Thursday, July 23, 2009

Week One

I haven't updated in a few days - been busy, busy with new stuff. I had a wonderful weekend before starting the new job. I got to see my friend M's new place (very nice!). Saturday night, Sean and I had dinner over there for some wonderful fondue (M - I'm eagerly awaiting the recipe!) and I followed that course with a "Mexican-style chocolate fondue" I was inspired by from an Emirile Lagasse recipe (recipe below). Though, I forgot to use that fabulous electric fondue pot Drunky McDrunkerson gave me... I swear it was almost worth dating him just for that Cuisinart fondue set! I'm so shallow...

Sean took my mind off the impending first day at the new job by taking me to a great Vietnamese place near his house (Taste of Saigon) and catching the new Harry Potter movie at Tyson's. It was so-so... as typical I find myself rooting for the bad guys anyway, and Draco Malfoy is quite cute in this one, in that brooding bad-boy sorta way. Though the ginger one, Ron, is growing up to be quite cute too, and I usually don't say that about redheads (don't worry Prince Harry, you're still the #1 ginger in my book).

So the new job has gone very well so far! Granted, this is only week one and it seems like there is much work ahead, but I am glad to be moving into a new chapter of my life, and glad to be away from my last job (the the payout in the end was a nice little bonus! - Perhaps Sean and I will be in Costa Rica or Spain later for a winter getaway).

Mexican-style Chocolate Fondue

2 cups brewed coffee
1 vanilla bean (or, subst. w/ 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper*
8 oz Mexican chocolate (or subt. w. semi-sweet dark)
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate

Heat the brewed coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks in fondue pot and simmer on hi, bringing to a boil. Boil until liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup (about 10 mins). Add the milk, cream, and chipotle to the pot. Lower heat to medium and simmer. Slowly stir in chocolate, and simmer and stir until thickened.

*In vising southern Mexico, I found that using chillies in chocolate is a very popular and ancient technique going back to the Aztecs and Mayas... it gives a characteristic kick that is quite nice. Trust me, it's good... just don't overdo it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Relaxation and Detoxification

I've had such a great week of resting after leaving my last job. The week is flying by too fast though - I start my new job this coming Monday. I'm happy to be starting the new position, but I have to admit I wish I had longer vacation!

This week I went to Rehoboth Beach with Sean. So funny story I have to confess... I was searching for a good hotel on my last day at PFLAG, and colleagues kept coming into my office to say their goodbyes and such. I guess it distracted me, because I made the reservations not really paying attention. As many know, beach resorts fill up very fast in the summer, so it's always a pain to find vacancies.

So, fast-forward to the morning we were going to the beach, Sean calls me to tell me he was driving over to pick me and was 10 minutes away. Only then did I bother to look at the print-out of the reservations and realize... I had booked the wrong dates. So there I was in panic-mode, calling the hotel to see if they had vacancies for that day (I could almost hear them snickering as they said no). I was desperately Googling "Rehoboth hotels" in hopes I could find something, anything, with Sean none the wiser.

To my credit, I found one place that still had vacancies. Booked it, and had the whole matter settled by the time Sean pulled up.

Aside from the water being cold (it was no Mexico, let's put it that way) we had a really great time, and it was nice being away from here (even if half the DC "power gays" were there anyway). My only regret was coming home. I wish summer vacations could last forever.

Friday, July 10, 2009

So Long, Farewell...

Auf Wiedersehen!

Today's my last day at this job! I'm so thrilled. Now begins my time before I start my new job, a bit of a "staycation" though Sean and I may venture to Rehoboth at some point.

Hugs, and thanks again to everyone for their help!

Thursday, July 09, 2009


In honor of a very pretty full moon...

Fiest's "My Moon, My Man"

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Thaim of My Life

I love Thai food, but for the longest time I’ve always had a hard time getting the flavors just right, or finding the right ingredients (like, for example, tamarind paste or fresh lemongrass). There’s one particular sauce at Thai Regent on 18th St that I love, called Kra Prao that goes nicely with seafood or chicken. They have a lovely soft-shelled crab in Kra Prao I highly recommend. Anyway, here’s a homemade version that came out very close in taste I was very happy with…

*Make sure you use Thai basil, not the European basil we’re used to in Italian food. They are very different in taste, and it makes all the difference, trust me!

Chicken Kra Prao

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 handful of Thai basil leaves, washed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Thai red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 ½ tbsp Thai fish sauce
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil

In a wok, heat oil and fry garlic and chilies until the garlic is golden. Add the chicken and stir-fry until cooked. In bowl, mix fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Add the mixture to the wok and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. About halfway through, begin folding in the Thai basil leaves. Serve with jasmine rice.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Joys of Being a Lame Duck

So this is my last week at my current job. I start my new job on the 20th, later this month. That gives me a wondrous week in between to relax, detox... maybe go to the beach?

I'm already beyond "checked out" and am really doing nothing... it's wonderful! Except, I'd rather be sitting by my pool but I digress. It's really nice to not have the job-hunt stress anymore, and many thanks again to my friends and my very patient boyfriend for all of the support!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

When Enablers Enable...

You know, this whole Michael Jackson tragedy from last week got me thinking. The more details emerge, the more it becomes clear Michael spent the better part of his life surrounded by enablers, who didn't really care about him at all. And that, I think, is the saddest part of all.

I mean, I see parallels with certain people I know... like, say, "Drunky McDrunkerson." He's surrounded by lots of "important" people and "A-list gays" - all of whom he considers his "friends."

But the truth, of course, is that if they were really his friends then they wouldn't let him sink to his present obesity, and they wouldn't encourage him to continue drinking as an alcoholic. They are not friends. They are enablers.

Real friends, the moral of this posting is, will help a friend get the help they need. They won't just stand by and watch a person self-destruct, be it drugs, booze, overeating etc.

Just a thought...

Happy Canada Day

To all my friends up north, Happy Canada Day! May it be filled with Mounties, Maple, and Molsons!