Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Suzee's Crunchy Watermelon Cucumber Salad

For Michele and Dave's party, I made this fresh salad inspired by Tyler Florence. It came out even better than I thought it would. But darn - no photo. Guess I'll have to make it again sometime :)

1 roll of paper towels - you won't use them all, but you'll need them!
2 Cups cucumber, peeled, deseeded, chopped and dried on paper towels
4 Cups watermelon, cubed, and dried on paper towels
1/2 C thinly sliced sweet red onion, set in water for 10 mins or so to cut the bite, and dried on paper towels
1/2 C packed mint leaves, chopped
1 cup goat cheese crumbles
1/2 cup salty cashews
Juice of 1 lemon - if you have a microplane, grate the zest in too
2 or 3 T of really good olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put everything in a big bowl from the cucumber to the mint, and give it a gentle toss. Add the cashews, lemon juice and zest, olive oil and s&p, and toss again. Top with the cheese. I tried tossing the cheese in, but it was too hot out and it just melted into the dressing. You will be surprised and pleased with this fresh side dish. Don't make it way ahead unless you keep it all separate and then combine at the end.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation - Michele and Dave's Party

We were too busy having fun, chatting, and catching up, and we realized at the end of the day we didn't take any photos! I stole these from Michele's facebook page :)

It's been one year since Deanna passed away, and we had a short memorial - a poem, a song and then we wrote wishes and prayers to Deanna on the beautiful mylar balloons. We cut off the string and watched them float up to heaven one by one. Laura got a great video of it with little Jayda in the background happily chatting as 2 year olds do. I'm glad we were able to take that time together.

After we ate, and swam, and went for boat rides, and enjoyed the day. It was beautful :)

Vacation - ManchVegas!

I made reservations via Open Table for Cotton - I think it's becoming our "go to" place in ManchVegas, also known as Manchester :D

We got a booth at the end where we could laugh and be obnoxious without interferring with all the folks there for a regular dinner. We started with a cocktail, and then ordered lots of good food. I have pictures on my camera phone that are struggling to upload, so perhaps I'll add them later if I feel particularly energenic. The highlights included Ann's crab cakes - she had these burger sized cakes (2 of them) as dinner. They are actually an appetizer, but my goodness, I'd be shocked if someone ate all that and then had dinner afterward. Rick started with a cool blueberry soup - a nice unique starter. Then he had the meatloaf. He wasn't feeling well later so something didn't agree with him, but he liked it while he was eating it! Kathy had the Turkey Schnitzel Ann had last time - that bourbon applesauce will get me everytime. I had the lamb sirloin - cooked so fabulously with some bitter greens. It was excellent.

Our server was right on top of things, bringing everthing we could possibly need (and perhaps a few things we didn't need but really wanted - hahaha!). A great meal.

We moved on from there to Strange Brew - Ann set that up, and they had a great blues band playing. Mike and Rick ended up going back early, and the rest of us stayed out too late, but had so much fun. It's so great to see everyone again :D

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bryant Grill Brunch - Delicioso!

Rick and I braved the heat today and headed over to the Bryant Park Grill. We were initially going to sit out side and read, but we realized our tummies were in need of a light little brunch. The lovely basket contained an assortment of mini muffins and tea breads - they were fresh and delicious. Well - the half of one I had was fresh and delicious. Rick said the rest were amazing :)

My omelet had fresh avacado and goat cheese, and it was perfectly cooked, soft and yummy. Fresh slices of tomato and grilled sweet onions were nice accompaniments.

Rick had the scrambled eggs with sausage, home fries and tomato slices - presented so nicely!

Even though it was was warm today, this alfresco brunch was a nice quiet respite in the crazy city. I'm giving it 2 thumbs up!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lady Gaga at Madison Square Garden

On Friday night I made my way over to Madison Square Garden to see Lady Gaga in concert. She added an extra show at the last minute, and yes, it sold out. She's already scheduled to come again in the winter.

The tickets indicated the show started at 8, which I thought was funny because I always had thought they started at 9. The warm up band, a glam rock group a la Queen started at 8 and played for a half hour. At around 9:35 Lady Gaga took the stage. There were a lot of younger kids in the audience (8 - 12 year olds) and that surprised me, but since it wasn't a school night....

Lady Gaga spent a lot of time speaking to her fans (the "little monsters") and assuring them that being different is a good thing. She was kind and sweet when she spoke, and I could see how kids would respond to that. The show it self was entertaining - the sets were elaborate (thus the need for all the talking between songs) and the dancing was just like you see on the videos. The one disappointment was that she sang to her own tracks - not for every song, but for any with the big dance routines. Less than a handful were too new to have the big production, and she accompanied herself on the piano. I kinda miss the days where a live concert was actually live.

At any rate, MSG was a pretty good venue - though I was in the very tippy top row, and I had to scootch down to see the video screen Gaga had installed. For a game, though, the seat would have been great. The permanent jumbo-trons (is that what they still call them?) were easily in sight, and the chairs were pretty comfortable.

A good night of chair dancing :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th on Hudson Terrace

We had a great time last night at the fireworks - we went to a viewing party with a BBQ buffet on the roof deck of the Hudson Terrace on 46th and 11th. We very much enjoyed the folks at our table, and the after party! Looking forward to next year too :)
These guys partied with bottle service and very kindly shared - and that big ole of bud lights were gone when this guy left too. My favorite were the Mojitos - nice and sweet!
Here are Dawn and Rachel - my new Syracuse friends - very fun girls! We partied and enjoyed the gorgeous evening!
And the champagne that came with our tickets :D
This chicky come to celebrate her 29th birthday again. I wouldn't have thought she celebrated even 1 before!
I took a little video - fun to be there!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Suzee's Citrus Cooler

Today I was in the mood for something fun to drink. We are heading to the Hudson Terrace tonight for a fireworks viewing party, so no brunchy brunch cocktails today. This cooler is insprired by the orange aide my mom used to make when I was little. She'd fill up one of the old glass tropicana orange juice bottles with 3 lemons and 3 oranges - cut them and juice them, and add the rinds to the bottle. Then she'd add 2 cups of sugar and fill it with water. She admitted she stopped making it because of all that sugar.
So, today, I sliced and juiced a lemon and a juicing orange, adding the juice and 4 packets of splenda to 2 12 oz cans of sparkling water and lots of ice. Delicioso! Give it a try!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Everyday Rapture on Broadway

I got some last minute tickets from Theater Extras to see this new musical comedy. This show was cool logistically because even on a Friday night, it started at 7:00 pm. It ran an hour and a half, so they skipped the intermission (which was a little stressful - people actually got up toward the end to go to the bathroom).

I'm not surprised though - they had special cocktails for people before the show. Yes, I tried the Everyday Rapture, and yes, it was amazing!

The show is about a menonite woman's remeniscence of her childhood - a kind of 50's coming of age story. The music and talent were really good, and it was an enjoyable show. I laughed out loud a LOT!

Happy Birthday Rick!

Rick's birthday was last night, and I knew he was so in the mood for brownies. So when I got out of work, I ran home and made them :) The whip up quickly, and I stopped at the corner store to get a little whipping cream for the chocolate glaze, and vanilla ice cream to make it just a tad bit more special :) I love these happy birthday candles - I got them at Pier II for $3. When you are older than the number of candles it takes to spell Happy Birthday, then this is the way to go :)

I got a bouquet of balloons to decorate the apartment too. Very festive!

And for dinner, I ordered salad, lasagna, a side of meatballs and garlic bread from the Firehouse pizza place. It worked out really well and since I had already made the brownies, I didn't feel too slug like ordering dinner. I knew Rick would very much prefer to stay in rather than go out. I set the table with nice dishes and opened a nice bottle of Chianti.

Rick's ordering a new monitor for his computer for his present as soon as he figures out which one he wants :)

Happy Birthday lover~ xo