Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dirty Dancing?

I just saw this video and couldn't stop laughing. Dirty Dancing is one of my favorite movies ever. This was just brilliant!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Outdoor concert and Sunday brunch potluck

About two weeks ago we went to an outdoor concert in Cary with Steve and Emily to celebrate Steve's 25th birthday and listen to the NC symphony play selections from music composed for video games over the years.

We packed a picnic of KFC chicken, Vietnamese spring rolls and hoisin-peanut sauce, cheese and crackers, veggies and tzatziki, and soda. It was delicious!

The symphony played from video games such as Super Mario Bros., Final Fantasy, Halo, World of Warcraft, and Legend of Zelda. The screen displayed game play from whatever they were playing at the moment, and also showed members of the orchestra. The conductor would also tell brief histories of each game and who composed the music.

Later on we surprised Steve with a small cake and a gift: a pic of Nick and Steve. And even later on, the sky surprised us with some rain. We waited it out under an awning and ventured close to the stage again when it stopped. Steve used his trusty iphone to ascertain whether or not the rain would stay long.

It was a great evening and not too buggy, either. Happy birthday, Steve!

The next day we went to a Sunday brunch potluck hosted by Joe and Charley. Nick and I made two crab quiches. There were cinnamon rolls, peach pie, two pecan pies, sauteed cauliflower, frittata, fruit, and mimosas and tea. It was great. Afterward they played croquet while I took pictures.

You can check them out on facebook along with more photos from the symphony in the "Summer 2009" album.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Family Visit

Nick's siblings are here. Expect update soon*. Lots of food and the beach!

*Pester me if it's not up in one week.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Scallop dinner

Yesterday afternoon Nick and I wandered up and down Ninth Street in Durham after taking pictures downtown for a group project. Looking for refreshment we stopped in at Ox & Rabbit for a dark chocolate milkshake. The place only just opened up in late May of last year. I may be slightly lactose intolerant, but I refuse to give up cheese and ice cream. It was creamy and delicious. After they closed at 5pm (it was Sunday, after all) we made our way to Whole Foods to spoil ourselves.

After perusing the seafood counter, we decided to bring home 6 sea scallops for a cost of $14.50. We normally don't spend this much on seafood but if you think about it, the same portion at a restaurant would cost at least double that.

For dinner Nick seared the scallops with salt and pepper. I checked our Food and Wine 2007 cookbook for instructions. I think it was the first time I opened that thing. We found it on one of our travels in northern California for only a dollar...and it was still 2007!

I made some oven-baked polenta from our trusty "Great Food Fast" cookbook (thanks, Martha Stewart!). You just pop it in the oven for 30 minutes, no stirring necessary, and you still get creamy results. I then roasted up some asparagus we had lying around in the fridge that we needed to use. Nice and easy.

Our end result?

Eaten while watching Sunday night television. A nice summer evening, I'd say.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Allen and Son

On Friday night Nick and I pondered our dinner plans. We had spent the whole day lazing around, when we were supposed to take advantage of our day off and explore the area. Instead, we opted to do that during dinner and ventured off to the outskirts of Chapel Hill to eat some Carolina BBQ at Allen and Son.

Over the past year I've heard a lot about this small establishment in the middle of nowhere, from tv reports, the internet, and family friends (thanks, Don & Carol). We tried to go a few weeks ago for Nick's birthday, but they close at 5pm from Monday to Thursday. This time, we headed over at 6:40, with lots of time to spare before their Friday 8pm closing time.

It really is a small little house, with mismatched chairs and green-checkered tablecloths. We were told to choose a seat wherever, so we plopped down at a table watched over by the preserved head of a deer.

I ordered the barbecue sandwich with coleslaw and hushpuppies, while Nick chose the barbecue platter with coleslaw, hush puppies, and fries. He even ordered a side of fried okra. I decided to go with the flow and get some sweet tea. I'm glad I did, because the water had a metallic tang to it. Our waitress later brought over a whole pitcher for us to share.

The barbecue pork on my sandwich was good, but completely soaked the bottom bun, so I had to eat my sandwich with a fork. Did I ever feel like an out-of-towner! Nick and I agreed the hushpuppies were the best we'd ever had. Just the right amount of crispiness to warm insides.

The vinegary, buttery barbecue sauce was used by Nick, but I avoided it. I don't think Carolina barbecue is right for me. This is blasphemy, I know, but I prefer the thick, gloppy sweet sauce found in Kansas City or Memphis any day.

We ended up getting a slice of sweet potato pie to go. We wanted the peanut butter pie, but apparently it's served frozen so it would have melted on us. I'm glad we went, but I'm not sure I'll have a hankering for NC barbecue any time soon.