few errands and prep for the oncoming snow.  Work, maybe yoga (although last Friday I was uninspired by the instructor's flow so I think I will skip tonight) and then dinner with Florida Andy.  Looking forward to that and checking out a new eatery in Denver.  It's going to be a great day!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday delights

Day off translates to yoga, boozy lunch and homemade dinner.  My friend that I am living with takes very good care of me.  Always insisting that I eat.  He always asks if I have eaten and if I have not, he shares what he is eating or makes me something.
I am spoiled.  I know.  Last night, he made tenderloin, roasted potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms.  I had a few bites of steak and focused mainly on the sides.  I had thrown together a salad before picking him up.  As we enjoyed our meal, I decided I should make him dinner for a change.  And not my default dinner of salad.  I have done that a few times.  Imagine his dismay when he is presented greens as dinner when he goes all out in that department.  It's not that I can't cook or feel uncomfortable in a kitchen.  Neither of these things are true.  I choose to dine out or make simple fare.  It has always been my way.  I think since I have worked in restaurants the majority of my life I rarely have a full refrigerator.  I tend to go to the market often to pick up items that I will need to make for a meal.  I don't plan meals on a weekly basis.
So, tonight I will make cheese enchiladas, margaritas and guacamole.  Instead of buying a store bought enchilada sauce, I am making my own.  Of course, my friend is hesitant about this.  He inferred that he would dine at work to avoid my kitchen efforts.  I told him I would buy pizza or middle eastern if the enchiladas were a disaster.
I took a break from yoga and found some difficulty in returning. I haven't felt the need to go yet I missed it desperately.  Unmotivated, I wallowed in my inability to choose a studio.  Finally, I decided to check out another introductory offer at a studio.  The manager was welcoming, informative and overall, I like the vibe of the place. It's a heated studio with power vinyasa and they have music to accompany the classes.  Or so I thought.  Today's class did not have music and the instructor had the DJ voice.  He was annoying and I need to make sure that I skip his classes in the future. 
I met Jenn for lunch and a catch up session.  We have been unable to connect for about six weeks due to schedules and travel.  She is a busy gal with an ever changing work schedule.  Thankfully, we were able to meet for a quick bite and some mimosas.  I dropped her off at her house and went grocery shopping for my dinner.  I figure I can wait a bit longer before starting the enchilada sauce.  I should probably take my contacts out to avoid touching my eyes later with any chiles. 
If the enchiladas don't work, I suppose pizza is the solution.