Saturday, July 4, 2015

Eating Michael's Bonus

My husband Mike got a nice check last week for Employee Appreciation Day at his office. He suggested that we use part of it to dine at a couple of fancy, aka pricey, restaurants. The man didn't have to ask me twice. We both love to eat!

Last night we had dinner at Sofia's in West Roxbury, MA. We had eaten there once before in February for our third wedding anniversary. We loved it then and we were not disappointed last night.

We shared an appetizer and a salad. For the appetizer, we enjoyed the Maryland Crab Cake. It was quite large. For the salad we selected the Baby Spinach Salad with white balsamic, red onion, frisée, granny smith apple, bacon and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. They also serve you fresh bread warm from the oven with a delicious hummus. We probably could have just eaten this for dinner and moved on to dessert.

For dinner, Michael ordered the Sam Adams Steamed Mussels (with tomato, mild peppers, garlic, basil, Sam Adams Boston Lager and garlic bread) from the appetizer menu along with a side of pasta. I'm not a mussels fan but Michael said they were wonderful. I carefully reviewed the menu but in the end, I chose to order what I had before in February, because, YES, it was THAT GOOD. I'm warning you that the ingredients sound odd, but trust me, they work together. I ate the Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops with sautéed shitake mushrooms, salami and sweet potato served over a parsnip purée.

My dinner last night. Yum!
And even though we were both stuffed, we shared a dessert too! Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée, garnished with fresh berries.
Double Yum!
My handsome dining companion, my husband Michael.

Hope there was some good eating during your weekend!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pimp My RIde

In an unusual turn of events, two of my closest friends got new cars this week. Joannie brought her car in for service and was offered a sweet trade-in deal from her dealer for her 2013 Prius, which had 35,000 miles on it. She is now the proud owner of a 2015 Prius. My friend Marion and her husband were on their way home from an extended road trip to see their oldest granddaughter graduate from college when they got into a car accident in Virginia. Their three year old car was totaled by the insurance company, but luckily neither of them was hurt. They just bought a 2015 Hyundai Sonata, which was the newest model of the car they had before the accident. I spoke to Marion’s husband last night and he gleefully described to me all of the car’s new bells and whistles, which included a back-up camera, individual climate control for the front seats and “memory” for the driver’s seat position, just to name a few. I’m sure he will take me for a ride soon.

I’m not jealous even though my car is a ten year old Mazda Tribute. I did buy it new back in 2005 and even though I’m not much of a “car” person, I still really like it. It was the first car that I ever owned that had heated seats, cruise control, and power windows. It still seems like a luxury vehicle in contrast to my husband’s 1999 Saturn SC, which has over 160,000 miles on it and rides like a go-cart, hitting every bump in the road.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of fun personalizing my car, affectionately known as the Pugmobile. I have a vanity plate reading Pugmom, pink windshield wipers, as well as pink and black zebra-striped floor mats. The back of my car features a variety of pug magnets and stickers, mostly gifted by friends, as well as a license plate frame that reads, “I’d rather be quilting.” I’m pretty sure that most of my co-workers know it’s my car when they see it in the company parking lot.

If I had extra cash lying around, I’d consider having my car custom painted hot pink with gold sparkles. Only I’d be afraid that Mattel Toys might call and say that Barbie wanted her car back. Or that my husband and the pugs might refuse to ride with me anymore.

What about you? How’s your ride? Do you buy a new car every few years or do you drive a vintage vehicle? Do you lease your car or prefer to buy used and drive it into the ground? Have you personalized your car’s interior, had it custom painted, or “pimped out”?