Taking Back My Twenties

Posts Tagged "Friends"

Dirty 30

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 | 0 comments

Hello and happy Monday! We had a big weekend over here because we celebrated Matt’s 30th with all of our Dallas friends.

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I made a big spread of food including both new and old recipes. I made salami chips which were a hit – dipped in spicy hummus, they were amazing!

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Of course, after our trip to Turkey, I had to have feta and olives – the best combo ever.

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I also tried a new recipe for caribbean shrimp – the marinade was delicious and it would have been even better with fresh shrimp (i used frozen).

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And a kale, quinoa, and apricot salad. I think I’m done making healthy salads for parties because no one eats them. This was a good recipe and I’ve been enjoying the leftovers, but next to party foods, kale just can’t compete!

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The rest of the food included caprese skewers with pretty summer tomatoes, and the un-pictured, never-fail party foods: Mexican bean dip and pigs-in-a-blanket (I used spicy chicken sausage for these this time and people loved them).

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So many friends came to celebrate Matt!

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Cake, duh!!

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We consumed beverages like 20-year-olds and then headed out to a fun bar for some dancing.

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Oh my goodness, it was a blast. Happy birthday one last time, Matt!

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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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Vegas

Posted on Mar 17, 2014 | 14 comments

Vegas is intense! I can’t believe how many people were there – I arrived and was like, oh, this is where everybody has been all these years!

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I got to our hotel just as the sun was setting on Friday night! I was the last to arrive and it was glorious to walk into a hotel room of friends! My friend Emily was our host for the weekend and she did an amazing job planning everything and getting us on lists so we could skip the lines and the cover charges! She also works for the Las Vegas Sands, so we got a ridiculously low rate at the Palazzo.

We listened to an epic playlist while getting ready and then headed to the lobby for dinner at SushiSamba. I’m not a sushi person, so I never would have picked this on my own, but it was amazing!

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We had wonderful service, excellent cocktails, and delicious food!

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Highlights included the fried plantains and the sea bass skewers!

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And a complimentary cocktail tower!

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After dinner, we headed across the street to the XS club at the Wynn.

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The club was giant and had an awesome outdoor area.

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I had no idea it was going to happen, but David Guetta appeared as the DJ at 2am!!

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He was awesome, and we made our way to the pit to get a better look!

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Most of us east and central time zone people couldn’t sleep in so we grabbed green juice, hit the gym, and got some lunch at the pool. It was a little too chilly for bathing suits, but I enjoyed a nap under a towel in the wonderful sunshine.

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Saturday evening we got all dolled up for our second night on the town (I definitely could not have handled a third night!).

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Our destination was the Cosmopolitan hotel, where we had drinks in the Chandelier bar. Bourbon for me!

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We had dinner at a fantastic restaurant called Rose.Rabbit.Lie at the Cosmopolitan. The menu was all small plates, so we shared a bunch of dishes, and every single thing I tried was phenomenal. The above brussels sprouts with crispy chicken skin were maybe the best I’ve ever had. The coolest part about dinner though, was that our table was backstage and we dined while a show was happening on the other side of the wall. All the performers would come through the dining room, warm-up with a small act/performance, and then enter the stage door.

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We saw so many interesting things, like this upsidedown man!

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Our main event for the night was the Marquee nightclub. One of Emily’s [INCREDIBLY generous] friends got a table for us! It was wonderful to be able to have drinks (and water!!) right there and be able to sit and relax if we wanted too.

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We spent a large portion of the night debating if the man in the black suit in the left-ish part of the picture was Paul Rudd. If it wasn’t, he was an exact look alike!

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We had [too much] champagne and I loved the girls with sparkers who would bring out the bottles. They even changed outfits each time!

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Needless to say, it was a magical night!

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We ended the trip with brunch at Bouchon Bistro.

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I enjoyed a spiced doughnut and a glorious corned beef hash in honor of St. Patrick’s day. I was super impressed with the food in Las Vegas, and I told matt we are going back just to eat.

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A gigantic thank you to my friend Emily for totally spoiling us and bringing us all together!!!

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Hunter Gatherer and Bday Desserts

Posted on Feb 24, 2014 | 6 comments

The weekend was lovely. I hadn’t really seen Matt in a while because of Key West and his weekend soccer tournament plus weekday travel for work. It was wonderful to go on a date! HG Supply has been on our list for quite some time, so we were both really excited to have dinner there. HG stands for hunter gatherer and the menu is Paleo-inspired; the food is simple and clean, and so was the space! I had a fabulous vanilla cinnamon Manhattan in the lively bar while we waited for our table.

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We started with the bacon wrapped pork shanks with chipotle-cider glaze. These were giant and delicious.

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HG Supply is famous for their bowls of flavorful combinations of meat and vegetables. Matt wanted to try ‘The Hunted’ bowl consisting of duck confit, sweet potato hash, spicy broccoli & bacon. We both loved it.

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We also shared the quinoa burger with olive tapenade and hummus. We will definitely be back to HG supply, not just because we liked the food and atmosphere, but because of the chocolate kettlebell that arrived at the table beside us. It was the size of an actual kettlebell and the server poured hot caramel over it to melt the chocolate and reveal a piece of cheesecake inside. It was insane.

After dinner we watched Blackfish, a documentary about killer whales in captivity. I really enjoyed watching it, but also felt really sad about the poor whales and trainers. I dreamed of being one of those trainers after my first visit to SeaWorld when I was little and had no idea that so much information had been kept from the public:(

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Saturday, I baked up a storm! A friend was celebrating her 30th birthday, and I volunteered to make the desserts for the party. I attempted a new recipe for brownie surprise cupcakes, and made an old faithful mint whoopie pie recipe.

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I wouldn’t recommend the brownie surprise – freezing the brownie batter was supposed to keep it from cooking all the way through so that it would remain gooey, but it didn’t work at all. The brownies still cooked until they were dry and cakey. They weren’t bad at all, but I’m just not a chocolate cake person and that’s basically what they tasted like on the inside. The peanut butter icing on top, however, was incredible!!!

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And the whoopies were good!

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The party was awesome – they had one of my favorite wines and a wonderful spread of Mexican food from a local restaurant. I could not stop eating the sweet potato chips with salsa verde!!

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Sunday was nice and relaxing. Matt and I took a long walk to the tennis courts, but were sad to find them packed because of the nice weather. We eventually gave up.

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I picked up some cajun turkey burgers for dinner and we sipped on rose to end the weekend.

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And another week begins.

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