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Houston Bucket List – 2011 update

18 Apr

I have been such a bad blogger!  But I have excuses reasons!  Besides all those many, many reasons, I have accomplished one or two things from my bucket list.  I also want to add a few more items….

(My original Bucket List post is here.)

Things to see and do:

1. Monica Pope’s farmer’s market

2. Rice University football game

3. watch a Dynamo game

4. visit the Holocaust Museum – Done.  I visited on an Agency Visit with the Junior League, so I didn’t get to explore at my own leisure.  I did request to get a community placement there through the Junior League, so hopefully I will be spending a lot more time there.

5. visit the Contemporary Arts Museum

6. visit the Printing History Museum

7. go to the George Ranch (as an adult) – that’s a real, live, working Texas ranch.  Yee-haw!

8. go to Washington-on-the-Brazos

9. see a movie at the Angelika – Dang it.  Should have done it while I could.  The Angelika closed for business not long after I posted this.  BUT a new theater is coming to that space called Sundance, so I will probably go check that out!

10. see a movie at the old River Oaks – Done!  Saw The King’s Speech there.  It was amazing, both the theater and the movie.  The theater has a bar, and you can bring your drinks in with you.  It’s no Alamo Drafthouse, but it’ll do.  Hope to see many more movies there this year.

11. ice skate at the Galleria (as an adult)

12. visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center – Okay, I kind of did this.  During the whole “Corpse Flower” craze at the HMNS, we went in the middle of the night to smell it see it bloom.  The line wound through the butterfly exhibit, but it was dark out, so hard to see any butterflies.  We need to go again to make it count.  I did see the most INCREDIBLE thing there though: a working apiary.  The bees live inside a clear beehive inside the museum, with a tube to the outside so they can gather pollen and nectar or whatever.  It was awesome.  

13. visit the Planetarium

14. see a show at Miller Outdoor Theater – Done!  Saw an Elvis movie.  And part of “Little Shop of Horrors”.  Good times.

15. visit the 1940s Air Terminal Museum

16. visit the Art Car Museum

17. visit Bayou Bend Museum

18. Find Howard Hughes grave at Glenwood Cemetary

19. visit all the old houses at the Heritage Society site in Downtown – Done!  We brought Andrew’s sister when she visited from Boston.  I loved every second of it, she was probably bored to tears.  Oh well.

20. make a retablo for Lawndale’s Day of the Dead event

21. visit the Menil Collection (as an adult) – Done!  Again with Andrew’s poor sister.  She was dragged all over town.

22. visit Rienzi

23. visit the Officer Lucy Dog Park

24. visit the Danny Jackson Dog Park – Done!  We walk there from our house occasionally.  Grover does NOT like other dogs though, so it’s mostly for us humans to enjoy the other dogs.

25. walk all the way around Memorial Park

26. watch the Houston Marathon –  Done!  I am on the board for Young Texans Against Cancer, and we are one of the Run For A Reason charities who benefit from the Marathon.  We got up early on Sunday morning to man a “hoopla station” and cheer our runners on.  So fun!

27. Opera in the Heights

28. stay at the Magnolia

29. visit the Jade Temple

30. visit the Forbidden Gardens – DOUBLE DANG IT. I missed this one too.  Closed forever.  The expansion of Grand Parkway ate into their property and they decided to close instead of operating next to a busy road.  I HATE THE GRAND PARKWAY.  

31. kayak the Buffalo Bayou

32. Arboretum – Done.  We had a staff meeting there.  It was beautiful, and a very different spot for a meeting (in a good way).  Though we did have to ask the funeral next door to turn down the rock and roll so we could hear each other.  I am not making this up.

33. Explore the Downtown tunnel system

34. ride in the Moonlight Ramble

35. hang out and explore Discovery Green

36. Go to an Aurora Picture Show event

Places to eat:

1. Reef

2. Shade

3. Vic and Anthony’s

4. the breakfast klub

5. Kim Son

6. Tiny Boxwoods – Done.  Delicious.  Haven’t been back as I’m never in the mood to fight people for tables.  Although they are opening a second location in the old JMH grocery store by my house, so I will probably walk to that one.  

7. Hobbit Cafe (as an adult)

8. Mark’s

9. Black Lab pub – Done.  Delicious.  Sat outside on a gorgeous day, and drank mimosas.  La.  Andrew ate a piece of salmon fried in a ball of cheese or something.  Possibly his personal heaven.

10. Glass Wall

11. Candelari’s – Done.  Meh.  

12. Ocean Palace dim sum

13. Mucky Duck

14. Daniel Wong’s Kitchen – Done.  This is now our delivery Chinese food.  They have fantastic fried rice.

15. Fogo de Chao

16. Brennan’s  – Done.  Visited during Houston Restaurant Week (Now Restaurant Month, I hear.)  Had the turtle soup, something delicious that I can’t remember, and the bananas foster.  DELICIOUS. 

17. Coco’s Crepes and Coffee

18. Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen – Done.  On the same night that we saw The King’s Speech at the old River Oaks Theater, we ate at Tony Mandola’s.  It turned out to be the last night at the old location, so I was thisclose to missing this one too!  They are reopened in temporary space by Chuy’s on Westheimer, but parking sucks, so no thanks.  Food was good, though.

19. Bar Annie/RDG

20. Himalaya

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Dove Pie

2 Nov

Tonight I worked late, then spent an hour and a half grocery shopping, and then an hour cooking dinner and entertaining some girlfriends during a spontaneous girls’ night.  I’m sure one day I will look back on days like these and feel pangs of nostalgia for times when friends are always around, wine flows freely, and our conversations still revolve around boys and our social lives.  However.  Tonight I’m just tired.

I was planning to take some pictures and post the recipe of the mushroom and chicken casserole I made, but Andrew and I tore into it the moment it had cooled to a point that 3rd degree tongue burns were not necessarily inevitable.  It was pretty good – especially after I added a little truffle oil and parmesan as afterthoughts.  For the most part it was healthy – just 2% milk, skinless chicken breast, spinach, and mushrooms, with some flour and cornstarch to thicken.  I made enough for leftovers later this week, and I think we might enjoy it more the second time around!

Since I didn’t take pictures or anything, instead, I will share what we ate at our friends’ Lindsay and Andrew’s house last Thursday.  About a month ago, they spent some time down in south Texas shooting dove, and now have a freezer full of them.  Lindsay baked some into a pie, and the result is the most delicious sort of comfort food imaginable.  Not helpful with the weight loss plan, though!

Not to mention the copious amounts of red wine.

Dove pie

It didn't look like this for long...

I asked Lindsay for the recipe, so when I get it, I’ll update the post.  You know, in case you have some dove lying around in need of a good home.

Salad

strawberries, walnuts, and feta... mmm

Apple Cobbler

I managed to get a photo of the apple cobbler while there was still some left, but just barely.

Sushi night!

28 Oct

Andrew and I had some seriously good sushi tonight.  It all started when it rained all day, and yet stayed muggy and warm.  [What kind of “cold front” was that, anyway?]  When it came time to think about cooking dinner, all we could manage to find in my kitchen was half a bag of shell pasta, frozen tilapia, a wedge of gouda, and beer.  Normally, I would type my available ingredients into Epicurious to see what I might throw together, but I wasn’t feeling creative.  Plus I was STARVING, so I convinced Andrew that we should forgo saving money for just one night so we could eat sushi.

Luckily, we Houstonians have one of the best cheap sushi places in all the land: Oishii.  Nestled next to a tailor and a convenience store in a decidedly unhip strip center, Oishii still manages to run a waitlist full of hipsters and young professionals nearly every evening.  It helps that the food is delicious, the prices are ridiculously low, and the service is excellent.

Andrew and I go enough that we have worked out our favorite things to order, although we like to try different rolls every so often.  We always start with miso soup, then get salmon sushi, kani sushi, and a maki.  Tonight the maki we tried was the Rosi Roll: salmon, cucumber, and something else wrapped in seaweed and topped with salmon and eel.  Delicious.

I managed to delay my ravaging appetite long enough to take a couple of pictures:

Oishii miso

delicious miso soup...

Oishii sushi and maki

...followed by delicious sushi and maki.

You may have noticed that there is a lot of salmon on that plate.  The waiters at Oishii have noticed that too.  When I walk into the restaurant, they go into the back to get another pound of salmon in anticipation.  [Just kidding!  Well, actually, they might.]  If we get one of the waiters, Rosia, she will ask if I want the “usual”…haha!

The only downside to eating sushi is that it never makes me feel “full”, and it’s so delicious, I could eat it for hours.  I have to pry myself away from the table every time.  By the time I get home, I feel fine, like I’ve eaten enough.  It just takes my body a little longer to tell my brain to stop eating when there is sushi in front of me.