Saturday, January 30, 2010

Piggy Bank


DSC_0002, originally uploaded by _Winnie_.

Miss T was born in the year of the pig and as Chris always reminded her, year of the Golden Pig. We've been telling her that we will get her a piggy bank for all the coins that seems to show up everywhere around here. (I blame Chris since all my coins are in my wallet.) While shopping with her at Target the other day, we found the perfect piggy bank for her. A pink one with a tiara and tutu! Miss T now goes around the house looking for coins to feed her piggy. Totally adorable!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A nice surprise


28/365, originally uploaded by _Winnie_.

Look what showed up at work for me today! No, not from Chris. This is definitely work related. Since I had such a horrible start this work week (got yelled at by some dumb person), this was a really nice gesture to remind me that I do work with some nice people. I got a whole dozen of these. Being that they don't keep long, I did share with a few people at work as well. Of course, Miss T got a couple to eat after dinner as well.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Manresa

Manresa

I've wanted to try this restaurant for a while, just never really got a chance to. Earlier in the week we found out that one of our friend is moving back to the East Coast and asked whether we would join her and another friend for dinner there. Of course I said yes. This is definitely more of a special occasion dinner level, $95 for the four course dinner and $160 for the tasting. I think this is enough of a special occasion.

We had the earliest reservation possible, at 5pm on Sunday. The host greeted us warmly and seated us just as our friends shows up. We decided on the 4 courses option. While it would be wonderful to do the tasting menu, none of us were in the mood of actually going through 7-8 courses with additional amuses as well. That ended up to the great choice since we still didn't finish our dinner until after 8pm. I would post all the pictures, but I only took pictures with my iphone (didn't want to distract people with my Nikon). If interested, please visit my flickr page to see them.

So what are my thoughts? Did it live up to my expectations? I have to say the two amuses they brought out was amazing. I guess that set the bar pretty high for the rest of the dinner. Some dishes were great, so if chosen correctly, you could have a spectacular meal. The four of us all ordered different things so we could try more dishes. There are definite hits and misses. My fish course seemed like someone forgot to season it. The black cod was cooked perfectly, nice crunchy crust with a moist flesh. Unfortunately, it had absolutely no taste. My pork dish was really good. Actually, I think all of us had a really good meat course. We added a cheese course to share as a table. Three of the four were good, the cheese cart was definitely not as impressive as the one at Gary Danko. Then again, I'm not sure any other restaurant could live up to that. My dessert consisted of exotic citrus (don't ask me what they are though) sorbet, ice cream and granita. In my opinion the best dessert at the table and great to finish after the rich pork dish that I had. So technically speaking, all the food was cooked perfectly. The flavors just didn't always come through. The one big problem we had was the pacing of the courses. As we were discussing at the table, if we noticed it, then there's a problem. We had long breaks between a few of the courses and the restaurant was not at full capacity. The staff were nice and professional, just not sure what the delay was for. For around the same price range, I would prefer Gary Danko more. (Much shorter of a drive for us as well!)

In the end, we did enjoy a great evening with friends. Too bad it took a friend to be about to move in order for us to get out there. Oh, the parting gift they had was you could take a handful of their salted caramels home. That, was quite good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Project 365

12/365
Not much to report the past week, just the normal schedule with work and daycare. I am attempting a 365 project where I would take a picture each day for a year. So far, it's going okay. The camera phone definitely help and it's kind of fun playing with the different applications on the iphone. Check my progress out here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I got new eyes for the New Year

5/365
(Chris got this for me to make me feel better yesterday.)

I didn't really set any New Year's Resolution this year. As with most people, I never end up accomplishing them anyways. I did have a general concept of taking care of myself better and doing some of the things that I've meant to do. Lasik is something that I wanted to get done for a while. I just had to wait for my eyes to be stable again after I got pregnant. Finally, end of last year, I decided to have my consultation to see if I could even get the procedure done. About 10 years ago, I was involved in a car accident that resulted in my left retina partially detached. Luckily, my eye healed quite well and didn't have any scary problems afterward. I got the okay to do and scheduled my appointment for 1/16. This was back in October. When I ran out of contacts at the end of the year, I just decided to wear my glasses instead of getting two more boxes (different prescription on each eye.) I have not wore my glasses out in public since I got contacts in 9th grade! Wearing them again just reminded me how much I hate them. So when they called me to say that if I wanted a Sat appointment, I'll have to change to the 23rd, I asked for the next available appointment instead. That is how I ended up getting it done yesterday.

I was very nervous the night before. I mean, they do have to cut my eyes open! Miss T knew just how to make me feel better though.
Miss T: " There's nothing to be scare about. Doctors are nice. They are there to help you. You don't need to be scare of doctors. You only need to be scare of lions. They will bite you."
When she put it in that perspective, it really does help. Yes, my almost 3 years old is much wiser than I am. I'm not going to go into all the details of the surgery. You could get that elsewhere if you're interested as I'm not all that interested in reliving it again. Just so you know though, I had my follow up today and I am seeing 20/20 already. I still could see a haze, but that's to be expected. Since I started with such a high prescription, I was really surprise at the result being this good so fast. Now, if only the bruising will go away. I look quite scary with the red in my eyes right now.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Computer

Too much?

We got a new iMac last month with a 27" display. So what to do with the dual 21" monitors that we had before? Hooked them up as well, of course! I think it's actually a little overwhelming but I mostly use my laptop. But with all the extra desktop space, I think I will do all my photo editing on that from now on. Now, I just need to a new camera to play with as well since I could really tell that my camera is outdated.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Gingerbread Syrup

Gingerbread syrup

Once upon a time, I have a cooking blog. This one has evolved into more of a photo blog with little stories to go with it. I do still cook most days. The idea for this syrup stems from the birthday present I got on my birthday. I love that I could make a really good latte with the machine in less than 5 minutes. But I'm also hooked on the gingerbread latte they sell this time of the year at most chain coffee shops. Instead of buying a bottle of syrup with questionable flavoring, I decided to make my own. This batch came out well enough, but next time I will use some whole cloves to keep the syrup more clear. I don't like my drink to be too sweet, so I made the syrup pretty strong in order to get enough flavor in without adding too much syrup. A teaspoon is usually enough for me. One warning though, Chris had to leave the room while this is simmering on the stove due to the strong ginger vapor started to bother his eyes. I was wearing contacts so it didn't bother me. The effect don't last for too long after it's finish though.

Gingerbread Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 sticks cinnamon, about 2" each; broken up
1 piece ginger, about 1 1/2" piece; sliced thinly
10 peppercorns
½ tsp. cloves
2 star anise, broken up
dash nutmeg

Bring everything up to a boil. Simmer for 30-45 min. Strain through a fine sieve and cool. Store in the refrigerator.

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1

Went to the movie today with Chris and my brother. I think I may have finally discover the joy of movies again. You see, I worked part time during college as a video encoder and basically watched movies (mostly very bad, "independent" stuff) the whole time. That was probably close to 8-9 years ago and I just lost interest in them until recently. Sherlock Holmes was definitely a fun escape for a couple of hours. Beautifully shot with pretty good acting. Will definitely watch the sequel when that comes out.