Thursday, January 17, 2008

I AM alive! Thanksgiving, Vegas, Craftbar, Christmas, Jean-Georges, Miami

I realize I haven't posted since October (shame, shame), but since my last post, everything has been a blur. Between working at Christie's, job-hunting, reading for classes, traveling, there has been little time to breathe, let alone sit down and write!

Anyhoo, shortly after that last post, my sister and I left for a long holiday. Down to Texas it was to spend time with the family. Pre-Thanksgiving, we took a trip out to Vegas as an early celebration of my father's 60th Birthday! Then it was back to Houston just in time for Thanksgiving. I know I promised a Thanksgiving menu, so here it is. Apologies in advance for the simplistic menu this year. [Top to Bottom: Red-currant Glazed Turkey, Cornbread with Maple-Cayenne Butter, Kitschy Green Bean Casserole, Parmesan Smashed Potatoes, Apple/Sun-dried-Tomato/Cornbread Stuffing, Apple Tart, Pumpkin Mousse Tart].

Red-Currant Glazed Turkey

Cornbread with Maple-Cayenne Butter

Kitschy Green Bean Casserole

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

Apple-Cornbread Stuffing with Sundried Tomatoes

Apple Tart

Pumpkin Mousse Tart

We returned to NYC in early December, then it was back to working and job-hunting. I attended the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting - a first for me, and quite and adventure! Before I knew it, it was mid-December and time for my sister's graduation. Post-graduation ceremony, we had dinner at Craftbar. Our meal (or as much as I remember below).

Warm Pecorino Fondue with Acacia Honey and Hazelnuts (this was kick ass!)

Chickpea Fries with Black Olive Aioli

Sage-wrapped Sausage

Salmon (brussel sprouts, bacon?)

Sea Bass

Flank Steak

Veal Meatballs

Brown Sugar Cake, Roasted Pear, Maple Ice Cream (this too, was awesome!)

Pumpkin Sundae (Pumpkin Ice Cream, Cinnamon-y Caramel Sauce, Pumpkin Seed Brittle-thing, Yum!)

A few days after the graduation, I got wind of a job offer in Austin. Not exactly my first choice, but at least it's something. I jumped right at it. Yay! It was an especially wonderful Christmas gift for my parents, who could finally breathe a sigh of relief at the conclusion of my gallivanting days.

The following week - Christmastime! A couple of days before Christmas, we had a dinner celebration at my cousin's apartment because he and his girlfriend were departing Christmas Day for Mexico. We feasted on a ton of yummy seafood! As for Christmas Day, I'll just post a picture of my cousin's son, Alexander and my uncle's dog, Hopkins because I didn't take pictures of the food and these two are just too cute!



Then it was New Years, and BOOM, three days later, I turned 26! Yikes! Birthday celebration dinner at Jean-Georges below. Okay, I have to preface this by saying I expected a lot going into that dinner. I wasn't disappointed, it was a great meal, but I think I expected more - I expected the meal of my life. Oh well.

Amuse Bouche: Kumamoto Oyster, Chestnut soup with some sort of ravioli, Tuna and some sort of crunchy tapioca cracker-thing

Sea Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower, Caper-Raisin Emulsion (the tenderest scallops I've EVER had, and that cauliflower with it - I can feel it dancing on my tongue!)

Peekytoe Crab Fritters, Honeycrisp Apples, Pink Peppercorn Vinaigrette

Turbot with Chateau Chalon Sauce

Red Snapper, Lily-Bulb Radish Salad, White Sesame, Lavender

Smoked Squab à l'Orange, Asian Pear, Candied Tamarind

Duck Breast Topped with Cracked Jordan Almonds, Honey Wine Jus, served with Baby Turnip, Foie Gras, Frisee Salad

Citrus Tasting Dessert (clockwise, from top right) - Chocolate-Poppyseed Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and some sort of citrus-y powder, Kaffir Lime Infused Jicama Noodles with Tangerine and a Limoncello Granité, White Chocolate Yogurt Lollipop with Lime and Praline, Blood Orange Spritzer (Johnny Iuzzini is a pastry God - LOVED that White Chocolate Lollipop)

My Birthday Dessert - Something nutty and chocolate-y

Then begins the petit fours.
Homemade, hand-cut marshmallows - Orange, Coffee?, Chocolate

Mini Macarons - Chocolate, Citrus, ?


Pâtes de fruits

And wouldn't you know, after I accepted the job in Austin, Washington comes calling with my first choice department (yes, both jobs are federal positions). But after weighing my options, I decided to stick with the Austin job. Oh well. At least I can always transfer to the Washington job later on.

Then the day after my birthday, I flew down to Miami for work. Lucky me, first night in, I got food poisoning. I felt terrible most of the week, I could hardly eat anything. Worst of all, I couldn't really enjoy my beautiful ocean view. At least by the end of the meeting, I was able to go for a lovely walk on the beach, and eat some Cuban food!

View from my balcony.

So now I'm back in New York, with only a week to pack up my things (well, 3 days, now) before moving back to Texas. I am such a last-minute packer - hope I can finish before my flight Sunday morning!