Dinner with Linda at Keegan’s, Uptown Farmers Market, Pita Bistro, Happy hour at Manuels, at home Margarita party, Jack’s magic beans, Butterfly Wonderland

1 Jun

I was at yoga today (Madison Improvement Club) where my fabulous teacher Katie told us towards the end of class that one of the things she likes to do is write. She doesn’t do as much of it as she’d like… but it’s something that brings her joy. And that reminded me that I haven’t blogged in awhile and it brings me joy.

One of the other things I like to do is read. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Jack picked me up some books recently so I read Hillary Clinton’s Living History, which I really enjoyed. I didn’t realize she had such an impressive background (before and after Bill) and all of the things she’s done to help our country and help other countries (especially concerning women’s rights and healthcare). The other book I’m reading now is Barbara Walter’s Audition. Her childhood and young adulthood were very interesting, having grown up surrounded by famous patrons and showgirls (her father ran variety clubs) and her early years in television and radio she was a pioneer being a woman in a mainly man’s profession.

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One book I finished recently Still Alice is about a tenured Harvard professor who develops early Alzheimers. This particularly interested me since my mom had to deal with the disease when she was taking care of her mother in her later years. It was not an easy time for my mom, or my parents in general. I figure there’s a lot for me to learn and I’d better get preparing. Just in case.

Okay…I forgot momentarily this is not a book review blog. It is a food blog. I digressed…

The lovely Linda treated us to dinner recently at Keegan’s.

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A hanger steak for Jack, chicken madeira for Linda and beef stroganoff for me. It was delicious and fabulous company, as usual. Thank you again Miss Kelliker! 🙂

Last week my friend Rueben gifted us with some red peppers and cherry tomatoes from his organic garden (thank you my friend!) and they were so fresh and sweet.

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I ate some of the tomatoes on the way home from work and gave the rest to Jack so he could make peppers and onions for our brat sandwiches that evening.

Jack made some magic beans this week. He soaked pintos overnight and cooked them with magic fairy dust (that’s what I say when I don’t know what he put in them) but I can tell you they were spicy and we had them with jasmine rice, grilled zucchini and steak.

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Mercy. It was good.

The zucchini came from the Uptown Farmers Market we had visited the weekend before.

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We really broke the bank and brought home some nice stuff…including: spaghetti sauce, flour sack towels with cute designs (day of the dead), Noble Bread, a caramel apple and we spied some pretty pottery that we didn’t buy.

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This vendor had a pot Jack liked a lot but it wasn’t big enough for soup. She produced another pot that was larger but it didn’t have a lid. You can see how pretty the glazes were on her pottery. So, we’ll probably go back. If not, Santa will order something for Jack from her down the line.

And the best thing we saw at the farmers market…

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baby goats! So cute.

Something else we did that was fun recently was visiting the Butterfly Wonderland, where Jack was quite popular.

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There were butterflies of all varieties and colors.

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Also, there was an impressive 3D documentary about the monarch butterfly that migrates to and from Mexico each year. It was a really super afternoon.

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Pita Bistro is a fairly new lunch spot (and happy hour spot thanks to its liquor license) near work that is great because it’s one of the few healthy options around. I usually get a falafel wrap and a green tea.

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You can build your own wrap or get it “their way.” Either way if you choose salad, wrap or other option with chicken, beef or falafel, you’re going to leave full and it won’t hurt your budget too much.

And hummus is *free* at happy hour.

Speaking of happy hour (like my segue?) We were at Manuel’s earlier this week for happy hour.

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They have delicious taquitos with chicken or beef  that come with guacamole…and for just $1 more they will make your draft beer a michelada.

We like spicy food. It’s a good thing, since Jack’s jalapeño peppers are growing nicely. Lookie lookie.

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There’s a homemade spicy guacamole and pico de gallo in our near future.

There was a margarita party this weekend. At our place. The menu included…chicharron

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and carne asada tacos

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and goodies courtesy of Los Pinos Carniceria, which we are crazy about due to their close proximity, reasonable prices, abundance of Mexican candy and soda, pollo asado, prepared meats, fresh tortillas, panadería, etc etc.

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Chef Jack also happens to be a fabulous bartender

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and just in case you wanted to know…the margaritas worked 😉

I want to end on a healthy note. Because I started this post off with healthy (yoga) and I can’t end with alcohol…so here’s our latest (potential) healthy find. Our neighbor gifted Jack with a practically new Ninja blender this morning. So there are some smoothies in our near future.

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Frozen berries and yogurt and ice and…if anyone has recipes for smoothies, please let the kitchen wench know. Otherwise we’ll be regulated to using it for frozen drinks.

Lol

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