Taking Back My Twenties

Dinners

Thoughts from a Thursday

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 | 4 comments

How’s it going out there?

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Matt and I had a wonderful anniversary celebration – we had dinner at the famous Fearings (out of this world) and the enjoyed the top layer of our wedding cake afterwards.

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It was a little beat up from riding to Texas in a cooler for 3 days, but it somehow survived. I think we were too full to appreciate it right after dinner, but boy did in taste good the next day!

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This week has been a good one – I picked up an extra shift at work and attempted a few new recipes to pack for lunches. And I made more banana bread because the muffins make the most incredible snack with nut butter.

Last night, Matt and I went to see Belle – it was a beautiful movie! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good love story and I really enjoyed it. Any other good ones? I’d def. like to see Don Draper in a different role….

And now it’s time for another weekend. I don’t have a thing planned and I like it that way.

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BBQ Birthday and San Salvaje

Posted on May 19, 2014 | 1 comment

Happiest of Mondays to you guys!

We did a whole lotta nothing on Friday and Sunday so that we could go all out on Saturday! For the first time in a while, we didn’t even put any effort in Friday dinner – we just had leftovers and went to bed.

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Saturday, we drove out to the burbs to celebrate the adorable Rosco – he turned one! Time is flying – I can’t imagine how fast it moves when you’re a parent!

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You’re telling me this whole cupcake is just for me?
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We enjoyed a lovely bbq buffet, adult beverages, and Texas breezes out on the patio. It was great to catch up with a bunch of friends who all moved to Dallas after Duke!
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We got home just in time to change clothes and walk downtown to try San Salvaje – the new Stephen Pyles restaurant!. I was pumped to try it because it’s South American fusion and reasonable priced for downtown Dallas. I somehow snagged a reservation before it had even opened last week. We arrived a little early and tried a flight of pisco from Chile and Peru at the bar. All three were slightly sweet, but sooo strong! We made it through half of each glass and then I added a few drops of agave and some lime to turn these into mini pisco sours. I guess I’m a wimp:)

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I was so excited to see the wine list because they had many bottles for $25-$32!! I love this restaurant just for that! We splurged for this bottle of malbec and it was wonderful!

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We skipped the entree and just ordered a few small plates. Less is more these days.

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This is the pork belly tacu tacu (lentil cake) with fig compote. It was absolutely perfect and the pork just melted in my mouth.

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Next, the lobster sweet corn tamale with fried avocado – also fabulous.

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The duck tacos were probably my favorite and they came with two salsas, cilantro, and a little tower of limes for seasoning!

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Last of the small plates was the crab arepa.

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The waiter talked us into desserts too, which were incredible: the sweet banana tamale (holy moly, so good),

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the sweet potato donuts!!!

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I was already completely in love with San Salvaje and then Chef Pyles stopped by our table to chat!! He’s been traveling to South America for years and created the restaurant based on his experiences. We’re hoping to plan a trip down there in the near future and got his recommendations for cities. He was so sweet and even went into the back to look up some names of restaurants in his notes and came back to share them with us later. He was down-to-earth and friendly, and now I’m an even bigger fan:)

Have a good week.

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A Bit of Everything

Posted on May 12, 2014 | 5 comments

My weekend was full of a bit of everything – friends, exercise, walking in the sunshine, beers, lovely food, and a movie. I love it when we can fit in a variety of relaxing activities!

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We stayed in Friday night and enjoyed a bottle of Chianti gifted to us by friends. I picked up this awesome piece of pork at Central Market – it was tenderloin stuffed with spinach, red peppers, and spicy sausage. I served it with mashed potatoes and mushrooms cooked in red wine! We had perfect patio weather.

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Saturday I was up early and did a new class at Equinox – Major Black Dress Workout was so.hard! I loved it, but I’m sooo sore.

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I showered at the gym to save time, so that we could meet friends at Lakewood Brewing Company for their weekly open house! We packed sandwiches and enjoyed conversation, live music, and four tastes of awesome Lakewood beers. It was such a fun Saturday!

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For dinner, we headed down to the Oak Cliff neighborhood and tried a restaurant off the beaten path – Mesa is focused on coastal cuisine from Veracruz, Mexico.

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I had a spicy marg with dinner, obviously.

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We had some chips and guac and tried their famous mole sauce as an app. And then we split a seafood dish with clams, mussels, octopus, scallops, and shrimp all cooked with jalapenos, Dos XX and white wine. This was fabulous!

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We also shared the lobster enchiladas served with a blue crab and mango avocado.

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Mesa was fantastic, and the dishes were really unique – def. not your typical Tex-Mex.

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Since we were in the neighborhood, I couldn’t resist trying the famous Emporium Pies! We ordered a bourbon pecan and an apple strudel to go, and enjoyed them on the couch with Don Draper.

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Sunday, we strolled to the coffee shop to get some work done and then caught an afternoon showing of The Budapest Hotel, which I highly recommend as a quirky and entertaining movie.

I’m off to work for the rest of the day – have a great Monday.

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Finally

Posted on May 4, 2014 | 8 comments

Thanks for your sweet comments!

I was sick all week long and spent a lot of time on the couch watching Dawson’s Creek, eating pancakes, and sleeping. But the whole time I was smiling! After 61 cover letters and interviews for 13 different positions, I am finally done. I have accepted the role of Learning Specialist at an independent school! The position is brand new, so I will be spearheading the development of policies and procedures surrounding the academic support program, coordinating support services for students with learning differences, and acting as a resource for parents and teachers. My role will be similar to what I was doing last year as a school psychologist, except that I won’t be testing students to determine special education eligibility (because I.D.E.A. doesn’t apply in private settings), and I’ll be working in ONE SCHOOL! I am pumped for this challenge, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be working with an amazing group of professionals. I substituted on Friday and only got more excited to be back in a school setting with the kiddos. I don’t start until the new school year, so I will continue working at Equinox in the meantime.

Needless to say, Matt and I celebrated this weekend.

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We popped open a bottle of Prosecco that’s been in my fridge since December.

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We drank it in the park by our apartment while the sun was setting and then ordered Thai takeout. It was a wonderful evening.

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Saturday morning, I was finally feeling up for some exercise afer 4 days off – I took Matt with me to a spinning class and then tried out the steam room for some relaxation afterwards. Felt so good to sweat!

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Matt let me pick our Saturday evening dinner destination, and I went with Komali because of the incredible Mexican-inspired menu – seriously my dream menu. We walked to dinner in the glorious 80 degree temps.

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Cheers! I ordered a tamarind margarita with a spiced rim and it was amazing.

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For appetizers, we ordered the goat cheese with morita chile and piloncillo,

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as well as the PEI mussels with pasilla chile flakes, cilantro, and tequila – whatever crema was on the toasted baguette was out of this world.

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For entrees, we ordered the pan seared scallops with cauliflower poblano rajas, apple compote, and ancho chile glaze,

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and the poblano pepper stuffed with beef tenderloin and dried fruits & nuts with toasted walnut sauce and cilantro.

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And lastly, the pumpkin tres leches with candied pepitas and cinnamon whipped cream.

Everything we ordered was amazing – I’m kind of in love with Komali now. We definitely went all out, and the dinner made for one hell of a celebration!

Hope y’all had a lovely weekend.

PS: thank you for the continuous support this year and for bearing with me during these past couple of crazy months!

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Scenes from the Weekend

Posted on Apr 28, 2014 | 24 comments

I’ll leave you with snaps from my wonderful, low-key weekend because I’m too tired from work and being sick to write a full recap. I have a cold/cough and found out I also have an infection – the antibiotics are already destroying my stomach:( Plus, I’m too excited to focus on writing a post right now because….

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I GOT A JOB. I GOT A JOB. I GOT A JOB! Wooohoooooooo. I just found out a few hours ago and am beyond excited!

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Friday Night Kirin Pairing

Posted on Apr 13, 2014 | 10 comments

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

It was a beautiful spring weekend in Dallas! I did some cooking and cleaning, and we celebrated a friend’s birthday on Saturday. It was great to take it easy. And I drank Kirin! I was excited to have the opportunity to prepare an Asian-inspired dish to pair with the Japanese-style beer. I’d had Kirin before and always loved how the crisp taste balanced out spicy or bold Asian dishes, so I was happy to drink it again. Plus, I like the challenge of preparing a new-to-me recipe, since I tend to stick with my favorites. If you’re looking for new recipe ideas, celebrity chef Candice Kumai will be sharing new ideas and pairing tips on Kirin’s Facebook page. Kirin has partnered with chef Kumai to help bring its beer to the growing Asian food scene.

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If you aren’t familiar with the beer, it’s 100-percent malt with subtle flavor upfront and a smooth, clean finish. I’d actually never had the Kirin Light before – It’s very similar, but without as much full flavor upfront. I’m not a huge light beer person, but I’d definitely pick this over American light beers:) The brewery is one of Japan’s oldest, dating back to 1888!

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I decided on a Japanese chicken and noodle dish, and I bought some shrimp to add as well. Both of the above ingredients were new to me! To compliment the noodle dish, I found a recipe for shiitake slaw.

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I chopped all my veggies ahead of time, so Matt and I could enjoy beers on the porch when he got home from work. The weather was fantastic!

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Once all the ingredients were prepped, this meal came together quickly on the stove top.

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How cute is this little bowl that arrived along with the Kirin? It was the perfect size for my side of shiitake slaw, which was delicious. I love mushrooms now, which is funny, because I used to be so afraid of them!

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To be honest, I actually didn’t love the noodle dish. The black bean paste was a prominent flavor, and I wasn’t a fan. But the Kirin washed it down nicely and paired beautifully with the heat from the hot sesame oil:) And Matt really liked the Kirin Light (I drank the regular with dinner).

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As much as I enjoy eating out, I’ve started to really love when we stay in and cook on Friday evenings. Thanks to Kirin for sending beer to my door step!

Hope you guys had great weekends too!

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