Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend Roundup - An "oh so sweet" one

Well, inspired by the bedtime music in my ears and the threat of insomnia I decided to go ahead and make the post that has been floating around in my head but that I decided to forego in pursuit of a full nights sleep and an early morning.  The full nights sleep may not happen now, but I'm still holding out hope for the early morning.  I found that Sunday my head is always buzzing with reflections on the weekend..and lately since I started writing posts here those reflections seem to slowly manifest themselves into blog post drafts in my head.  And as I have the evenings that come along that I feel the distance between my family and other friends so heavy in my gut, it often becomes a necessity to make these silly posts.  I always feel a little closer to those distant far off places when I do.
Since it's nearly been a solid month since I've traveled away from home, had visitors or been out of sorts I'm starting to find my routine here.  I am starting to compare my surroundings less and less to what was the past and develop habits and hobbies and potentially a personality of my own.  The things I really have started to love up here are the beauty, the proximity to so many places, the City and all its culture and the well organized cyclist culture.  I could probably think of a new activity or place to explore every weekend for countless weekends.  And although that in no ways means life is whole and meaningful it is something I've come to appreciate.
This weekend was another weekend in the city.  A great weekend of recharging activity, new experiences and fabulous food.  Because where would my post be without talking about food :)  A friend (3rd removed) I met last time I was in the city invited me to this monthly potluck he holds.  This isn't just any potluck, it's a brilliantly executed potluck where each month there is a new theme and most likely new faces to go along with it.  It's such a great idea, I don't know why I had never been or done anything like it before.  This tradition has been built and grown for 6 years.  I ventured to it with my childhood friend and it was very entertaining to see all the different faces, dishes and stories about how they had ended up being invited to this potluck.  The theme this month was the anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union (20 years).  Pretty creative.  You had to bring a dish (or beverage) from a nation in the union.  There were lots of potatoes and dumplings, vegetable and meat concoctions, breads, home made ice cream and 2 Baklavas - one of which was ours.  Baklava is kind of a stretch..but really it's a staple dessert throughout the region, so who cares if it's Greek or Turkish or whatever it is.
So this is different than my normal post..where I diddy on about some extremely fabulous, flavorful but healthy dish that I throw together in my kitchen.  Baklava is really a Hammer when it comes to desserts.  BUTTER, sugar, nuts, filo dough, cinnamon, spices and a dash of lemon.  But oh so fabulous I almost think our dish should have gone on the Savory list instead of the sweet..although that it is and then some.
Our Baklava - a nutty, buttery sugar casserole of nuclear proportions
Don't ever call Baklava dry - Our Baklava could pick a fight with any of your people's Baklava
I don't know if we ever heard an official vote on which Baklava was reigning champion of the potluck (ours was a Walnut/Almond combo with a sugary, cinnamon filing and the other girl's was Pistachio/Almond with more of a honey drizzle.
So today was another venture back to the 'burbs from Astoria..that is after the traditional NY bagel & shmear, some Yoga and a little bit of shopping.  I came back home, walked in the humid air up to Walgreens and got home to do some work and relax/have leftover Baklava and tea just before the rain hit.  We are a bit fortunate here in CT because even though we don't miss out on humidity, it only seems to come just before a rain storm.
Well I couldn't leave you without at least a little shot of more home cookin.
A quinoa, spinach(from frozen), brussel sprout, sesame seed tofu mixture with ginger and Tamari
I saved room for one of my favorite desserts/movie combos though.  Air popped corn with agave nectar and cinnamon. Don't knock it till you try it.
Caution: will cause sticky fingers
Here is wishing everyone a happy, healthy and fulfilling week.  Also, I've discovered a new App that is really good at tracking my cycling routes.  If you want to follow my rides Go Here!


  1. I should never read your blog around lunchtime. Damn. So hungry. I think that sounds like an excellent kind of potluck.

  2. Yeah, if I lived back in AR I would be enacting the tradition immediately! Someday perhaps..