Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Escape

This past weekend, we enjoyed a much needed weekend escape. I had been craving a getaway and a chance to leave Pburg for a couple of days. It seemed like a little escape from reality would do me good...and it did!

 We left on Friday afternoon and headed to Abilene, KS to watch my nephew, Austin, run in the track and field high school regionals. He competed in the two mile run and placed third, which qualifies him for the State track meet this coming weekend in Wichita. I'm so proud of him for qualifying as a freshman and doing so well!

After the race, we drove up to Manhattan, KS, my old college town when I attended Kansas State University. We went to the late movie when we reached town and watched Robin Hood. The movie was very good and was able to keep my attention and keep me awake. It was almost 1:00 a.m. by the time we left the theater.

On Saturday morning, we took our time getting around and then headed over to the KSU campus. We walked all over campus and I gave Jim a tour of where I use to take classes and of my old dorm. Everything was closed up for the summer, so we didn't get to explore any of the buildings but we had a good time walking around and taking in the beautiful limestone buildings. I was most disappointed that Call Hall was closed and I couldn't get any of the ice cream that is made fresh on campus from the local dairy cows. I ate a lot of that ice cream my freshman year. (The mint, chocolate chip is the best!)

Here we are in the center of campus.

It was a beautiful day, being the first sunny day after a week of rain. I thoroughly enjoyed walking around and soaking up the spring sunshine.

Once we had walked campus, we headed over to the much-loved Aggieville. Aggieville is a collection of shops, restaurants and bars right off of campus. I have many wonderful memories of late nights with friends at Longhorns in Aggieville.

We did some shopping and finally ate lunch. I was starving since we had skipped breakfast. I was also in desperate need of caffeine from not getting my coffee fix that morning. Luckily, lunch took care of my hunger and headache.

Following lunch, we headed uptown to the mall and to explore the downtown shops. We found a new little gourmet food store uptown that was really cute. I bought a jar of lemon curd and we shared some peanut butter fudge that they make fresh in their store. Unfortunately, I can not recall the name of this cute little store.

We went back to the hotel and took naps before getting ready for a late dinner out on the town.

I found this beautiful teal dress at Modcloth and was excited to finally have an opportunity to wear it out. I wish the picture showed off the detailing around the bust better. The top is pleated with an intricate pattern to make up the bodice.

Beautiful hotel door backdrop from our luxurious Super 8 room.

Dinner was at my favorite restaurant in Manhattan, Harry's Uptown. We started out with drinks at the bar where Jim tried their Side Car drink that was on special and I had a wonderful, and strong, french martini.

The beautiful dining room at Harry's.

For dinner, we decided to share three appetizers for our own little buffet of goodies. They were all amazing! I had planned on taking pictures for you all, but my camera's batteries died...ugh!

Here is a recap of what we ordered: (Descriptions from their menu with my review to follow in italics.)

Jim's drink: Side Car - E&J brandy, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup and an orange sugar rim. I tried Jim's drink and it was very good. Sweet and refreshing, making it a great summer drink.

Appetizer #1: Wild Mushroom Saute - Wild mushrooms sautéed with bacon, foie gras, chives, served over toasted brioche and drizzled with a fresh thyme Chevre sauce. I'm not a huge fan of mushrooms, but these were delicious! Very rich and deep in flavor. I'm glad that we ordered the pizza appetizer, as they were very good put on top of the pizza. I'm not sure I would have been able to handle an entire plate of mushrooms by themselves.

Appetizer #2: Hot Lobster Cilantro Martini - Lightly breaded, quick-fried lobster medallions finished in a rum cilantro sauce. This was so rich and decadent. The lobster meat was perfectly cooked and the presentation in a martini glass was beautiful. The lobster was in a very rich cheese/rum sauce. The rum gave it a very interesting flavor. We were only able to eat a few bites of this one, it was just so rich. The martini glass portion should probably be split by six people. A couple of bites is all you need. I felt guilty leaving so much of this one left after our meal.

Appetizer #3: Smoked Chicken Pizza - Smoked chicken, tossed in a creamy garlic sauce, topped with crisp bacon, fresh herbs, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. This appetizer was my favorite. The bacon and chicken made for a delicious combination and the perfect vehicle for eating our mushroom appetizer. I think I could recreate this one at home and am looking forward to trying to make it soon.

Following dinner, I enjoyed an Irish Coffee while we sat and talked for awhile and just enjoyed the rare evening out at a nice restaurant with no distractions. After I had finished my cup of coffee, we weren't ready to call it an evening yet, so we decided to go across the street to get some dessert.

I had heard of a new restaurant, della Voce, and really wanted to check it out. I'm glad we did, it was a fun place to try. Nice atmosphere and our server was very nice.

Jim ordered a Strawberry Lime-aid martini for dessert. It was very sweet and an extremely bright pink color. I really enjoyed taking a few sips from this one. Definitely a dessert drink. The drink was made up of: Stoli strasberi, Citronge, limoncello, grenadine and lime juice.

For dessert, I ordered the creme brule al cioccolato. It was a chocolate creme brulee and was ok. The flavor was good but it didn't have that rich custard texture that I love in my creme brulees. Jim ordered the torta ai formaggi classica, which is cheesecake. I wish I had ordered this one. It was so creamy and rich. I was glad that Jim shared a bite with me!

Another self-portrait.

Finally, it was time to call it a night and we headed back to our hotel. We slept in on Sunday morning and then headed home to pick up Ethan from the farm, where he had enjoyed an eventful weekend with his grandparents.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Calves

Spring time means calving season and my favorite time of the year to be out at the farm. You'll find us out there many evenings and each weekend working with the cows and enjoying the sunshine.

This little girl is my favorite calf so far this season. Aren't baby calves so cute? I named her Shelby but she's better known simply as cow #11.

I always name the cows, which makes my husband and father-in-law tease me. At first, they thought I would become too attached to the cows if I started naming them. But when it comes time to choose between the money that comes from selling the cows or keeping them as pets, it's pretty easy for me to choose the money we use to substain our family over a huge cow as a pet. So while Shelby is a cute baby calf, someday she'll provide for our family by being sold at the sale barn or filling our freezer for the year. I'm sure Shelby will taste great...cold hearted, I know. :)

Last weekend, it was time to give the cows their shots.

Hello Pansy

Protective momma cow with her baby. I can relate to the mommies that get so stressed when their babies are separated from them when we're working cows.

This weekend, while out at the farm, Jim took me target shooting. I haven't shot a gun in over four years. I stopped shooting when I got pregnant and never took it back up.

Ethan was busy playing on the swing set, so we decided to take some time to work on target shooting. Even though it's been four years, my first shot was a success.

Bulls Eye!

First shot, dead center of the cross hairs in the center of the bulls eye. Target shooting is a great stress reliever...I'll have to remember to do it more often.