Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ethiopian French Toast

Summer was generous enough to send us all home from cooking club last night with our own little loaves of Yemarina Yewotet Dabo, Ethiopian sweet honey bread. She had read that it made amazing french toast, and BOY DID IT EVER!!!! Ben and I gobbled this up for breakfast this morning, along with some caramelized bananas.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ethiopian Cooking Club

Yumi hosted cooking club this month, and the theme was Ethiopian food! We started the night off with some snacks and wine.

Valerie made Dabo Kolo, tiny little spicy fried snacks. These were amazing. They were like little tiny bite-sized rolls!!!!!!!!! I couldn't stop snacking on them.

Yumi made Doro Wat, a chicken stew with hard-boiled eggs.

We piled all of our dishes onto a giant platter of injera.

Yum!!! Starting clockwise from the top, we have Nancy's Lab, a cottage cheese and yogurt dish; Emily's Ye'abesha Gomen, which are collard greens; my Yataklete Kilkil, a gingered vegetable stew; Yumi's Doro Wat chicken and eggs, and a tomato salad also by Yumi. In the middle is Valerie's Yemiser W'et, a spicy lentil stew.

On the side was a potato and beet salad made by Nancy. Isn't it beautiful?!

Time to eat with our hands!

The feast was incredibly delicious. We played Foodie Fight while we waited to get hungry enough to consider dessert!

For dessert, Summer made Prunes with Almonds and Raisins. This smelled AMAZING and the entire house was filled with the red wine & cinnamon aromas.

She served it with Yemarina Yewotet Dabo, a sweet honey bread that she baked. With a cup of mint tea, this dessert hit the SPOT!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy birthday, Mom! To celebrate, we gathered at our place for a burrito bar! Mer and Lil' Kate showed up early so we could start prepping the ingredients. Mmm, taco beef!

Uncle Ben read Kate his favorite book in an attempt to calm down her birthday excitedness.

Mer brought delicious Shagbark tortilla chips. The BEST!

Dad was in charge of margaritas, using a recipe he used to make many years ago.

Kate was his margarita assistant.

They were DELICIOUS! Cheers!

Kate decorated this wrapping paper herself. Isn't it gorgeous!?

Dad got Mom the most awesome present ever!! Our local portrait photography and custom framing studio, Lamborn's, fosters kitties in the hopes that customers will adopt them. That's where Mom adopted Petey. While he was still living at the shop, Lamborn's made a portrait of him and it was for sale! Dad bought it for Mom!

Look at how handsome and glamorous he looks! This portrait looks like it belongs on the wall of a king's castle!

And THEN, Mom got an iPad! From all of us!!! YAY!!!!!! Super duper exciting! If anyone can have a lot of fun with an iPad, it's definitely Mom.

And then, as if there could possibly be room for anything else exciting, it was time to EAT! Beef, peppers, onions, mango, avocado, sweet potato, rice, cheese. BURRITO BAR!

I made a coconut cake. Kate picked out the candles.

What in the heck is going on with my HAIR?! It's all swooped!

Happy birthday to MOOOOOOOOM!

Make a wish!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The View

This is the view out of my window at work. It looked pretty creepy out there today.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Columbus Internet Friends Meetup

This weekend I got to meet up with my favorite internet friends for a fun-filled weekend in Columbus! Billie and I picked up Gigi at the airport on Friday, and we greeted her with a big pink glittery sign.

After we checked in at the hotel, we headed over to Amy's house for drinks and snacks. Look at this cheese spread! YUM. The one on the far right is "Nasty Smoked Blue Cheese," but Amy was the only one who thought it was nasty. It was AWESOME!

We also did a very fancy beer tasting with some beers a friend of hers made. Eggnog Stout and Mole Porter.

Fancy! The beers were decent for it being his first attempt.

Amy's famous chocolate chip cheese ball. GIVE IT TO ME!

Carol was sad that she couldn't join us, so she sent us a gigantic gummy bear to ease the pain. We'll be saving THAT for later!

Hanging out!

Billie and Gigi!

Fun times!

I finally got to meet Amy's dog, Franklin. HE IS THE BEST. He is SO soft and so fluffy and SO CUTE and nice!!! He really is, seriously, the best. I mean, LOOK at him!!

Billie and Franklin!

Group photo! Minus Pamela and Rachael!

After filling up on snacks, we headed to the bar four doors away for some karaoke. Amy and Beth perused the arsenal of songs.

Gigi was up first with some Blondie!

The regulars gave her a standing ovation!

Up next was a group performance of Pony by Ginuwine.

Lauren and Billie!

All of a sudden, it was time for some car bombs! It was several people's first time, which is always exciting.

Ready, set, go!

LOOK AT BETH'S CAR BOMB. Notice that it is almost gone while the rest of us are barely swallowing our first sip!

High fives of amazement! I would love to see Beth and Cheryl go head to head.

We're all still working on ours. Beth has been done for ages. I love how Molly and Gigi are both clutching their stomachs. I feel ya!

After that exciting car bomb moment, Beth sang some Beastie Boys! She nailed it!

Everyone else stayed and sang many more songs, but Billie and I were super tired and cabbed it back to the hotel early to eat some pot roast in bed. YUM!

Saturday morning, we all gathered to head to Northstar Cafe for lunch! Rachael and Pamela both brought their horse masks for the weekend, of course.

Just a couple of horses getting ready to go out to lunch!

Yay! Northstar Cafe time!

Gigi and I shared the famous veggie burger. It really is the best in the whole land!!

We also shared some roasted potatoes.

For dessert, we headed to Jeni's Ice Cream. Duh!

I had a trio with Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Brambleberry Crisp, and Whiskey & Pecans.

Our next adventure for the day was to head to a convention called Sexapalooza.

We figured it would be entertaining, and really great people watching.

It ended up being pretty lame. There was a drag show, which was cool, but those are always cool.

One of the LAMEST parts of Sexapalooza was "The Dungeon." All the signs were like "NO CAMERAS IN THE DUNGEON!" We were like "ooh! a dungeon!" The dungeon was guarded by giant, inflatable gargoyles. The dungeon was lame for several reasons, but I personally feel like the LAMEST part about it was that it wasn't even downstairs!!!! It was just a little area surrounded by curtains! Shouldn't a dungeon at least be down some stairs?! The stuff inside the dungeon seemed just about the same as everything else in the pavilion, so I'm not sure what the big deal was.

Back to the cool parts. Melissa had her photo taken with this guy!! He said the only time he ever ISN'T wearing high heels is when he's gardening or on his bike/at the gym.

The only other redeeming thing that Sexapalooza had to offer were cutout posters. Those are pretty much always fun. And since Anne loves them the most, she did them ALL! This is just a small sampling. They were lining the walls of the room.

After Sexapalooza, we headed back to Amy's to sit in stunned silence for awhile. Then we all headed out to dinner! Beforehand we went out for some beers at Ravari Room. YAY! BEERS! CHEERS! WOO!

Anne and me!

Then we headed to dinner at Cafe Bella. Our group was so big, they had to seat us next door in this special room! JAZZ HANDS!

There was so, SO much food. I forgot to take a photo of the giant cheese platter that came out first. It was delicious. Then we got spinach artichoke dip!

GIANT platters of amazing salad!


The main course was a giant bowl full of deliciousness. Roasted chicken! Meatballs! Pasta!

The vegetarians got some KILLER eggplant!!

YUM! YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!!!! For dessert there were also little brownies, which I forgot to take a photo of. So much food, it was insane. And it was all super delicious and very affordable!

After dinner, we headed to the hotel. Melissa had booked a romance suite for the weekend and it came with a free bottle of champagne! It was time to cash in on that! I decided to wear the horse mask for awhile.

Is Anne feeding me something or am I biting her hand?!

I happened to be wearing the horse mask when room service delivered our champagne, so I opened the door to greet him. He didn't seem that phased!

Time for games! Electronic Catch Phrase!

Lauren and Billie!

Anne was the next lady to don the horse mask.

Horse playing Catch Phrase!

The final item on our agenda was to eat that giant gummy bear.

It was sort of hard to get a bite off!

But it was worth it! He was really yummy!!

That about wraps up the weekend! It's always super great to get together with these ladies and we had an awesome time. I miss everyone already!