Tuesday, July 29, 2008

invent something new every day...

I have to do something like this on a pretty regular basis to keep myself sane.

I've noticed on the days I create something, I'm a much happier person. I love coming up with a recipe... making a necklace... embroidering something... knitting something... "making some art" (my way of saying painting something or making a collage.) I love to be creative. I also love to glean some creativity from other people, i.e. following a recipe for something wonderful or building something from a kit.

Today's creative endeavor was a very Caitlyn thing to do. Last night I ate some of my friend Meribeth's watermelon and feta salad at at pool party. It was delicious! I began having a late night craving for something feta-y.

Brandon got some feta for a pasta dish we made last night for the pool party. We ended up not using it, and I got to bring it home. But you see Friday begins the two week Dormition Fast (honoring the dormition of the Theotokos.) Since the fast begins on Friday and Wednesdays are always fast days, this only left Tuesday and Thursday to eat the feta, and I knew my family wouldn't eat it, they think it stinks.

Anyway, I had this craving and we had nothing sweet that traditionally goes with feta. We usually have some dates in the house, and I was going to make a couple of feta stuffed dates to satisfy my craving, but we were out. So I made up a fabulous recipe... WARNING: You've got to like feta... ANOTHER WARNING: I don't measure things, sorry. You'll have to estimate.

Bright Feta Salad:
1 Apple (Green, is there really any other kind?)
Feta Cheese
Golden Raisins
Pecans (I guess walnuts would also work, we just had the pecans.)
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

I chopped everything up, mixed together the oil and lemon juice and crumbled in the feta... YUM!

Birthday Recap:
Well, Friday was my birthday, and a very lovely one at that! I had to work on Friday, but my friends Claire and Clark met me for lunch, they were both so much fun to have lunch with! Clark gave me some pecan fudge from Dinstuhl's (yay!) My friend Kim stopped by my work before lunch and brought me some beautiful prayer beads made of olive wood! It made me so happy.

Victoria, one of the file-students I work with, gave me a Snicker's bar with a pretty bow on it... it was so thoughtful. A few weeks back Liana, another file-student, gave me the Wicked soundtrack as an early birthday present... uh-mazing!

That afternoon I went out to my car to find the latest Vegetarian Times magazine on my windshield. Brandon came all the way to my work to drop it off, he's way too sweet. He gave me my present a few weeks ago, a cooking class at the Viking School. I scheduled it in September, I'm so excited!

After work I went over to Brandon's house to meet him for dinner. His family SHOWERED me with presents. His mom gave me a Viking gift card to use when I go for my class (you get 10% off the day of your cooking class.) His sister Ashley and her husband James and sweet baby Justin gave me the cutest pink and green lunch bag that says "My Lunch." His other sister Courtney gave me a cupcake stand, it is so perfect, I can't wait to make cupcakes for everyone.

We went to Abyssinia with my family for dinner. I love Ethiopian food, and my family actually enjoyed themselves. I love to introduce people to "weird" cuisines. I mean, I introduced them to Indian food before it was trendy, and now my mom makes some of the best curries I know of!
My family gave me a very cute red (faux) alligator bag, it's the perfect size for me: BIG! They also gave me a clothing fund (AKA- Target gift card) YAY!

The next day, Brandon and I had a fabulous breakfast at Cafe Eclectic and then hung out for a bit. Then I went shopping at Target and got 4 dresses, 2 tops, new shoes, and a new wallet! It was a VERY nice gift card! Afterward, I went to go get a manicure, and said what the heck, let's get a pedicure too. I got "Pistol Packin' Pink" on my fingers and "Lunch at the Delhi" on my toes. (Who doesn't love those OPI nail color names?) I also got a McAlister's sweet tea, an indulgence I rarely afford myself. It was as good as I remember.

Then, I came home and began making myself pretty for our night out. Brandon and I went to eat at Encore. The chef, Jose Gutierrez, is incredible. I would go into the details of our dinner, but I might just get too excited and start salivating. It was simply amazing! And, as a bonus: I could see the chef at work in the kitchen from our table. I felt like a crazed fan, I couldn't stop staring.

Overall, an amazing birthday weekend.

I will have more to write about as soon as this week is over. We're having Vacation Church School this week. I'm drained!

Monday, July 21, 2008

19 days...

I haven't posted in 19 days. I apologize faithful readers!

Here's the deal: perfectionism. I really wanted to post my pictures from the 4th of July weekend. I just haven't had time to upload the pictures. Then I realized it's been so long... I need to catch up!

Here are the highlights:

Honestly I can't remember much of the 4th weekend anymore... We went to my grandparent's and then to Ethan and Claire's. Overall it was a wonderful holiday.

On the 12th we went to the Majestic Grill and ate Muddy's Bakeshop cupcakes for Andrea's birthday. We had such a great time.

Last Tuesday Brandon made me the very best dinner ever. Including escargot and truffle oil pomme frites... can we say KEEPER!

Last Thursday Marjo planned for us to go see Steel Magnolias. Sadly the Comcast man had other plans for us. So Marjo, Amy, and I hung out and talked at Marjo and Billy's beautiful new house. It was so much fun.

On Friday we went to see the new Batman movie (I was a bit reluctant.) I actually enjoyed it. Oh and you want to know our favorite fasting day (non Asian) restaurant? Wild Oats, many Fridays we end up going to Wild Oats for some vegan chocolate chip cookies or something from the deli section. [Oh, and the "non Asian" thing: the deal is most Asian cuisines don't make too many dairy based dishes. Sadly, we get a little burned out on Chinese!]

On Saturday I got to go help Sally move into her new apartment. It's so very cute!

On Saturday night I made dinner, then we went to Cafe Eclectic for cupcakes and coffee.

On Sunday we went to Church and then went to Molly's La Casita. Yum. I had a very wonderful afternoon nap. And then we went to young adults at Fr. John's.

Today was nice. I got a whole lot accomplished at work. This is a good thing, considering I have a deadline for a project I'm working on. :~(

All this excitement brings me to now... In typical Caitlyncosm fashion I'll probably have something to write about in the next 12 hours. I wish I weren't such a shifty blogger. When my blog starts paying big bucks I can afford to write more and work less! Until then, enjoy the glimpses of my life you can get.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

not again!

Here's a little photo-update from Saturday night's meal. It was so good. I burned the baby potatoes on the grill, but everything else was really good. You can't really go wrong when you have a meal made of wonderfully fresh veggies!

I'm home sick again today.
I have a terrible cough so I left work early and took a wonderful nap.
Last night Brandon and I went to Cafe Eclectic. I haven't had time for spending any quality time there in ages. We went for dessert and coffee. Happily the service at Cafe Eclectic has improved dramatically! This makes me very happy considering mine and Brandon's restaurant curse. (Together we've caused quite a few places to close in our dating relationship, including our first date restaurant and our Sunday lunch restaurant!) We were both pretty worried that the poor service would mean the end of our beloved Cafe Eclectic.
I got a vanilla cupcake. Many of you know how I feel about cupcakes, I ADORE THEM! It was such a great cupcake. They have their own in-house baker at Cafe Eclectic. It was a perfectly light but moist cupcake. It almost reminded me of angel food cake. It also had purple gum paste flowers on top, which totally added to the appeal!

When we parked I saw a chair sitting on the side of the street. The owner was standing outside, I asked him if I could have it. I think he thought I was insane, but he said yes. I plan to refinish and reupholster the chair someday soon. I really think it'll be beautiful!

Today is Brandon's nameday. His patron Saint is St. John Maximovitch. I made some veraniki last night, they are cheese filled dumplings. They were St. John's favorite food.

Many Years Brandon!

Most Holy St. John pray to God for us!