Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve! Stay safe, and see you in 2009. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mary and Mara in High School

Randy took this picture of Mara and me while we were all still in high school. Then I recently took this picture from Randy's profile page on Thanks, Randy! And thanks, world wide web!

(Note: Do I have the same hair cut now that I had 11 years ago? I think I do! Weird!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Day 2008

This great pic was taken on Thanksgiving Day 2008 (l-r: Mike, Katie, Elliot, Mary).


Yoink is our youngest cat, but he's also the biggest and the heaviest. Go figure.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Once upon a time, there was a birthday fair.

When I was little I used to love going to the county fair which would always show up around the time of my birthday.  Well, where we live now, the fair shows up on Mary's birthday!  What once was tradition, is so again, this time for Mary.  

Here's pics:

Cutie alert!

That's the Gravetron in the background there.

We also met up with our friend, Leslie and together we enjoyed many a fair staple:

deep fried Oreos!

award winning, metaphor laden, diaroma

rediculously adorable drawings

Man Shark!

and of course, cute smiling livestock

They pretty much have everything at the Leon County fair.  Notice how we didn't go on any rides though.  We thought it a little too ironic to celebrate life by laughing in the face of death.  I mean, its a county fair, not Walt Disney World...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We're With the Band!

Here's an action shot of Katie's boyfriend, Mike (drummer), playing with his band during their visit to Tallahassee on 11/22/08:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Elliot and Katie

Taken 11/22/08.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mary, Applesauce, and Radar

Taken by Elliot 11/22/08.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Randy is a Famous Writer!

Our friend Randy wrote an article last summer that got published on! (I just found the link...)

It's still available on-line, so please go check it out.

Click here: A History of Bad Hairstyles

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mary!

Thanks for turning 30! Also, thanks for being such a wonderful wife!

Just like the rest of our time together, we had a good time at MOSI.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Malaysian Sweet and Sour Eggs

We've made 15 recipes so far for our World Peas project! They've all been DELICIOUS-- this has been such a great experience. :)

Two weeks ago Elliot made Malaysian Sweet and Sour Eggs. This recipe was our first time using tamarind as an ingredient. We sipped the nectar before we added it to the recipe. Yuck--it tasted so gross! After trying the nectar, we were skeptical that we'd like this dish. But once all of the flavors are cooked together, it's wonderful. I'm starting to think of cooking as some kind of magic.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Providence Canyon State Park

This past Saturday Elliot, Ben, Sheila and I took a day trip to Providence Canyon State Park in Georgia, which is billed as Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon." Its very pretty there, even though the gullies that constitute the "canyon" were created by soil erosion brought on by bad farming practices in the 1800s.

We spent about 5 hours walking around the park. First, we took a loop around the top of the canyon, and then we went down into the canyon and explored.

Here are three pictures taken from the top of the canyon:

And here are some pictures taken when we were down in the canyon:

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Vegetarian Hungarian Goulash

Last week I made Vegetarian Hungarian Goulash, which was our first time ever cooking with caraway seeds. It was very tasty, and as a pasta lover, I would definitely make it again.

I used to work with a lady from Hungary... I wonder if she ever ate anything like Vegetarian Hungarian Goulash before she moved to the United States. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adas be Sabanekh from Lebanon

I made Adas be Sabanekh two weeks ago. It is a lentil and spinach dish from Lebanon. It has a simple and hardy taste-- exactly the kind of thing I would want to eat when I have a cold or the flu. I think this recipe might be the vegetarian answer to chicken noodle soup!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mary was sworn in!

This is Elliot logged in as Mary.
We had a lovely little swearing in ceremony at the courthouse the weekend before last! Mary is now a member of the Florida Bar.

Dad presided and much of our family attended.

What a great time we had! It was a nice family affair and was very special for Mary and I. We were very happy to have such a special ceremony. Thanks everybody for making it such a great and meaningful experience.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Stew with Chilies and Cheese from Peru

Last week Elliot made a Peruvian recipe called Pumpkin Stew with Chilies and Cheese. I must admit that I was skeptical when Elliot first told me about the recipe that he had found for Peru. It was a strange combination of ingredients, but it turned out to be very tasty (and spicy!). It took about 3 hours to make, what with scraping out and chopping the pumpkin-- but it was definitely worth it. We ate it with some sunflower seed bread that we purchased from the grocery store.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm a bird watcher, I'm a bird watcher, watchin' birds go by...

Elliot and I have a new hobby! Bird watching.

This past Saturday we went to Birdsong Nature Center in southern Georgia and learned some "Birding Basics" along with our friends Ben and Sheila.

Elliot and I bought some inexpensive binoculars for the occasion. We didn't spot very many birds during our walk, but the nature center has a room inside its main building that has one whole exterior wall made of glass-- a big window-- and it faces this fancy bird bath where they also leave lots of bird food. We saw all KINDS of bird at that "bird window"-- chickadees, cat birds, thrushes, cardinals, and many more that I can't remember.

It was really beautiful out on the trails at the nature center. Elliot and I definitely want to go back.

We had a fantastic time.

Elliot and I also decided to start bird watching on our own. We bought the Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America and we've been bird watching in our neighborhood. So far we've identified: mockingbirds, mourning doves, cardinals, a pair of blue jays, and today we saw a red-bellied woodpecker. We've seen lots of other birds, too, but haven't been able to identify them yet.

It's strangely fun to watch for and identify birds. When we see a new bird and find it in our field guide we get so excited. We saw a belted kingfisher on Sunday and practically did a dance when we found it in our book.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Aland Pancake

Once again, the only type of recipe that we could find for one of our World Peas dishes was a dessert. In fact, the ONLY recipe that I could find for Aland was the Aland Pancake. I prepared the "pancake" (which is not what Americans think of as a pancake at all) last Saturday. It had a strong cardamom taste, but I really liked it--especially once it's topped with raspberry preserves and whipped cream.

Here's what it looks like fresh out of the oven, before the fruit and whipped cream:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mary and I attended our first FSU Football Game!

And what fun we had!  It was FSU vs. Wake Forrest, and it was a home game in Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field.  Just as they say, it was like entering a whole different world.  A world that is louder than the normal world and full, full, of die hard FSU football fans.  It was awesome.  Even though FSU lost and the offense honestly played horribly with 3 fumbles, one of which they recovered, and 5 interceptions.  Ouch.  The first offensive play FSU had was an interception.  But neither Mary nor I, nor the large crowd gave up on the Seminoles.  We all kept "Doak" "Rockin" until the last minute when it became all too apparent that we were not going to be able to pull off a win.  The defense prevented any touchdowns but could only prevent 2 or 3 of the many field goals from sailing through the bars.  In the end they scored 3 more field goals than we did.  It was still a great experience.  Here are some pictures.

First it starts out like this with the World Famous Marching Chiefs!

Next, this guy comes out on the field and tries to spear the Sousaphone players.

If these guys get caught it's curtains for them!

Then I ate a pretzel.

And then... FOOTBALL!  

I am not clear on how the pre-game works so you may want to consult a manual or something.  There are lots of chants that you do during the game which are totally fun.
Oh and when your team scores you have to yell : GOooooooooooooooooooooal!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A lawyer walks into a Bar...

I did it! I passed the Florida Bar Exam!

I'm SO relieved. I was terrified that I'd have to take it over again. I can't even explain how much studying and stress and paranoia goes into taking a bar exam. It's awful. And you know how with most tests you take, if you've studied, by the day of the exam you're feeling pretty confident? Then you take the test and even if you aren't sure that you aced it, you walk out of the exam thinking, "I did alright. I definitely passed." Not so with the Florida Bar Exam. After studying between 10-12 hours a day for almost 2 months, I seriously walked out of both the first and second days of the test thinking, "Well... at least I know what to expect the next time I have to take the Bar Exam."

I was so scared to look at my results, which I knew would be posted on-line today. Then when I saw that I passed, I had to check, double-check, and check again that I was looking at the correct i.d. number. I must have checked 10 times, just to be sure. I even called Elliot to my office to check for me, to make sure I wasn't accidentally reading someone else's exam results. But Elliot confirmed the results for me-- I passed both sections!

Happy me! Happy day!

This is what I looked like every day while I was studying for the exam (here, I'm tracing the trail of an invisible tear down my cheek):

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tum'tumo from Eritrea

On Thursday I made Tum'tumo from Eritrea. It is a lentil and tomato dish. Very simple. We ate it with bread and a salad. It is definitely something we would eat again.

(Note: click on the name of the dish, above, for a link to the recipe.)

Senegalese Stew with Millet

Elliot made Senegalese Stew with Millet this past Tuesday and it is SOOOOOOOOO good. You actually put peanut butter in the stew!

One of the great things about making all of these recipes for our World Peas project is that we've had a lot of personal cooking "firsts." This recipe was the first time we've cooked rutabega.

Our stew and the millet:

(See the pretty flowers Elliot got me for our 6 year Date-iversary?)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fried Plantains and Arroz con Maiz from the Dominican Republic

Earlier this week I prepared a meal of fried plantains and Arroz con Maiz. I love fried plantains! I've eaten them before, but this was my first time cooking them at home. They're so sweet. And you can't tell from the picture below, but before they're cooked plantains are actually pale orange in color. I didn't know that because I've only ever seen them after they've been fried.

Cooking the plantains:

Rice with corn and pineapple:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apple Berry Crisp from Greenland

Greenland was our first real challenge for the World Peas project. We had hoped to find a vegetarian main course from every country in the world. However, all of the recipes that I could find from Greenland required either whale blubber, seal meat, or caribou. I'm being totally serious. Even if I weren't a vegetarian, it would be hard to come by those ingredients.

I found ONE recipe that Elliot and I were able to modify. A dessert recipe, similar to many desserts I've had before. But beggars can't be choosers, and it turned out very tasty, anyway.

The original Apple Berry Crisp recipe called for crowberries. Crowberries actually grow in Greenland, whereas nearly every other kind of fruit and vegetable is unable to survive the cold. (They have to ship almost all of their produce into the country.) This makes the name "Greenland" sort of ironic. And it also makes Greenland sort of the opposite of Florida, meaning that I was unable to get my hands on a basket of crowberries. So Elliot and I decided to cut out the crowberries and double the blueberries. Other than that, the recipe is the same.

Elliot did a fabulous job of preparing our Greenlandic dessert.

Pictures taken on our Date-iversary