Category Archives: beef

Houston, Texas: Take 2!

Yes, in the space of 2 weeks, I visited Houston twice. The first time was nice, I got to go to this fun place with some coworkers. It was hot, it was new, I got to meet some new colleagues, and see how these meetings were SUPPOSED to roll out.

Then the second weekend, our team (2 of the same people, 2 different) took a more flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants approach, which made the weekend more interesting than a repeat would’ve been. Plus we had almost twice as many people attend the meeting (go recruitment!). Also, we were able to go here:

This is the wall and chandelier of the private dining room at Philippe, a tres chic dining destination in Houston.

I went with their bouillabaisse. It was pretty good (but I wasn’t wowed). I also had their Ile Flottante, which definitely made me say WOW… (but then I’ve always been biased toward the sweets, we know this)

the lake where Andy Pettitte has a house near Conroe, TX

But besides all these different things, what made the second trip the most special was that I got to visit relatives- second cousins- that I’ve only seen a few times in my life! Glory be to Facebook for keeping us all in touch, sort of.
Highlights:

love love LOVED the cornbread in its tin!

The family members, especially Yvette, all pitched in to make “Texan food,” which turns out to be the exact stereotype of ‘grill-out food,’ and since it was about 100 degrees, was perfect! Smoked brisket, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, and cornbread- talk about your Western smorgasbord!

when horses are a part of work, the tack is kept in the front office!
Here I am with Belle’s little filly
And here’s me on Suzie, with Shelly on Cutter

I think it should be explained that Suzie missed a growth spurt, so her awesome cutting bloodlines were put to pasture as it were, and now she hangs around the house as a beloved pet. Or at least I think that’s what the arrangement is. At any rate, I got to ride her in the round pen without a bridle, and got to help in training her a bit, which was a new skill! :-) The family’s opinion was that she takes after Ginger (meaning she’s a brat and will only answer to my dad’s cousin Louis!).

In front of the guest suite (super nice!) with a pint of Blue Bell ice cream Super yum!)
So the second trip was far more exciting! Go, Work-Life Balance!

The Infamous…

My party, as promised :-)
So. I floated along in a glow-haze for the whole week, but I guess it’s time for documentation. Proof that so much fun could, in fact, be had. Well, here it is, folks. My very own pinata party, out on the green.

(This is me being cheeky and pointing out over right field where my homerun would go, hehe.)


Here’s Rachel, giving it a go (left). So what else did we do, besides swing away? You’re right, it wasn’t all violence; we don’t roll like that. Since it was actually a dual celebration for my friend April (born 4/19/someyear) and me, we had two mostly-not-overlapping groups of friends, so people got to meet and talk and bascially just loll about in the perfect California-weather day. It was awesome- felt very Chosen People-ish (but more on that below with the bowling).
There was also a fair amount of food. It was hard to stand it, but I managed to sample a few things here and there. I brought Nora’s red pepper spread recipe, Molly’s Banana Bread, and some cranberry bread with no chocolate, since it was not yet Easter and I knew at least one person would be abstaining from chocolate for Lent (that is one old habit that should die a fabulous death).
And here is April of the 4/19 bday, in a great Action Shot (right)! Her mom was in town too, and so helped with the logistics- I think the older Filipina woman did a great job blending in and having fun with all us young’uns!
But the pinata party wasn’t the only event. Nay, there were pre-party rumblings heard as early as Sunday. Rumblings that took the form of… a Korean Triple Play !

Lovely beef and noodle dish at Palace Restaurant

 Me, Nina, Nora at the Lanes


Jess, Nora, Marc focused on the ‘pan-chan’ (terrible anglicism)
The Korean Triple Play was born of my desire to continue field tripping into adulthood. If we’re going to go into Virginia, we might as well make hay, right? Or something like that. So especially for people who couldn’t make it to the pinata party, it was a nice outing. Consisting of:
1) ‘Palacial’ dinner at Palace Restaurant, a Korean BBQ/ Grill place of tasty food and wonderful service
2) Burning off a few of those calories at AMF Annandale Lanes, just down the road
3) Burning off some more (and losing our voices) as we choke through an hour of karaoke at a Korean private-room karaoke lounge
It was a great idea, let me tell you. PLUS, we had a great time bowling- we went Jews v. Gentiles; each team had an N, a J, and an M (isn’t that crazy? natural selection or something?), and each team won once. That’s all we had strength for!
Ahh, 30. I am embarking on this year with a powerful feeling of self-possession, balance, and drive. TOward what? Well, we’ll see. 😉

Girl at Work

Here is a short post about food at work. Well, food is always at work while we’re noshing on it, but I mean food which I consume at work. Here is Case #1:

Le Grilled Cheese avec Cornichons

‘But how,’ I can hear you saying, ‘does she manage this gourmet fare at the office, with neither grill pan nor George Foreman at the ready?’
Well, dear Reader, I will tell you, I have never used a George Foreman grill, and my grill pan has only been used to spectacular disappointment thus far. We have a toaster over at work, which I bribed into both melting the cheese and crisping the bread slices. And the cornichons were carried in a jar from home to give the meal a ‘je ne sais quoi‘ of specialness. Ah, les francais…

Case #2: Ye Ol’ Irish-American Celebration Midday Dinner
As I get older, I am forced to reflect on many things. One of them is how much effort and of which type I feel like putting forth for certain celebrations. This year, while I had planned to trot down to the Dubliner, a fine neighborhood-in-a-stretch establishment, to partake in Irish music and food and frolic for that day when the Irish Snake-Charmer went out of business, I came home and decided that what was really calling my name was the corned beef stewing in my pot for 3 1/2 hours. So I went with that instead. :)
But at least here’s the proof that the next day at work I did honor the ancestors. With corned beef, potato, and kale salad.
More to come on butt bread, chocolate fudge espresso cookies, the secret to delicious instant polenta, and springtime. Stay tuned!

And special note for Ginny: thank you soooo much! You turned around my evening :)