Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner Part 2

Dinner at the Loft

The Main Course  
Tuna Tartare

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Greetings

A very Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to everyone. 

Frank and I created another lovely meal last night, for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Fortunately I took the day off from work so I had plenty of time to shop at Mazzaro's and prep for dinner. The menu:
  • Tuna Tartare with cucumber salad, and orange glazed crispy shrimp with a scallion cream sauce. (inspired by a dish I had at Todd English's Bluezoo - see earlier post)
  • Duck breast with cherries in port wine sauce
  • Seared sea scallops
  • Eggplant Napoleon with a basil olive oil
  • Parsley new potatoes
  • Lemon Panna Cotta with fresh raspberries and raspberry coulis. 
Christmas day dinner was a family affair at my niece Cherie's home in Sarasota. She prepared a wonderful standing rib roast with green beans and potatoes Au gratin (compliments of my nephew, Biff)

Now I need a rest from all the great food.

Peace to all !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mr. P is in Trouble

Mr. P, aka Paolo - the handsome, aka P-Butt, is in trouble tonight. Yes, my boy cat is in trouble. Well, not serious trouble to the point of being confined to kitty jail or anything like that. Here is the deal. 

Last night I stopped at Petsmart to pick up a few Christmas gifts for Paolo and Lucia. This is the time of year they are treated for being such "good" children. I tossed the bag of toys on top of the refrigerator (OK, you can see this one coming, can't you?). In the bag was a small canvas bag of catnip. Well, when I arrived home tonight, the bag was on the floor, ripped open and the catnip bag was removed from the bag and laying in the kitchen, and it was saturated with cat saliva. 

Now, you might ask why I accused Mr. P of this criminal deed. Easy, his chin was still wet from salivating all over the catnip bag. And I also know from prior experience, that he has a fit when he and catnip are mixed.

Right now, he is sitting on my lap, checking every word I write about him. So much for being in trouble. The bag of toys, including the soggy catnip bag are safely stored in a place he cannot access. He will just have to wait until Christmas Eve to open his gifts.

Meow !

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Free Day

I am taking one of my few remaining vacation days today, for no reason other than I have to use it or lose it. Since it is a lovely sunny day in St. Pete, I went for a long walk, had lunch at a new vegetarian place on Central and wandered the streets for a while. 

Here is a brief update on my health situation: The pathology reports came back good, no cancer in the lymph nodes. However the melanoma was deep - 7mm thick, and the oncologist is concerned about recurrence of cancer. So I will be starting interferon infusions in January to decrease the chance of a recurrence. 

The downtown restaurant scene continues to change, with a new Z Grill opening, and a soon to open Red Mesa Cantina only blocks from the loft. Frank, him Mom and I tested Marchands at the Vinoy last week. We had a very nice meal in a nice setting. I had a lamb tenderloin that was cooked perfectly medium rare. It was very good, but not as good as the "best ever" lamb tenderloin at Bayona in New Orleans. 

Finally, Straub Park is aglow with Christmas and Holiday decorations. The weather has been perfect for evening strolls through the park to enjoy the festive environment. If you live in the Tampa Bay area, come on by for a walk in the park.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa Fe Album

Click --> Santa Fe to see some photos from the trip.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where Have I Been

... you might ask due to the lengthy time between posts. Well, I was in Santa Fe, NM for a long weekend this past weekend, and had a great time. The weather was between the high 20s and the low 50s, with clear blue skies almost every day. The cool weather is exactly what Frank and I were hoping for, however the only snow we saw was on the high road to Taos. Hey, I am not complaining... it was still a great time.

I ate (no surprise), everything from Roasted Acorn Squash filled with a chipotle cream vegetable stew (Cafe Pasqual's), to duck breast in a cherry sauce on a potato gallette, (315 Restaurant and Wine Bar), to an eggplant and tomato pasta, (Osteria di Assissi), to a juicy medium rare steak (Railyard Restaurant), to breakfast crepes (twice - Cafe Paris and  French Pastry Shop & Restaurant), and wonderful tamales (Tia Sophia's). 

and... we were "cultured" by a visit to SITE Santa Fe 2008 Biennial, a very interesting exhibit of "art" created by an international collection of artists who were give a budget of $7,500 to create their installation which included everything an interactive "touch the wall" exhibit, video presentations, an elevated ramp that ended in an optional jump to mats below, and a bronze sculpture based on Roswell UFO sightings, to name only a few. 

We also attended a performance of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra at the Lensic Theatre (build in 1931) to hear BartokHungarian Sketches, Dvorák, Cello Concerto, and Brahms, Symphony No. 1.

Santa Fe... good food, good shopping, very nice people... go if you get the opportunity