Category Archives: Food

Day Off

A random Friday off is always nice, even though this month is pretty easy overall.

I feel I’ve lost my motivation to do anything musical. I haven’t really practiced at all this week! Maybe I need the downtime, but I have a stack of music to be working on, at least in the abstract, so hopefully next week will bring more motivation. Then again, motivation is something that comes from within, so I’ll look there first.

I’ve been working on reorganizing my house, especially my music collection. I keep getting more music, and hate getting rid of things, so getting it more in order will be nice. I think I’m going to get some magazine holders in order to keep stuff more together, and try to organize somewhat alphabetically/by genre/category. Any musicians have any successful ideas to share? I am not organized by nature but can work hard.

I’m working on my fall schedule as well. Well, as much as one can in June. I’ve got some wonderful “borrowed” students over the summer, but definitely have openings in the fall, especially on Wednesdays. Pass it on! I’m sometimes surprised by how quickly I go from absolutely insanely busy to, well, blogging in my pj’s after spending a few hours organizing. That’s right, I may or may not still be in my pajamas. That’s what days off are for, correct?

I suppose I spend too much time here acting silly Winking smile I was thinking earlier that I’m getting to be old and should be mature soon. I’m in my last year of my 30’s now…but I don’t always feel like I’m an adult, in the same way that I always thought my parents were adults at this age. Granted, I don’t have kids, and did I mention I’m in my pajamas? But I suppose there are times I feel adult. Right now, for instance. Spending a day off organizing my house and doing laundry is pretty adult. Also the other day I gave a student advice on how to help a younger student with a posture issue. Sometimes, in fact, I completely surprise myself with my adult-ness. (Or I’m still being silly. I think I need more coffee. Even with the day off, the sun woke me up by 7:30 am and I was planning to sleep longer after having stayed up late watching an episode of House of Cards.)

Other things I’m doing: uploading CD’s to iTunes (this is a project I started years ago but never finished) in order to be able to listen to anything I want whenever. My current impetus is because Louie is putting in a new radio in my car (the old one works only as a radio because the CD player is broken, and has no accessory function) which I can use to listen through my phone and also use as a bluetooth to talk on the phone. If I have all my music on the phone, then I can listen to any of it anytime! I learn music best when I combine the visual and the aural, and I just haven’t been listening enough since my CD player broke Sad smile

Also making an omelet with leftover potatoes from my “birthday dinner” last night (one night late.) I’m doing what I call a spanish omelet where you mix up eggs and add potatoes and whatever else to it and then cook it on low heat in a cast iron pan for around 30 minutes until it sets. It better be good!

(Last night’s dinner at Peacemaker Lobster and Crab. Lobster doesn’t fit great into my mostly veggie/fish diet, but I am okay with it plus a little sausage for special occasions. )

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That biscuit is SOOO GOOD too. I wish I could eat it right now, but I already ate it.

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And some oysters. The night was quite a splurge, but was a lot of fun. Thanks Louie!

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How are you all?

Happy Presidents Day

Some of you may have off work today? I don’t, but I’m coming off of a TWO DAY WEEKEND so I’m feeling fully rested. That is to say, I got used to being somewhat slothful and sleeping in and I’m having a hard time getting moving this morning. The trick might be to never take a day off, then you don’t get spoiled. Alternately I could retire early, but Louie thought I’d get bored. I suspect I could fill my time with enough interesting hobbies, but then again, I don’t have QUITE enough saved, nor are my hobbies vastly different than some of my jobs, so work it is.

And cats. For those of you reading this from work, here are some cats!

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I’m always excited these days when there is a picture of Oistrakh in my timehop app. (Timehop takes your past instagram, facebook posts, twitter, and more, and shows you what you posted on the same day in years past.)

Last year Louie and I went out for Valentine’s Day and spent a good chunk of change. This year we decided to cook instead, but wanted a meal that was simple and delicious. (Simple, because cooking is a lot of work!) Also, Louie wanted steak, since he missed it and I agreed. So we decided to buy a local grass fed steak as a good compromise to not eating steak (ha! at least we are eating much LESS meat, which is a positive step IMO) and paired it with shitake mushrooms, a beet and goat cheese salad, and with a mexican chocolate cheesecake and salted caramel peanut ice cream. Louie sauteed the mushrooms in butter and then red wine (in the steak pan) and I roasted the beets with shallots, lemon and orange juice, and a bit of honey. It was a delicious, delicious meal!

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So that was Valentine’s Day. The salad is something I will add to our regular rotation since it wasn’t too hard to make and was absolutely delicious. And there’s more ice cream plus some chocolate we decided to save for later, which means that VDay lasts longer.

But today, I went for a run around the neighborhood. We got a few inches of snow yesterday and most of it was still there.

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I thought snow running would be closer to trail running than road running is. I’m running the Castlewood Cup in two weeks and I could definitely have been training more, but I’ve been running somewhat regularly…the cold and snow have made me a little lazy and I just haven’t managed to get to the gym in well, months. Oops. Today’s run was nice though: the snow was pretty, it wasn’t terribly cold, and I felt good trudging through the snow.

I’m also running the St Patrick’s Day race in March (I should disclose than I got a free entry in exchange for posting about it on here and in social media, but it’s a cheap AND fun race as far as these things go and you should run too) and then the Go Half Marathon in April. Are any runners still reading here? Are you doing any cool races in the near future?

Last note: I tend to do my laptop work on the couch, using a mouse/mousepad on my right side as I’m right-handed. Chloe often likes to join me, and by join me I mean, cuddle on top of my right hand and mouse. It’s cute AND annoying, and sometimes I’m terrified to move her because she has fragile skin and I’d hate to break it! But I hate using a track pad—how do you manage, if you use on? Would I get more used to it if I used it more? The things I like best about the laptop is being able to use the keyboard and the mouse.

Yes, I’m seriously asking how to do work with a cat in the way Smile And on that note, have a great day everybody! I’ve got a pretty normal week ahead of me as far as my schedule goes, but lots of music to be working on, and a few projects too. The to-do list isn’t terribly long but it never stops!

Laumeier Sculpture Park and ELaia

Since mostly I blog when I’m overwhelmed and tired (apparently!) right now I’m trying to blog while I’m spending about an hour purposefully relaxing. Why yes, writing my blog IS relaxing!

This weekend has been full of activity, but mostly fun activity. I’ve had a few students and a family issue (nothing to worry you about!) but otherwise Louie and I have had fun together. Friday night we went to the symphony concert…it was a little stressful coming right after what had happened in Paris, which I almost hesitate to even mention, since we ignore mass killings in non-European countries so often, but David Robertson did mention it at the concert…it seems fitting that I acknowledge it, and acknowledge how horrible things can be, and that all we can do is to continue to try to bring joy and music to the world.

So, the symphony. We are subscribers but this was a trade from next week which didn’t work for my schedule. It’s super easy to trade concerts if you buy a subscription, by the way. It took about 3 minutes on the phone. My one complaint about the symphony concert was that they had a little screen up with some words and moving animation in the back for various parts, and I found it very distracting and awful. I find supertitles to be helpful when there are singers, but other than that I don’t want quotes or pictures to “enhance” the performance. The music should speak for itself, and usually does, and definitely would have in this case. I know I can be a fuddy-duddy with classical music (using that world probably makes me one for sure!) but in this case I really think I’m right…

Saturday Louie and I walked around Forest Park enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. It was seriously around 70 degrees and sunny! And then for dinner I’d made reservations to take Louie out for a belated birthday dinner at Elaia. Wow. We had an amazing meal—it was not cheap, but I’d been planning on it for awhile, and it was a great experience. We both got a 4 course prix fixe dinner and shared each course. My favorites were a mushroom dish called “Hen of the Woods” and the Beet and Salmon Salad (totally strange combo, but it worked magnificently). It was a great evening—good food, drinks and conversation. I would say I’ll be back, but not for a long time due to the price. Right next to Elaia is Olio, which is also great and a bit more affordable, depending on how much you eat.

This morning we went to Laumeier Sculpture Park with friends. I had originally thought I’d sleep in a bit, since I’ve been complaining of being tired, but decided it was worth it to do something new with people. It was a lovely morning to walk around in the woods, the grass, and see some interesting art.

This was made by an artist using a chainsaw, if I recall. One tree trunk.

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A tree covered in aluminum. It reminds me of that tree from Lord of the Rings. Gondor?

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I liked this one with the lady playing the piano. It was a piece of art in memory of somebody, and I thought it was really nice. I hope somebody makes some art for me when I’m gone. Or maybe before that?!

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A chair made from a tree trunk. There wasn’t a sign not to sit on it.

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A cat mosaic sculpture. It was gorgeous to look at with all the different kinds of materials. Very shiny.

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I’m glad I got to do some exploring this weekend and enjoy some new activities. It definitely helped my mindset. It’s easy to feel like life is just on repeat, and that each day is the same as the day before (or in my case, each Monday is the same, each Tuesday, etc…) so seeing a new park and eating a great meal at a new restaurant were great activities for me. Even if I’m still physically a bit tired, I am mentally and emotionally a bit more satisfied, which is good.

One more full week until Thanksgiving! This week will be a bit stressful too, as I’ve got another quartet concert AND a student recital, among other things but there is light at the end of the tunnel and that light is a bright one Winking smile

Dog swim and more

Here we are again, on a Monday. I ran 8 miles this morning as part of my training for the Go Halloween Half Marathon and now I’m catching up on some things before I start teaching for the week…

The weekend went by quickly, as they are prone to do. At least I only had one work-related commitment so it wasn’t too crazy!

Friday night we went to a local Mexican restaurant, Lily’s, with some friends. I think Louie and I have developed a problem (it’s been years I’m sure) where we really will always pick a Mexican restaurant over anything else. It’s not JUST the margaritas, it’s also the tacos, and the beans, and the chips…I promise! We had a great time.

Saturday was the Maplewood Dog Swim. Mackenzie had had a rough day on Friday involving having to spend a good deal of time at the vet (no worries, everything seems to be under control) so it was nice for her to get to run around with other dogs and swim to her heart’s content. We were there about 1 1/2 hours, and by the end she was really dragging, but kept insisting she was still having fun.

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She didn’t like to jump into the pool and instead always used the stairs or a shallow entrance. She was very smart though and also knew how to use the stairs to get out of the pool!

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The pool was fun to watch for us too—there were dozens of dogs running around and frolicking and trying to fetch tennis balls. It was a real hoot!

Saturday night I had a performance with a pianist I hadn’t played with before. He is also a doctor, but is an excellent performer! We played two pieces together for a program at a local synagogue. Afterwards he and his wife and Louie and I went to Basso for a bite to eat. Louie and I had been there before but not for awhile. We each got a little pizza and shared some roasted cauliflower, and it was very tasty.

Sunday we went on a bike ride on Grant’s Trail. I like it, but I think Louie found it a little dull. We’ll have to get out to a more scenic ride next time, probably along the river (and NOT the River Des Peres) would be better but we just weren’t sure how all the rain over the summer had affected those trails and didn’t want to have to turn back. Otherwise I spent Sunday cleaning and doing other stuff around the house and then had dinner with my friend Sarah. We are both violin teachers and spent a lot of time sharing stories and possibly making some plans for joint studio projects.

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I saw this on the internet the other day and thought it was great. Maybe I need it printed out to show my students. A small percentage of them would find it most amusing and helpful, and the rest would probably just be baffled. LOTR is so a few years ago, isn’t it?

How’s your Monday going? What is your favorite Mexican restaurant?

Fall-Se Alarm

See what I did there? After blogging about fall and pumpkin spice and cooler weather (okay, I didn’t really do any of those things…but my last title had the word “fall” in it) it’s been a really hot week and weekend, and I must say…I’m over it. Luckily this morning hasn’t been so bad, mostly overcast and breezy, so fingers crossed we are moving on? (Full disclosure, I started this post last night, and today I’m already more pleased by the weather, so…maybe things are turning.)

This weekend was pretty fun!  Louie’s dad was visiting from Philly for a couple days so we went out to eat a few times and did a little sightseeing. We went to Treehouse, which is a vegan restaurant that I am conflicted about. I don’t like that their descriptions of dishes involve words like “sausage” or “chicken” and don’t specify how those things are actually made. I get that they want to show you that you don’t need meat, but to me it feels like deception. I had the seitan katsu, which was actually quite good, but the description said it was chicken (which I knew it wasn’t…it was seitan!) which to me, is just weird. Nonetheless, the meal was tasty enough, especially the beets—I’ve become obsessed with beets! The other meal we had was at Olio, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants. My favorite dishes there are the smoked whitefish salad and the roasted beets with ricotta. Yummy!

We also went up to walk across the Old Chain of Rocks bridge. I’d been there on my bike before, but this time we just parked (on the Illinois side, the Missouri parking lot was closed) and walked across.

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These little buildings fascinated us. It seems they are water intake towers and are inaccessible today.

Yesterday Louie and I met up with some people my friend Eliana’s birthday. We had pizza at Dewey’s Pizza and frozen yogurt at a nearby Tutti Frutti. It was nice to meet a few new people and celebrate her 30th (so young!) birthday with her. It’s always fun to chat with friends of friends and expand our social horizons.

And then this morning I ran 7 miles (around the Botanical Gardens and Tower Grove park from my house) and now…getting ready to teach and must do a bit of practicing. Luckily there is leftover pizza to refuel after my run (great for carb-loading AND refueling, right?!).

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Today I have a few students who wanted to take Labor Day off for various reasons, but I’m teaching the rest. I figured I started late enough in August that we didn’t need a break yet! Talk to me in a couple months…and I’ve set up a fall recital date for the students, which is a first for us. I have other ideas too, like some sort of ensemble Christmas performance with another teacher, but I also know things just get crazy around that time (for me and everybody else) and I’m not sure I want to tackle too much.

Oh, and I promise more trip recaps are on their way. I’m working on the Yellowstone blog post—it’s just a long post but I am working on it, in case you are wondering. I haven’t forgotten, and I will finish!

Beggin’ Pet Parade

The Beggin Pet Parade was this morning in Soulard, and since the good folks at Purina sent me two VIP tickets in addition to some great goodies (leash, blanket, treats, frisbee) we HAD to go. Nearly 70 degree weather was the icing on the cake and I knew it would be a great day.

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I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect or what would be happening. I’m not a huge “group activity” or “festival” person because I get impatient and overwhelmed easily. But I figured we could manage a parade and besides, we had tickets to the VIP tent—which meant food and drink. Now, before you get too excited, remember I’m not eating meat right now and I had practicing to do later, so no drinking for me. We had hoped to run into my friend April but there were just too many people and the phone service was slow so we couldn’t communicate where we were well enough to find each other.

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Only water for MacKenzie too.

I won’t bore you with unnecessary details (I know, who AM I?) but we had a great time just walking around. MacKenzie loved sniffing all the other dogs and enjoyed being out in the seriously unseasonably lovely weather.

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Louie and I had fun people and dog watching and checking out the neighborhood. We walked the entire parade route before the parade and then decided to go back and get some food at the tent. There wasn’t much offered without meat but we got a little pasta and salad. There was a long line for the bar and since we weren’t day-drinking (like most do at these events, I do get jealous of people who don’t need to practice or do homework or other work later on weekend days!) we didn’t feel it was worth it.

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And the perhaps lame part was that we decided to skip the parade. We’d seen a ton of dogs already and the weather was almost too nice to just sit around. Maybe we are weird, but we decided to walk around more and went all around Lafayette Square as well.

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Swans! And geese and ducks!

The rest of my weekend was nice as well. Yesterday was beautiful and while I did have to work in the afternoon I managed to get a nice run in in the morning.

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See I took a picture!

Here’s the two cats hanging out—this is pretty close for them but they seemed content enough for awhile! Fatness (dark cat) is pretty aggressive and territorial but Chloe (white cat) has learned that she’s MOSTLY all talk and just ignores her.

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Last night we decided to go out for dinner to a local Chinese restaurant. We wanted to get green beans with a black bean sauce and this egg tofu with mushrooms dish. When our server informed us that they were out of the egg tofu, we were disappointed, but asked her which of the regular tofu dishes she recommended. We picked one of her favorite choices to order. The food came out a few minutes later and I tried a bit of the dish. I looked at Louie after my first bite and said, “I think this has chicken in it.” (Remember, we have been not eating meat for a few weeks now!). We asked the server if the dish had chicken, and she said, oh no, no chicken. Only mushrooms and pork.

(We decided to eat it anyway, since sending it back would also be wasteful, and we aren’t even REAL vegetarians. We learned a valuable lesson which is to ask if a meal has meat even if you think if won’t because, for instance, it is listed under the vegetarian portion of the menu, because you just NEVER KNOW. Also the dish was really quite tasty and a good recommendation, just not a good recommendation for a couple who is awkwardly trying to avoid eating meat.)

Did you go to the pet parade? Do you find it uncomfortable asking for special treatment if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies?