Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Friday (and Happy Halloween)!

And Happy Birthday Daniel!  His birthday was yesterday but since he turned 31 and his favorite holiday is Halloween, I felt saving this for today was appropriate. I've known him for nearly 11 years and I love him more everyday.  When we first started dating I thought my heart would explode from so much emotion and I told myself to enjoy the feeling because it wouldn't last. I was wrong.  I love him more now than ever and considering he drives me crazy many days it's quite an impressive feat.  It's easy though because he's funny and smart.  He's a sweetheart and looks out for me.  Most importantly, he's devastatingly handsome.  Here's to a fantastic 31!

The birthday festivities for Danny are fading and mine are picking up.  Tonight Mom and B are joining us to see off our little Monkey on her Halloween outing, before the four of us head downtown for a night at the casino.  Mom's treating us to dinner and then her and Danny will get their fill on the slot machines.  Thankfully, I'll have B to help me keep tabs on them.  Tomorrow Aunt Margaret is taking us out for dinner.  Then we're going back to Mom's for dessert and a game of BSG with Brett and Lindsey.  Sunday is the return of Once Upon A Time night for me and Gina.  The show is awful and I haven't watched all season but I'll endure it for Gina's good company ;)

P.S. Everyone at Danny's birthday celebration made the paper except us!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Hour

Excuse the poor photo quality.  Our computer is busted; therefore, no photo editing.  When that problem is resolved I'll replace the pictures.

On to the matter at hand - Happy Hour!  Detroit's best happy hour is at Roast.  That already sipped on glass of wine, filling Roast burger (English muffin, beef patty, cheese with a fried egg), and filled container of fries cost $11.  As you can imagine Roast is popular and there is always a fight for seats at the bar (you have to be at the bar for happy hour).  With that warning, if you're in downtown Detroit between 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on a weekday, I highly recommend checking it out. 

This Happy Hour outing was to celebrate Gina's last day in the office. It was a bittersweet evening. Our office is an extended family and we are all moving in new directions. There are still a couple events this year that will bring us all together but this after-work event was made particularly special because the fellas showed up even when there was some doubt on attendance. Steve works out of a different office now but 'Miss. Gina' and 'Mr. Steve' were the immigration team for a long time.  As Chris put it he's the Robin to her Batman and it wouldn't have been the same without him. It's easy to see that I've been very fortunate in my work life to spend 40 hours a week with people I genuinely enjoy being around. I think it's a rare occurrence and something I don't take for granted

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

November Meals

The holiday season is in our midst.  I imagine most people will be tasked with bringing a dish to a large gathering at one point or the other in the next few weeks; therefore, November's meals are really sides.  Many of these are my go to favorites: zucchini casserole, cranberries, mac & cheese and corn pudding.  The others look worth trying. Here's to the holidays!
  1. Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin
  2. Garlic Mashed Pototes
  3. Baked Mac and Cheese
  4. Corn Pudding Casserole
  5. Cauliflower Cheese
  6. Cranberry Sauce
  7. Sweet Potato Spoonbread
  8. Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
  9. Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
  10. Sausage, Sage and Apple Stuffing
Bonus: If you need an appetizer or even a dinner I highly recommend these Sausage and Basil Stuffed Mushrooms.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gratiot Avenue

I was out on the town this weekend and with 75 closed for construction, I was taking side streets.  I love driving through the city and since we don't have typical big city traffic it's a smooth ride.*  Since I was the driver and needed to pay more attention to the road than my surroundings, Gina and I hopped in the car yesterday during lunch to do some sight-seeing.**

Our destination was Gratiot. Gratiot Avenue is one of Detroit's thoroughfares - the signature of the Eastside.  It cuts through Eastern Market and Lafayette Park but is doesn't attract the attention or development of other areas.  This has bothered me for years because there are beautiful storefronts that were obviously popular at some point.  I've been waiting for things to happen on this block and it looks like the time is now.

Antietam detroit

I'll start by saying the block isn't void of activity, Trinoscope (a cafe/gallery/music venue) opened in 2013 and it looks like there is some life behind other closed doors.  As luck would have it not all the doors were closed, we came across an open one and saw a couple gentlemen sitting at a vintage bar.  I couldn't help but pop inside to find out what they were up to.  Turns out they're opening a restaurant in a few weeks!

In true Detroit fashion our unexpected visit was welcomed.  We were invited to look around and take pictures.  The restaurant, Antietam, is scheduled to open in a few weeks.  I checked out the menu online and it looks as unique as the building. Oysters, zucchini vichyssoise, bone marrow, Moroccan steak and, my favorite, cheese beignets - to name a few items.

Antietam detroit

The two building restaurant has been beautifully restored.  Not everything inside or out of the building is original to the structure but it's loyal to the time period.  I know this because The New York Times interviewed the owner! This was a blow because when we arrived I was thrilled at the prospect of beating them to the punch (Note: if you really want to find out about fun happenings in Detroit - read The New York Times).  C'est la vie.  In the meantime, I'll patiently wait for the opening, a future date-night and blog post.

Antietam detroit

*Figuratively speaking ofcourse, Michigan is notorious for its bad roads.
** For a point of reference, this block is a 5 minute walk from Eastern Market and a 20 minute walk from Campus Martius.

Monday, October 27, 2014

An English Breakfast

Miracles happen!  The Lions managed a victory over the Falcons Sunday morning and are first in our division.  If you follow football even a little you will understand how impressive this is.  I credit this victory to the delicious English breakfast I made in tribute to the London game.

As an Anglophile, I welcome any opportunity to celebrate the English.  Conveniently someone on Pinterest shared a link for Mary Berry's scone recipe from The Telegraph.  The recipe is super simple and delicious.  Danny ate at least four scones yesterday.  For our breakfast I served them with Beau Bien's strawberry hibiscus preserves and homemade whipped cream. Danny's preferred method is warmed with drizzled honey and this morning I made a sausage breakfast sandwich.

Mary Berry's Scones
18 scones

    • 1lb self-rising flour
    • 2 rounded tsp baking powder
    • 3oz butter
    • 2oz fine sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 8oz buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add sugar to dough.
  3. In a separate bowl mix eggs and milk.  Gradually stir egg mixture into dough.  Note it will be sticky.
  4. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness.  Use a circle cutter to stamp out scones and put on cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.