Indiana Jones – Our New Kitten

We got a kitten!! As I’m sure all of you who know me are aware, I’ve been wanting a cat since I graduated from college so needless to say I am extremely excited. He is the sweetest, cutest, little trouble maker. We named him Indy because of his proclivity for exploring and subsequently his ability to get into all sorts of trouble.

He loves his catnip filled mouse

We got him because our friend Rebecca told us about what a sweetheart he is. She had taken her (very wonderful and sweet) cat, Prince, to the vet last week and they were fostering him after finding him on the streets of Brooklyn (hipster kitty!). I went in on Friday night to “meet” him and walked out 15 minutes later with him in my arms. After a quick run to Petco for all of the necessary supplies, he settled in and I am already in love.

My boys

Of course, being a kitten he manages to get himself into all sorts of mischief. He’s already knocked over a couple glasses, almost broke one of our lamps, and loves sprinting from one end of the apartment and catapulting himself onto our bed in the middle of the night. I know Rick especially appreciates that last bit. He’s too cute to be mad at and is already very well trained with the kitty litter so I can’t complain. He’s my little munchkin.

He’s so angelic when he sleeps

In-N-Out

Oh Hey Pacific Ocean

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be in Southern California for one of my very good friend’s wedding. It was beautiful, we stayed at the Ritz, and it was the first time my college friends have all been back together since we graduated. Definitely a good way to celebrate.

Worth a trip to California

Obviously, a trip to California means a stop at In-n-Out. I only had my first one 2 years ago but I dream about their burgers. In fact, it’s probably what made me start liking burgers in the first place. On our drive from LAX to Dana Point Rick, Ivana, Kate, and myself stopped to get our fill. We each got Double-Doubles Animal Style. Animal Style means they add thousand island dressing, grilled onions, pickles, and grill your burger with mustard. Everyone knows about In-n-Out’s “secret menu” but for a run down of every single thing on it, Serious Eats did an awesome and hysterical article about it (I totally recommend reading it).

3 Double-Doubles Animal Style

The burgers were just as good as I remember. Fresh, tangy, salty, addictive. I wish I was eating one right now. Their fries always disappoint me, though I’ve never tried those Animal Style so perhaps that’s next! Anyway, it was the perfect start to an incredibly great weekend. I just wish we had those burgers over here.

Day Two: The Heat Wave Continues…

Dear Diary,

Day 2 of being held captive by this heat. It hovers over the city and blankets us with sweat. I do not know if we will make it out. It is relentless and the city is restless. I fear we may be on the brink of a meltdown. Those who venture out into the heat have a strange look about them…as if they know they cannot escape. I believe we have descended into the bowels of hell and God has forsaken us. “When will it end?!” people cry out in the street. I have no answer for them. Mother Nature can be cruel.

…we cannot get out…the heat is coming.

Tag!

I was recently tagged by my new friend Becca to participate in a little interesting facts about you post. Basically, I have to come up with 11 fun facts about myself (this was difficult) and then answer the questions she made up for me. I figured this would be fun since I haven’t done anything like it on the blog. So enjoy!

Here are the rules:

  • You must post the rules.
  • Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
  • Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  • Tag eleven people and link them on your post
  • Let them know you’ve tagged them!

I don’t know 11 people so I’m just gonna skip that part. I’m so popular.

Facts about me!

  1. I am a gifted snowflake maker. I decorated all the windows in my office with cut out snowflakes for Christmas. I’ve been informed that I need to switch it up now. Any ideas? Perhaps hearts for V-day? Shamrocks for St. Patty’s Day? This could become a thing.
  2. I have 3 tattoos. I got my first one when I was 18 and headed off to college. I got the other 2 a year after I graduated. I don’t regret them. And yes, they were super, super painful.
  3. I enjoy donating blood. I discovered this in college when we would get 2 hours of community service for our sororities if we donated blood. Now it makes me feel like I’ve done a good deed. Plus, they always have yummy food that you “have” to eat afterwards.
  4. I love thunderstorms. No, really. I love them. So much. I’m like a giddy school girl every time one rolls in.
  5. During the 1998 and 1999 seasons I watched or listened to almost every single Yankees game – for the ENTIRE season. That’s 162 games. I was a bit obsessed. My friends hated hanging out with me those summers.
  6. I played and quit 3 instruments when I was a kid – piano, flute, and guitar. I felt God was sending me a message to stop when the keys on my flute fell off one day when I was playing. It turns out, I am not musically talented.
  7. I have broken 1 bone – my collar-bone. Which I broke at the SigEp Winter Formal, my Sophomore year, the night before my Grandmother’s wedding. My mom was so pleased when I called her at midnight to let her know I was in the hospital.
  8. My favorite author is Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve loved him since I was little and my mom would make me do fake book reports over the summer on his short stories. Seems a bit creepy now that I think about it. Thanks mom.
  9. I have a secret crush on Dave Grohl. I love that man. Sorry Rick.
  10. Once of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t become fluent in Italian when I studied abroad in Florence. You would think after 4 semesters of taking a language and 4 months of living there I’d be at least decent at speaking. Ugh.
  11. I hate the winter. I am looking out my window right now and thinking about how it is the worst season. I hate the cold, I hate how gray it is, I hate the lack of green. Hate hate hate. Is it summer yet?

Now on to Becca’s questions:

1.  What is your dream job? If I could have any job in the world it would be Anthony Bourdains. I cannot think of anything better than getting paid to travel to different countries, eat incredible (though sometimes disgusting) food, and experience new cultures. Damn you Bourdain.

2.  Where would you like to live, in your ideal world? Growing up I always wanted to live in NYC. Now that I live here, I can’t wait to move to the suburbs and have room to spread out. Ideally in some cute New England town or maybe on a plantation in the south. Or, if I could put up with the Italian men, in a villa in Tuscany.

3. What is your drink of choice? a beer or a glass of bourbon

4. Cat person or dog person? Cat! I’ll totally be an old cat lady. I embrace it.

5.  What is your favorite restaurant and what do you typically order there? Cafe Katja – the sausage sampler. Mmm. Think it’s time to hit that up again soon.

6. Did you have a good time at prom? Yeah but I wouldn’t necessarily want to go back and do it again. They breathalized us at the door.

7.  Would you prefer to get dressed up and go out or wear sweats and stay in with a good friend/significant other? Sweats and stay in.

8.  What was your most embarrassing moment? Well I’ve already mentioned the falling down and breaking my collar-bone incident. Then there was the time when I was a kid and was at the local pool and I forgot to put my bathing suit bottom on. When I pulled down my shorts I realized I was just in my underwear. Oops.

9.  What will you be doing during the Super Bowl this year? Not sure but I will be drinking, eating, and rooting for the GMen! Woot. Go Giants!

10.  How did you make the decision to go to your college of choice? When trying to decide what college to accept I went back for a day visit to Bucknell. It was one of those glorious Spring days that only happen in the bubble. Sunny, warm, all of the kids laying out on the quad. I just remember thinking – this is what college is supposed to be like. That made my decision easy.

11.  One place in the world you want to go before you die? There’s too many. Southeast Asia, Germany, Brazil, Croatia (but only if I’m with Ivana), Egypt, New Zealand. I could go on forever.

Well there you have it. I’ll be updating again soon on Kittichai and the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ festival I’ll be attending this weekend.

25 at Osteria Morini

This past Friday was my 25th birthday. Hard to believe I’ve been alive for a quarter of a century but here I am. Seeing as how I’ve been shirking my blogging responsibilities for the past month or so, I figured 25 was a good time to get back on track.

As anyone who knows me knows or anyone who actually reads this thing can tell, I love Italian food. Such a cliché, I know, but I could eat pasta every night of the week and never get tired of it. Obviously for my birthday I wanted to go somewhere with fantastic pasta and Chef Michael White makes perhaps the best stuff in NYC. Rick and I had gone to Convivio for our anniversary – this was before it was handed over to White’s business partner and then subsequently shut down. It was quite the meal and I had been wanting to go to one of his other places ever since. Sadly, Marea, is a bit out of my price range but Osteria Morini, with its rustic Emilia-Romagna dishes seemed perfect.

Truffle Sformato

Having studied the menu extensively prior to arriving, I had already decided on the sformato as my appetizer of choice. The sformato was a truffle, parmigiano custard with mushrooms on top. Hello, all of my favorite things in one compact dish, smeared over crusty bread. And it did not disappoint. Creamy, rich, and smelling pungently of truffles it’s a heart warming dish. I only wish there had been more of it…sigh.

Duck Confit

We also tried the duck confit crostini. It came with a good size portion of the confit and two pieces of crusty toasted bread to smear it on. It was good, definitely enjoyable, but I wasn’t totally in love with it. No matter, I didn’t want to fill up on anything before I got my pasta.

Gramigna with Sausage and Tomato

Deciding on what pasta to get was a difficult decision…so difficult that I agonized over it for days and still hadn’t made up my mind by the time we got to the restaurant. I ended up going with the gramigna, a shape of pasta I had never even heard of, that came with a creamy tomato sauce and sausage. Gramigna, it turns out, is a short curled spaghetti type pasta. The sauce and crumbled pork sausage were of course done perfectly and the pasta complimented the sauce well. While it was completely delicious and I loved every bite, this is probably something I could have made myself. In retrospect I wish I had gone with the gnocchi, which is something I almost never get to have. Oh well, there is always next time – believe me, there will be a next time.

Short Rib with Polenta

Rick got the stracotto, which was braised short rib, polenta and caramaIized onions. The meat was falling apart it was so tender and the polenta was creamy. The whole dish was very hearty, the type of meal you want to have on a cold winters night. It was, however, as Rick pointed out, something he could probably get at a variety of restaurants. A delectable plate of meat to be sure, just not very unique. Then again, you’re not really coming here for unique food. It’s just good, hearty, Italian fare done the best way possible.

Torta di Mele

We of course got dessert, since it was my birthday and all. Rick got the Tiramisu, which is his favorite dessert. I’m not always the biggest fan but it was good. I got the torta di mele – apple brown butter cake with caramel sauce and vanilla gelato. Yeah, it was as good as it sounds.

It was a fabulous meal, everything tasted fantastic. I’ll definitely be altering my order next time but every bite was divine.

Parm

As Dana can attest, the guys behind Torrisi Italian Specialties know what’s up.  Having not been there for lunch, when I heard they were moving this part of their daily offerings next door to a place called Parm, I knew I had to go.  So within the first week they opened, on a Saturday, Emily and I made our way there.  For the less patient, this probably would have been a mistake, and I am not sure if it has died down at all (doubtful), but we arrived slightly before 2pm and were told it would be an hour.  We walked around the area for about 45 minutes, doing some preliminary Christmas shopping and then waited out the last bit inside the small, very crowded establishment.

We were seated at the end of the bar, as opposed to a table, but with a very friendly bartender and great view of the open kitchen, given the option I feel like I would have preferred it anyways.  Emily was dying for a ball o’ mozz after we had it at Torrisi, and I was set on trying their Chicken Parm.  When it came time to order, we were devestated (very briefly) to learn that they were out of mozz balls.  The bartender assured us that the mozz sticks were well worth it so we ordered those, the afformentioned Chicken Parm hero, and garlic bread deluxe (with ricotta and marinara on the side).

Mozz Sticks

The items came one at a time, with the mozz sticks first, eliminating any former sense of devastation.  While you can pretty much never go wrong in ordering these anywhere, I was truly surprised to find how superior they tasted to the countless fried cheese logs I’ve had in the past.  This is a testament to how amazing their fresh homemade mozzarella is. 

Garlic Bread Deluxe

I originally wanted the garlic bread to eat with the ball of mozarella we were no longer getting, but decided to order it anyways, and upgraded to the Deluxe.  While delicious, I can’t decide if I liked it better solo or not.  They do garlic bread perfectly and I almost feel like the add ons take away from that fact.

Chicken Parm Hero

Lastly came the Chicken Parm hero.  They offer 3 different sizes, the hero being the middle size, and it was perfect for sharing since we had apps as well.  Again, a classic that you would think is pretty good almost anywhere, but hard to make outstanding, clearly shined here.  I loved it.  Side note: Any marathon running champs out there who can’t have sesame seeds, if you ever go, make sure you let them know because the hero was seeded but it doesn’t say that on the menu.

This meal left me completely satisfied, having consumed the perfect amount of food for a delicious late lunch.  If you go, plan for a wait, although it is a fun area to walk around.  Or go to the Spring Lounge for a drink as it is a block away.  Or steal a garlic salt shaker from the pizza place across from the Spring Lounge, whatever (too many comments directed at very few readers but anyways).

Lastly, despite my satisfaction, sitting at the bar staring at the open kitchen, I watched them carve what looked to be some amazing turkey breast, and in looking at the menu again while writing this post, there are just so many great options that require more than one return visit.

My Roommate is a Badass

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but here it is: my roommate is training for a marathon. I find this incredible and possibly a bit deranged. Who the hell wants to run for 26 miles? Apparently a lot of people. Truth is, running a marathon, to me, is the ultimate accomplishment. It’s such a feat that my mind can barely comprehend it.

The marathon is in Philly on November 20 and Megan has been writing a blog about her training, which is incredibly amusing and informative about everything you go through training for something like this. Read it and enjoy! Megan’s Mileage