Thursday, May 31, 2012

busy bee

the long weekend has come and passed, and we've been SO busy since! family...

...saying goodbyes...

...and i've been busy working on super cool things at work...

sooner or later i will get the chance to tell you more, but for now, i'll leave you with this picture my boss took of me yesterday while at "work".

(NASA Enterprise Shuttle)


Saturday, May 26, 2012

teary-eyed in the laundromat

thanks to the daybook for making me cry in the laundromat .  though, tears of happiness of course!  watch this video, then i dare you to tell me you didn't at least get a lump in the throat!!

i deem it best proposal ever.

yep, EVER . least i don't know this guy...

...and at least i look cute, rocking the red with tiny white polka dots ;)  
(don't you think summertime dresses are the best???)

can't wait for our guests to arrive tomorrow!! it will (sort of) be the FIRST time some of mr p's family come to stay with us!! (for more than one night, crashing after a SUPER FUN night of hoboken madness)  so today its a cleaning fest until we head over to the newly-opened SAGE (check them out on facebook here) in brooklyn!!

(wait, you're in JERSEY and you didn't go to the beach on MDW ??)
just wait... that's still to come too :P


Friday, May 25, 2012

feeling posh

as much as i love to watch shows like sex and the city and think how cool it would be to live a posh life in NYC like them, whenever i go to a "posh" swanky place like they always go to, i realize it's TOTALLY not me.

so, when my friend jo wanted us to go to the chandelier room at the W hotel in hoboken, i was really not up for it (but trying to be social, i agreed). 

first, though, i made a pit stop at the historic downtown special improvement district (HDSID) farmers' market on grove street (it's AT the PATH station, so i couldn't avoid it!!) and snagged some whoopie pies from the sassy sweet treats table before heading to hoboken.


well... i was certainly PLEASANTLY SURPRISED at how fun i had at the chandelier room!!  well, we were there for happy hour, so it might have been a different scene than the typical saturday night crowd, but it was still cool, with all the fancy brightly colored, velvety furniture, crazy huge modern artwork hanging from the ceiling, and amazing views of NYC just across the hudson river.

i was also expecting crazy expensive drinks (to reflect the crazy expensive hotel room prices!!), but they had a happy hour special where most drinks and all appetizers are just $3!! can't beat it!  so thanks, jo, for making me go to your fancy shmancy posh lounge :D

but, eating apps is not enough for dinner, so we decided to head over to the new location for biggie's clam bar!  we tickled our tastebuds with thai chili calamari, mussels in white sauce, clam po' boys, oysters, and burgers (total fatties last night).  we even snagged a guinness glass to boot! (not stolen, they GAVE it to us since we told them i broke 2 of mr p's glasses at home... p.s. THEN they told us they get them for FREE from the vendors! so, don't feel bad about "borrowing" beer glasses anymore!! haha)

mr p is about to eat his raw oysters on the half-shell!

we couldn't even eat half of our meals after eating so much before the real food came out!!  (fatties for 2 days i guess since we're eating so many leftovers!)

so, besides the mega MONSOON i experienced on the walk to the W (in my new favorite super flat sandals, mind you) last night was a blast :D  ...and i totally recommend BOTH the chandelier room AND biggie's clam bar if you are ever in hoboken (and they are relatively close to the PATH train if you are coming from NYC!)

have a happy (and safe!) memorial day weekend :D

Thursday, May 24, 2012

surprise! mac-n-cheese

what's better than coming home to your significant other getting you flowers?


too bad i already went out with my friend for dinner and drinks before this (doesn't mean i didn't snag a bite or two!!)

mr p went out after work too, but he was tired of eating chicken sammiches for lunch AND dinner, so when i come home at 9:15, he's in the middle of boiling the pasta and making the bechamel (flour/milk mixture) with the shredded cheese sitting to the side.

multitasking at it's best!

trust me, kraft mac-n-cheese just doesn't cut it after you've had the good stuff!! ....ok ok i'll let you take velveeta shells and cheese before kraft any day, but if you have time to whip up the real stuff, just do it!

we happened to have 4 different kinds of cheese just WAITING to get used up (thanks, BJ's for luring us into buying giant blocks of cheese every time we go to your store)

unfortunately, mr p didn't think that cinnamon/cranberry cheddar would go well in mac-n-cheese (though i was up for an adventure!!)  

but we did have colby-jack, and two other we-know-what-they-taste-like-but-can't-remember-their-names cheeses that have been lingering in the fridge for a while, so best to use it in a dish like this!!  (pretty much any cheese would do though... as long as it can dissolve into the bechamel!)

(with tomatoes, onions, shallots, chives, and truffle oil!)

1 tbsp butter
1 box penne pasta (cooked to al dente according to instructions)
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion (diced)
1 shallot (diced)
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
2 tsp garlic powder
3 cups milk
2 tbsp flour
4 cups freshly grated cheese (any kind! we used 3 different kinds, all about the same texture of colby-jack)
chives, finely chopped (optional, to taste)
2 roma tomatoes, diced (optional, to taste)
panko bread crumbs (to sprinkle on top)
black truffle oil (or truffle-infused oil, optional)

heat large dutch oven on stove over medium high heat.  add butter, and allow to melt.  add garlic, shallot, onions, and salt, and cook until onions are translucent (few minutes). add milk and garlic powder, then add flour and whisk until flour no longer has chunks, and bechamel is smooth. add cheese and whisk until cheese has completely melted into the sauce. add the al dente pasta and thoroughly combine (with whisk or wooden spoon). add chives and tomatoes, and stir again.  taste for saltiness.  depending on what kind of cheese you use, you may or may not need to add additional salt.  generously sprinkle top of mixture with panko, then lightly drizzle with truffle oil (or serve into small glass pyrex dishes like we did!!  lunches are good to go for a LONG time!!)
bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until tops of top penne pieces start to become brown.

homemade mac-n-cheese.
(didn't think you'd ever do THAT did ya? thank me by making it yourself and telling me how it goes!!) 

then, hit the gym, because you WILL eat too much, and you WILL feel stuffed, because you DID eat too much, and you REALLY want to take a nap instead.

finished the night watching cartoon batman.
(well, HE watched, while i perused the internet :P)

thanks, mr p! you're the best, as always :D

until next time,

p.s. my apologies for the LACK of photo quality! mr p was going so fast when i got home i had to grab the first thing i could find!  which meant my iphone, which takes HORRIBLE pictures in our kitchen light.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

weekend of champions.

what do we do when we finally have some free time on a weekend where we DON'T travel to see friends and family?

...apparently celebrate by indulging in drinking. 
and eating.
and drinking and eating some more.

that's all we've done for the past 5 days.
it felt like i was in college again.
but... in our defense, we haven't been able to see our friends that we actually DON'T have to travel to see in a LONG time... so, naturally, we celebrated.

wednesday, as i mentioned here , we attended a happy hour that benefited avon walk for breast cancer.

thursday we went to mama's food shop (featured on diners, drive-ins, and dives!! ) to celebrate the 30th birthday of mr p's friends from home (one is an actor, and one is part of the fashion design duo of NAHM ).  the food was classic southern comfort food (fried chicken, collard greens, meatloaf, etc) and it was all SO good.   guy fieri was right ... the fried chicken can't get any better.
friday we met up with many friends in hoboken at wicked wolf, celebrating christina graduating with her masters in engineering!!  ...and also celebrating just seeing our long lost friends.

saturday, mr p guilt-tripped me into going to kickboxing (so much jumping with a pounding headache was NOT fun, but i made it through, and felt good about working out on a SATURDAY)  later we ventured into the upper west side, and eventually harlem with new friends from wednesday night. (wait... you went to HARLEM ?? yes, friends. and it was SO nice!  we definitely want to go back and explore sometime)

("healthy" alternative to wings... just dunk a grilled chicken breast in buffalo sauce!  and those tater tots... they were totally mcd's hash browns in bite-sized form... aka heaven)

mr p's burger.  each side of the "bun" was a grilled-cheese sammich. i have no words.

mr p with our new bff's.

fish bowl.  actually, it was just jolly ranchers in liquid form.  or, at least that's what it tasted like.

beautiful view of the george washington bridge on the rooftop terrace of our new bff's apartment building in harlem.

sunday, we, yet again, went to kickboxing.  with only 10 people in the sunday morning class, we got our butts kicked.  so much i thought mr p was going to pass out.  sweat dripping from his face like a leaky faucet, weak punches, eyes closed... like a scene from a rocky movie or something (except nobody was punching him in the face)

i (somehow) mustered up the energy to go to a (free!) brunch in the city at donatella, the restaurant of food network's iron chef judge donatella arpaia. unfortunately, it wasn't as good as i had hoped.  my friend and i shared 2 plates, ricotta pancakes with rhubarb compote and eggs benedict.  the pancakes were good, and the rhubarb compote was good, not too sweet, and still a bit tangy.  however, the eggs benedict tasted like they had been sitting out for a while, with the egg yolks almost completely cooked. there was no yellow runny gooey goodness spilling out of them when you cut into them.  eggs benny fail.

i found these hiding in the freezer (homemade from a few months ago), so i popped them in the oven for mr p before heading out to brunch with my friend.

unlimited mimosas! except, we know our limits, especially since our last "unlimited mimosas" experience did not go so well...

not the best presentation, but the ricotta pancakes were pretty good!

eggs benny.  they LOOK perfect (probably because the eggs are HARD, instead of having runny goodness inside)

after walking around the flatiron neighborhood of manhattan for another few hours, we decided we had enough for the day, and came home.  i relaxed outside for a while..

kicked up my feet...

checked up in my tomato plants....

(this one is doing SO well!! started out so small!)

and mr p cooked up a storm, putting together these bad boys for dinner:

pan-fried sardine sammich for a late lunch (sounds HORRIBLE, but i've learned that sardines are actually REALLY tasty!)

chicken sammich :D

pulled chicken sammiches with homemade roasted garlic aioli, tomatoes, and cilantro.

he's the best.

now back to reality, but at least we have a 3-day weekend ahead!!

have a fantastic week!


Friday, May 18, 2012

insta-weeknight fun

who doesn't love a good happy hour?
especially when it's a benefit event?
makes you feel good about throwing down some good drinks ;)
perfect, sunny-and-70 weather for groove on grove at the PATH station :D

however, i was NOT a fan of getting lost outside of the world trade center PATH train, only to find my station i needed under construction, taking another train at another station, then switching to the train i needed in the first place, then going 3 wrong directions outside of grand central before going in the right direction (the only other direction) to get to Public House. (gotta love NYC)

WTC site.

but, when i walked in the doors, i got a warm welcome from my friends, and i was happy again :D
(too bad i was too busy seeing friends and making new friends i didn't take any pics... blogger fail )

but, i CAN tell you that we went there because our friend is raising money for Avon Walk for Breast Cancer


good luck, roquel!
(if you want to donate to her cause, click here )

after happy hour we went to bareburger , one of our favorite (and cheapest) sit-down places in the city.

so many sauces!


fried pickles that we accidentally DIDN'T get when my mom came to visit

ok ok, i didn't ACTUALLY get a burger this time. 
chicken for me, since we had so much fried food (or at least that's what i tell myself to make myself feel better about eating onion rings, fries, AND fried pickles)

(thanks again for dinner, guys!!)
so sad to see our friends move in a few weeks... but it's ok because they will be back in a few years :D

cheers to a great weekend ahead.
(with more plans to eat a lot and drink a lot.. wtf is wrong with us?? at least was have "intentions" of going to kickboxing each morning... we'll see how that goes :P)