Thursday, January 28, 2010

Newark Restaurant Week 2010

This year we thoroughly tried to embrace downtown Newark's Restaurant Week. January is a great time in Newark because most of the students are not in town (UD has a full J-term) and that leads to better parking, less crowded restaurants, and incentives to get us into stores.

We made a pact to try and go to completely new (to us) restaurants, or at least ones we had only been to once before. The following was our week:

Monday Lunch (MLK Day-no school): Wanted to go to Ali Baba, but realized it is not open for lunch. Went across the street to Klondike Kate's instead.

Shannon: French Onion Soup, Country Club
Brian: Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup, All Tied Up sandwich

Wednesday Super: Finally went to Deere Park Tavern... "Newark's oldest restaurant featuring hearty and savory dishes in a beautifully restored historic hotel frequented by Edgar Allen Poe."

Shannon: Homemade Fried Fierro Mozzarella (Brian looooved the herbs on top.), Buttermilk Fried Chick with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy (I could eat mashed potatoes and gravy every day of this pregnancy if Brian let me).
Brian: Black & Blue Steak (as normally, not quite blue enough for Brian, but I think he liked it).

Friday Super: Dined at Home Grown Cafe. Found out the place is a little bit restaurant, a lot bar. And it was a little crowded. But once the crowd thinned out we were able to enjoy ourselves, and Brian really loved the flavors here. The band was pretty good too-The John Bryne Band (folk rock). "Home Grown Cafe is an independently owned and award winning restaurant. We focus on providing our clientele with an eclectic unique experience that will be memorable for a diverse spectrum of tastes. With fresh local ingredients, internationally inspired menus, beers and wines from around the world. Home Grown is a great place for families, students, professors and travelers. We make 99% of our menu items from scratch, utilizing local and seasonal ingredients. We have a friendly, professional and knowledgeable staff. Home Grown is truly an enjoyable experience for all.

Shannon: Burger
Brian: Baba Ganoush, Waffle Crusted Chicken, Brandied Pear Bread Pudding

Sunday: We went to the Stone Balloon Winehouse, hoping to get soup, but found out they only had a brunch menu on Sundays. We went with it anyway, and had a very fancy Sunday brunch.

Shannon: Day Break Potatoes
Brian: pastry platter, Crab Cake Benedict

Reading Log

Kids Books:

The Hunger Games: My librarian read a teaser about this on the announcements last year, and I've wanted to read it ever since. I got it from my Aunt Jorita for Christmas, and was done with it before the holidays were over. It is a pretty depressing book, but it just draws you in to it.

Chasing Fire: And it turns out, there is a second book that follows Hunger Games. I think I read through this one even quicker-and can not wait from August when the next book comes out.
Historical Literature: My other goal has been to read some of the "classics" that I have not read. It takes me quite a while to get through most of them, but I finally got through all 634 pages of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Once I got used to reading the dialect, I was finally able to get into the story. It seems so strange the book was really written so long ago, before emancipation. I can see how this book spurred people into action.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winter/Christmas 2009

Picture of the Atlantic snowstorm:

Dec. 19. Saturday: I wake up early to find the entire complex covered in snow. It’s been coming down pretty hard for a few hours, and no one has really mussed up the streets yet. I make Brian get up to see it, and Cori loves bouncing around in the snow. The car dealership closes, so we can’t take our car in to get its oil changed like we had scheduled. We take our Christmas card picture with the windows open so everyone can see the snow. “The Blizzard of 2009” ends up being pretty substantial, definitely setting some records for the area. I see on facebook that our church has canceled services for the next day.

Dec. 20. Sunday: I bake pretty much all day… We get a call in the afternoon that Appo has already canceled school for the next day!! Get a lot of wrapping and letter writing done.

Dec. 21. Monday: The baking continues. I’m making up for last year, when I didn’t get any Christmas cookies made at all… I get another call saying that Appo has called the next day as well, and am officially on Christmas vacation! Get the Christmas letters mailed.

Dec. 22. Tuesday: Bake a few more things… decorate our sugar cookies! I normally don’t have the patience to decorate, but tried to make them cute this year.

Dec. 23. Wednesday: Wake up to find a tragedy in our fish tank. Apparently a bubble fish anemone has attacked our Nemo fish. Brian got it knocked off, but by then the fish was pretty much a goner. We hoped he would perk back up, but he never did. Good-bye Nemo fish.

Started on our way home. First stop is the Gap cheese shop, to pick up some extra aged gouda (Rembrandt) for Brian’s sister. We also add the following to our cart:
· Campo de Montalban (semi-hard Spanish cheese, made of cow, goat and sheep’s milk)
· White Stilton with Mango and Ginger (AGAIN! We always get this)
· And one of Bill’s Christmas Cheddars (Beecher’s Flagship Reserve, Seatle, WA)

We then decide to stop for lunch at the Gap Diner, since we always drove past it. We finally get going, and make the following progress, averaging 30 mpg. The cat and dog actually traveled very well together. No fighting, hiding, or getting sick.
· Left Newark at 10:17 AM
· Estimated Drive Time: 10 hrs, 43 min, Estimated Total Mileage: 627 miles
· Actual Drive Time: 12 hours, 33 min, with 2 hr, 44 min in stops, and actual mileage of 637 miles · Arrived Huntington at 10:50 PM

Dec. 24: Thursday: Spend the morning in Huntington, and head up to G & G B’s for our early Christmas. We then head to my old church for communion, and then up to Roanoke for a Lutheran Christmas Eve service. We sleep at Brian’s house. I’m too tired to make sure someone put out cookies for Santa.

Dec. 25: Friday: My mother ends up not having to work another shift, so we do get to have Christmas morning with my family when she comes home from being at the hospital from 7 pm-7 am.
We then head to Grandma Knight’s and see some of the family there. Little cousin Madison does a good job of leading Cori around like a steer and tiring her out.

Then we make it back up to Huntington to spend the afternoon with Brian's family, including Grandpa Eddie, excluding Mike and Ashley.

Our last stop of the day is the Banter Christmas that evening, where we get to meet baby Dylan.

Dec. 26: Saturday: We head to Ohio for Brian’s family Christmas. After a freakish car malfunction that left us sitting in a parking lot for about 45 minutes, we make it to the party. After eating, the Hutson aunts do an awesome job showering us with gifts for the little one.

Dec. 27: Sunday: Brian and I attend my church for worship, and then I have a “last super” (before one of us is a mother) with Mariah and Ashley. Following this we head to my second baby shower, hosted by my sister. She did a great job with it! We did the candy-diaper game, one where they had to guess my girth, a guessing game, and also the game where you lose your necklace if you say “baby”. It was cute, and pretty fun. My older sister in Alaska got to attend over the internet through Skype, which was really cool. I’m not much for video cameras, and this had the same feeling to it, so it took a while to get used to, but it was really awesome. Nephew Aydan acted like it was totally normal for him though. Good food and great gifts rounded out the shower.

(Pictures from the showers to come...)

Dec. 28: Monday. This was our first break in a while. We returned one double gift we got, went to the Bath & Body Yellow Sale (a personal favorite of my mothers, and a big surprise to Brian-“This normally costs $12????” Everyone in the store heard his opinion on the price for a bottle of lotion), and ate at Biaggi’s for lunch (you can now get refills on the soup!!! I have not had the chicken Florentine in years and was very excited). I got to read through most of “Hunger Games” and Brian spent most of the night playing poker with Matthew and my father.

Dec. 29: Tuesday. We ended up going to see my mother’s new hospital unit… see more in baby update posting. We then headed up to Huntington to have our official Christmas dinner with all of Brian’s siblings.

Dec. 30: Wednesday. Hung around in Huntington all day… I finally finished this needlepoint for baby Alison. I almost had it done with she was born, but it took me forever to get the last details done. Picked up “Chasing Fire” to start reading.
Cori had a lot of fun playing with Gus, most of the time. She had more energy to play than he did though, and he got grouchy about it a few times. Here they are in her cage together.... they both went in together on their own.

Dec. 31: Thursday. We had a busy day, having breakfast with my grandparents, and then eventually heading over to Megan and Ben's for a late lunch. She made us really tasty chilly, and we enjoyed some time with them. My sister thinks she is moving to Germany soon to live with Ben while he is still in training, but I'm not thinking about that until I see the actual orders in her hands.

We then have a quiet New Year's celebration with each other. For TEN years (!!!) Brian and I have visited the Marion lights every New Year's eve. We continued that again this year, and then headed to Ivanhoe's for tenderloins and ice cream. It was fantastic, and a nice little quite night together. We then headed to my parents where Brian worked on cooking meatballs and I fell asleep long before midnight. Brian missed waking me up to see the ball drop, but we said our "Happy New Years" a few minutes later.

Jan. 1: Friday. We partipated in my cousin Joel's 8th Annual Meatball Contest. There were 13th entries.  Even with crumbled bacon on his, Brian was not able to pull out a win. Afterwards we spent over an hour packing the car, getting almost all the Christmas and baby gifts in the car. We finished with dinner at BWW with Kari & Josh and Mariah & Kory. Even though it was absolutely FREEZING out, we finished off with DQ ice cream. My ribs hurt quite a bit after today-I think it was all the giggling.

Jan. 2: Saturday. We attended our last Christmas party in Toledo at Brian's grandpa's. Afterwards we drove straight through for nine hours and finally arrived home. Unpacking and getting our house back in running order will be on the agenda until we go back to work on Monday.