Sunday, March 25, 2012

Malcolm's Fourth Annual Birthday Sandwich

      Malcolm had a birthday last Saturday, and that means sandwich time!  Every year around his birthday I invent him a surprise sandwich.  Last year, I made Malcolm a salmon sandwich with caramelized red onions and a delicious ten-ingredient mayonnaise.    
      This year, I found a use for my new cast-iron skillet, and made a steak sandwich.  I could have cooked the steak a little less, it wasn't as medium-rare as I was shooting for, but it came out tasty anyway.
Malcolm's 4th Annual Birthday Sandwich
      The sandwich was composed of roasted garlic mayonaisse, sliced steak, arugula, roasted red peppers, red onions, cucumbers, and goat cheese.  At the bottom of the post I have step-by-step assembly instructions if you're interested.  
     True to form, the rest of the "picnic" consisted of grapefruit Izzes (which required an entire second trip to Whole Foods), delicious cocktails, Whole Foods spicy olives, chips, and deviled eggs. Somehow this has become the tradition.
Here's the birthday boy and the spread!
Beautiful new egg platter from Crate and Barrel!  I gave it to myself as a Christmas present
     M liked his sandwich very much.  I'm glad, because he had a rough day teaching; he needed a pick-me-up.  
Here's the test.  Does he like it?  He says: "Mmmmhmmm".  Success!
      Whew!  Another birthday handled successfully.  I've done an Italian chicken sandwich, an open-faced stuffed portobella mushroom sandwich, a salmon sandwich, and now a Greek inspired steak sandwich.  What do you think should come next year?   

~Assembly Instructions Follow~  
Step 1: Spread Mayonnaise on the bottom and goat cheese on the top.
Step 2: Add arugula.
Step 3: Add steak
Step 4: Add cucumbers
Step 5: Red onions and marinated red peppers
Step 6: Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring!

It's the first day of spring!  It's time to stop and smell the roses.  Or hyacinths, whatever.
I always feel like this should be a national holiday.  After living in Los Angeles for a year, I really appreciate living in a place with real seasons. It feels like spring is special and it feels like I've earned it.  The flowering trees are all looking lovely and the bulbs are just finishing their bombast.
This is from the Enid A. Haupt Garden in front of the Smithsonian Castle.  It's looking just beautiful right now, and if you can visit, you very much should.
You should also visit the U.S. Botanic Garden.  Their Orchid Mystique: Nature's Triumph is ridiculous! So many flowering ethereal plants in one space.  It just doesn't feel real.
I'm continually amazed at the people who can get these plants to grow and flower.  It seems like magic to me.
Happy Spring!  Are you going to do anything in particular to celebrate?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beautiful World: Cherry Blossoms

Washington D.C.'s cherry blossoms are a few days away from peak bloom.  They looked beautiful when my parents and I visited the Tidal Basin on March 15th.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of the cherry trees to the United States.  According to some informative signage, 100 of those original trees are still growing.

True story:  sometimes the flowers grow right out of the tree's trunk!
Many thanks to my lovely model, my mom.
For more information about Washington's cherry trees or the National Cherry Blossom Festival, go here:  To see the feed from the Cherry Blossom Webcam, go here:
P.S.  Grad school is hard.  Sorry about that.  I'm baaaack! (Maybe)