Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Night on the Town

2012 Acuprom DC, a set on Flickr.
It's been awhile since we have had a big night on the town - dinner, drinks, and dancing. So it was that this year's company social at Wendy's work brought us into the city for a dress-up, special occasion. We did it up right, getting a suite at the former Hotel Washington (now a W Hotel) that overlooked the Treasury Building and the White House, enjoying wine and appetizers beforehand with work friends, then on to the venue, a typical DC ornamental building-turned-museum, replete with oil paintings on the wall, colorful flowers, grand staircases, and a faux casino ready to take our fake dollars at blackjack.

A mouthful - and that was before the drinks and the dancing! All in good fun and recovery the next day, made more harsh by the clocks turning ahead (spring forward!). But not before burning our youth on a night that reminded us that it is good to blow off a little steam every so often - and that we are not so young anymore...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Ruby with a "boo" cut

Ruby with a "boo" cut
The turn in the weather has inspired spring cleaning season.  As an easy warm-up for the bigger chores, we thought it could start with a grooming session for Ruby, our little pomeranian, who was getting a little shaggy and seemed ready for a close trim to stay cooler in the warm days ahead.  On a Thursday morning where we were both able to be at home before work ramped up, Wendy and I decided to drop her for off for an express cut while we enjoyed a nice breakfast at the French bakery near the local PetSmart.

Ruby is a bit of a wiggler (as was written up in her last grooming session!), so we were not sure how this would turn out.  But she was a good girl once she lost sight of us from her one eye (some say it looks like she is always winking - you can decide...), and we came back an hour later to find a well-groomed and super-cute senior dog who looks more like a pup.  Add a little bow in the hair, and she was ready to prance and show off her new look.  It turns out we gave her the "boo" cut, named for another dog that had come into the shop looking for this sort of streamlined body shave framed by poofy tail & head; we said why not after seeing the sample pic and let her become our "boo".  So there you go, our little Ruby ready to once again stop the neighbors for attention to her cuddly appearance.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

First Flowers of Spring

It's been a mild winter.  After the last few snow-pummeled cold seasons, we have been cautiously optimistic that winter would end up just hibernating this year, to come back next year on the calendar.  Perhaps I can start to believe that this will, in fact, happen from peeking out the back window today.  For the first flowers of spring were peeking out, and it made me happy.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sat Date Night: The Big Easy (on a Sunday)

A fine fish dish from the Commander's Kitchen
It's only appropriate that I would be behind to catch up on some blog posts that I wanted to complete, from back over the last 3 weeks.  It starts with our Saturday date night end of February, which got pushed to a Sunday afternoon due to our general laziness over the weekend.  It just so happened that my wife returned home from New Orleans for the last time (perhaps not, I find out later?) this year, and we decided to celebrate by breaking out a book that I acquired along the way from my ever-constant moving in the early 2000's.  It was a book of recipes from the Commander's Palace restaurant, a veritable NOLA institution that is well-regarded for sumptuous service and cuisine, arguably some of the best of both in the US today.  Lofty statements, to be sure, but it turned out to be fairly true from our first-hand encounter with the place when I joined Wendy down to NOLA a few weeks back.

So here we were on a Sunday afternoon, a work colleague over grinding on proposals, and myself manning the kitchen to turn out the sorts of decadent dishes that Commander's Palace is known for.  It started with a tomato and onion salad, inspired by the unseasonably warm weather that was reminding us that summer was just around the corner.  It finished with the chardonnay-soaked monkfish, smothered with crabmeat and spinach; needless to say, it was as good as pictured, especially accompanied with the decent Grgich Hills Chardonnay that made up some of the base of cooking wine that drew out the flavors of the dish.

As I catch up and run along for today, I look back and smile, a little piece of NOLA to remind us that Carnival was not so long ago and the good cheer and relaxation of summer was not too far off.