Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Gopher Hockey!

Time for some hockey! 

Family photo!

Land sakes, my dad is really into that bad call.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The puppies at play!

So cute I can hardly stand it! 

Those smiles! 

Part two: shenanigans!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Twin Cities Eats: Izzy's Ice Cream

Izzy's Ice Cream is a local establishment on the corner of Marshall and Cleveland in St. Paul...and they were doing artisan ice cream before it was cool.**

They make their own sugar and waffle cones.  (of course they do)

See the little extra sphere of ice cream on top?  That, my friend, is the Izzy Scoop.  A key ingredient in their success, the Izzy lets you mix and match even if you only want a single scoop.

To further their mission to win at ice cream, they also add a malted milk ball to the bottom of the cone, since the homemade cones drip a bit more than the commercially-made ones. 

**It's funny, I just found out looking up their website that they started in 2000, and I could have sworn they've been there forever, but apparently my freshman year of high school is about it. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Twin Cities Eats: Grand Szechuan

To me, the best Chinese places are in Chinatown and in strip malls.  In some strange way, it's an immutable law of nature. 

Tea House is certainly a favorite, but given how hungry I was at noon after waking up at 3:30 am and spending two hours in O'Hare, the proximity of Grand Szechuan in Bloomington and the most wonderful spicy dish---one of Eric's top five favorites in the Twin Cities---won out.

Pardon the horrendous quality of the photo, they're right on point in the general stereotype of a strip mall location in the suburbs in their incredibly poor lighting.  They also have dark red leather booths, and a fish tank.  One cannot be an authentic Chinese restaurant in this part of town without them. 

But, what matters is not that the fried rice is scooped onto your plate using an ice cream scoop, or that they serve the same bright orange sauce on the side as First Wok, the Chinese place of choice for every IWU student.  What matters is how it tastes.  And this?  This was a great meal.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Home, just for a bit

And what would a visit home be without dog pictures?  It just wouldn't. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cambridge History: Kennedy Biscuit Lofts

Just down the street from graduate housing is the Kennedy Biscuit Lofts, the former home of the Fig Newton cookie.  I'd always walked past thinking, "Wow, I bet it would be lovely to live there!"

And wouldn't you know, one of the fine Articles Club ladies lives there, so I had the chance to see an apartment one fine Sunday afternoon.  Light and airy, the space was about as different from my apartment as one could imagine.   And quite simply the perfect place for brunch with the girls. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Australian Wine Tasting

Ben held another one of his famous wine tasting events this month, and as always there was delicious food, wonderful conversation, and amazing wine.  I reprised my role as pourer extraordinaire, and tried valiantly not to eat all the things. 

One of my favorite moments was at the end of the tasting when we found out that the favorite shiraz of the crowd was in fact Yellowtail! 

"Yellowtail is incredibly infamous....for it's ability to do quite well in blind tastings."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Niles Lab: "three down, four to go"

With that, the resident joker of the lab has finally become a doctor!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Boston Eats: Chai at Area Four

There is nothing better than a warm chai on a chilly day in our favorite place. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

McCormick Art Gallery

Every semester, student art is exhibited on the first floor of the dorm that I live in --- it makes the walk to the dining hall a little more interesting, that's for sure!  When I heard that the theme for this semester was "Perspective and Juxtaposition," I thought, well goodness, surely some of my photos from Europe will fit the theme!

I ended up submitting four photos to the Art Gallery Committee, and all four were chosen for submission!  I printed them at Copy Tech for the paltry sum of $2.34, and soon after, they were framed and hung on the wall for all to see!  Pardon the picture quality...while the windows make the space lovely in person, they confound every photo I took of the space. 

Mine are the center and lower center photos (see below for photos)

Mine are the lower left and lower right corner photos.

"Church and Commerce"

"The Gherkin"

"Garden at Ch√Ęteau de Vaux le Vicomte"

"Wrought Mountain"

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Candy from Switzerland

I was lucky enough to be spoiled by a Swiss girl with Swiss chocolate for Easter!

Sporting a chocolate and hazelnut shell and little eggs, this wonderful milk chocolate is the perfect thing for an after-dinner treat.

Sara and I ate about four of these bars in Switzerland, and they were a favorite of the bars I brought smooth and silky!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Back Bay Fire

On March 26, 2014, a 9-alarm fire broke out in a brownstone on Beacon Street across the river in Boston.  Two firefighters were killed, and the authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire. 

The photos below were taken by Sara around 7 pm that night.  At 10 pm, you could still see orange flames from the Penthouse.  The fire started around 3 pm.  Unbelievably sad.

The home fire station was the Engine 33 Firehouse, on Boylston Street right next to Hynes Convention Center and a short walk from Copley Square.  It's the one I pass whenever I walk to the Boston Public Library, or on a quick visit across the river to pick up groceries at Trader Joe's.  It's like the marathon, or the 35W bridge collapse, or the shooting of the MIT police officer, these tragedies are haunting places that I know, places that are in their own very small way, are very much mine. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Boston Eats: Afternoon Tea at the Boston Harbor Hotel

I feel like I've posted about eight times about the lovely afternoon tea experience at the Boston Harbor Hotel, but it's such a wonderful way to spend a few hours.  Gorgeous light streaming through the windows, delicious pastries, and no one rushing you through the door.  Even better, they offer afternoon tea every day of the week...just make a reservation and you're set!

Gorgeous blue skies!

So excited for tea!

Boston cream pie cream puff, chocolate-dipped strawberry, salted caramel tart, and raspberry mascarpone tart.

The ham and cheese on the far left was a surprise hit, and the lobster and salmon were creamy and savory.

Those scones!  That cream!  The cookies!  Okay, I'm officially ready to go back for more tea.